Amma Asante began her career as a child actor and made her writing/directing debut with the 2004 feature film, A Way of Life, which won her 17 international awards. Her second film Belle was released in the U.S. in 2014 to great acclaim and opened Athena in 2014. Her latest film A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, opened the 2016 BFI London Film Festival and will be released in the US in February 2017. She is currently shooting her fourth feature film Where Hands Touch.
Julie Parker Benello ’92 co- founded Chicken & Egg Pictures in 2005. Films of note include 2012 Academy Award winner Saving Face, After Tiller, The Invisible War, and Pariah. Benello served as an Executive Producer of Jill Soloway’s Sundance 2013 award winning debut feature Afternoon Delight. Recently, she executive produced The Invitation and Hot Girls Wanted. She is a Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of Gamechanger Films which invests in independent narrative films by women directors. She is a proud Barnard graduate.
Debra Martin Chase is an Emmy nominated and Peabody Award winning television and motion picture producer whose company, Martin Chase Productions, has been affiliated with the Walt Disney Company since 2001. Her producing credits include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Princess Diaries, The Cheetah Girls, the American Girl movie franchises and many others. The first African-American woman to have her own producing deal at a major studio and a Harvard-trained lawyer, Chase was a producing partner with the late Whitney Houston and ran Denzel Washington’s production company.
Dan Cogan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners which, since 2007, has been involved in the financing of over 45 documentary films that promote social change, including: Oscar-winner The Cover, and the Oscar-nominated films: The Garden, Hell and Back Again, and How to Survive a Plague. Cogan also co-founded Gamechanger Films, which invests in narrative features by women directors.
Ava DuVernay is an American filmmaker, marketer and film distributor who has been nominated for two Academy Awards and four Golden Globes. Her film Selma was one of 2015’s most critically-acclaimed films. Her recent work includes Queen Sugar; a television series for The Oprah Winfrey Network, 13th, a documentary on mass incarceration, and she is currently shooting Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time based on the classic fantasy novel. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s Best Director for Middle of Nowhere, she also distributes the work of people of color and women directors through her film collective ARRAY.
Geralyn Dreyfous is the Founder and Board Chair of the Utah Film Center. In 2007, she co-founded Impact Partners with Dan Cogan and, in 2013, she co-founded Gamechanger Films, which invests in narrative features directed by women. Geralyn’s independent executive producing and producing credits include the Academy Award winning Born Into Brothels; the Emmy nominated The Day My God Died; Academy Award nominated films: The Square and The Invisible War and such film festival winners as Miss Representation, Connected, Anita, The Crash Reel, The Hunting Ground, Dreamcatcher and Alive Inside.
Paul Feig is a director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. Best known for directing the 2011 film Bridesmaids, Feig has been supportive of women in the industry throughout his career, casting female leads in his successful directorial efforts, including Spy, The Heat, and Ghostbusters. A three-time Emmy nominated writer/director and DGA Award winner, Feig is the creator of the television series Freaks and Geeks and a director and co-executive producer of The Office.
Sherry Lansing is a philanthropist, former Chair and CEO of Paramount Pictures and former President of 20th Century Fox, where she was the first woman to head a major film studio. During almost 30 years in the motion picture business, Lansing was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump, Braveheart, and Titanic.
Diane Levin P ’13 is the producer of The Zookeeper’s Wife, starring Jessica Chastain, written by Diane Ackerman and adapted by Angela Workman that will open in March 2017. She is also the co-producer of a web series, Georgia, for the WIGS channel. She serves on the Board of the Oakwood School, IMPACT Theatre Group in Harlem, and the Parents Council at Barnard.
Jon Levin P ’13 is a Motion Picture Literary Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Since joining CAA in 1979, Levin has worked on behalf of such agency clients as actors Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Hanks, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman; and directors Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, and Spike Jonze. Levin also represents Stan Lee, Neil Gaiman, Eric Roth, Overbrook, Playtone, James Ellroy, Russell Banks, Imagine Films, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, and Plan B. He sits on the Board of the City of Hope Film Division and is a member of the Tufts Alumni Council and the Tufts Media Studies Board.
Dylan McDermott P ’18 is a Golden Globe award-winning actor. His television credits include The Practice, American Horror Story, Hostages, and Stalker. His feature films include Hamburger Hill, Steel Magnolias, In the Line of Fire, Wonderland, The Campaign, Olympus has Fallen, Survivor, and the upcoming Blind and Hank.
Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and activist. The first woman President and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media; she is now a Senior Advisor to the organization. Mitchell is also the former President of CNN Productions, where she executive-produced hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, which received 35 Emmy Awards and 5 Peabody Awards.
Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the feature film Love & Basketball, which won an Independent Spirit Award and a Humanitas Prize, as well as the HBO film Disappearing Acts. In 2008, she wrote and directed the award-winning adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees. Her third feature, Beyond the Lights, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. Her television directorial debut was the CBS Schoolbreak Special What About Your Friends, which won an NAACP Image Award and two Emmy nominations. Her new series Shots Fired will premiere on Fox in 2017.
Susan Rovner ’91 has served as Executive VP, Development, at Warner Bros. Television (WBTV) since March 2010. In March 2014, she was named Co-President of Warner Horizon Scripted Television. For the 2016–17 network television season, WBTV’s development team — under Rovner’s direction — scored scripted series orders for the drama series Time After Time for ABC, Training Day for CBS, Lethal Weapon for FOX, and Frequency and Riverdale for The CW, as well as the comedies Powerless and Trial & Error for NBC. Additionally, WBTV’s highly anticipated drama series Westworld set viewership records on HBO, and dramedy phenomenon Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premiered on Netflix.
Regina K. Scully has executive produced over 100 social justice films and is the Emmy Award®-winning and Academy Award®-nominated executive producer of The Invisible War. She has also executive produced films including The Eagle Huntress, Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power, The Hunting Ground, Newtown, Fed Up, Miss Representation and Dreamcatcher among many others. She is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to developing and promoting media, education and the arts that transform our culture.
Rachel Weisz is an Academy Award-winning actress best known for portraying women of spirit and intelligence. The winner of an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globe for her performance in Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener, Weisz has also received a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance in The Deep Blue Sea. Other recent film and TV credits include: The Lobster, Denial, The Bourne Legacy, The Whistleblower, Dream House, and Page Eight, among others.