Lee Jessup is a career coach for professional and emerging screenwriters, a twice-published, best-selling author, whose consulting services have been utilized by Universal Writers Program, NBC International, and Final Draft’s Big Break contest. Lee’s clients include writers who have major spec, pilot and pitch sales under their belts, writers who have written major studio films, staffed TV writers on shows including DEAD TO ME, MRS. AMERICA, GOOD GIRLS, UNDONE and MANIFEST (just to name a few), TV writing program fellows, writers named to The Hit List, The Blood List, The Young & Hungry List and The Black List, major contest winners, as well as writers just beginning to chart their professional course. Lee is the author of BREAKING IN: TALES FROM THE SCREENWRITING TRENCHES (Focal Press) and GETTING IT WRITE: AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO A SCREENWRITING CAREER (MWP). She has appeared in countless screenwriting conferences and panels domestically, abroad,and online, is a contributor to Script Magazine, and has been the interview subject of countless podcasts. Never too far from the industry, Lee resides in Los Angeles with her family.
A primetime Emmy-winning producer, Alexandra has worked most notably as a producer of feature documentaries for acclaimed directors Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki, Jehane Noujaim, Lauren Greenfield and Lucy Walker. Most recently, Alexandra executive produced AMAZING GRACE (2019), an intimate and immersive film chronicling a historic performance by the Queen of Soul, as well as working as a development and consulting producer on Lauren Greenfield’s forthcoming film THE KINGMAKER (Showtime).
On the fiction side, Alexandra executive produced A24’s critically-acclaimed, indie box office hit THE WITCH (2015, dir. Robert Eggers) which also premiered at Sundance and sold in a bidding war to A24 and Universal and went on to gross $40M box office.
Other notable recent documentary films include: HOLY HELL (2016) and THE SQUARE (2013), both of which premiered at Sundance and were sold to CNN Films and Netflix Originals respectively. THE SQUARE was nominated for an Academy Award and won numerous other awards, including multiple Emmys.
Other awards for her films include a Primetime Emmy for HBO’s MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, as well as multiple Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, a DGA award, several Peabody and Emmy awards.
Production and distribution partners on her films have included Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media, NEON, TIME, Time Inc., Netflix Originals, Disney, A24, CNN Films, A&E, ITVS, BBC, ZDF/ARTE, Optimum Releasing, Film Rise, and HBO.
From 2007 – 2012, Alexandra ran Alex Gibney’s company, Jigsaw Productions, managing all aspects of development and production, paving the way for the company’s 2012 sale to Content Media Corp. During her time at Jigsaw, she produced nine films for Gibney, including MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD (HBO), MAGIC TRIP: KEN KESEY’S SEARCH FOR A KOOL PLACE (A&E), CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER (Magnolia), CASINO JACK AND THE UNITED STATES OF MONEY (Participant), MY TRIP TO AL-QAEDA (HBO) and FREAKONOMICS (Magnolia).
In 2018, she was invited to join the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Alexandra is graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and regularly mentors at Sundance and Film Independent Labs.
Tish Johnson began as a clerk on the Disney feature film, Dick Tracy. She learned the mechanics of budgeting at Mandalay Entertainment and went on to her first feature as a key accountant on The Italian Job. She believes that each new project requires a different approach to budgeting, and the planning process is her favorite part of the job.
Producer Jānis Kalējs has worked for over 25 years in the film industry in Latvia and Canada and is one of the founders of Film Angels Productions. He has produced, co-produced and provided services for numerous international film projects in Latvia and is also guiding the film industry think-tanks as a member of the board of Film Service Producers Association of Latvia and a member of Film Council at the Latvian Ministry of Culture.
Stephen Kelliher is the director at Bankside Films, an international sales, production and financing company he co- founded in January 2007. Since its inception, Bankside Films has been a major investor in independent cinema and has established a reputation for identifying exciting new talent as well as working with established filmmakers and directors.
His role in the company focuses on the successful international distribution of Bankside titles. He is also closely involved in creative work with filmmakers especially at script stage and during the edit/post production period to ensure that every film has the best possible chance of success in the international marketplace.
Stephen’s most recent credits include TIFF 2019 title ORDINARY LOVE, a drama starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville, directed by Lisa Barros D’sa and Glenn Leyburn which will be distributed by Bleecker Street and Focus Features amongst others (Executive Producer); Craig Roberts’ ETERNAL BEAUTY starring Sally Hawkins, which has been acquired by Sony Pictures Worldwide (Executive Producer); Peter Strickland’s IN FABRIC (Executive Producer) which premiered at Toronto in 2018 and will be distributed by A24 in the North America; and Lee Cronin’s debut feature THE HOLE IN THE GROUND, which premiered at Sundance 2018 and was distributed by A24 in the US and sold extensively world-wide (Executive Producer). Further titles include CARGO by Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling, starring Martin Freeman, which has been acquired globally by Netflix as the first Australian Netflix Originals feature film (associate producer); BELLE by Amma Asante (Executive Producer), HECTOR & THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS by Peter Chelsom (Associate Producer), FREEHELD by Peter Sollett (Executive Producer), WAR ON EVERYONE by John Michael McDonagh (Executive Producer).
Kelliher has over 20 years’ experience in international sales and marketing at companies including Beyond Films and Vine International Pictures where is career began in 1994. Stephen is a former Chair of Film Export UK, the trade association which represents the interests of UK based sales companies and is a full voting member of BAFTA.
JESSICA KELLY (Casting Director) Selected Recent and Notable Films: Midsommar, Hereditary, Jackie, Otherhood, See You Yesterday, Don’t Think Twice, Demolition, John Wick 2, John Wick, The Book of Henry, The Wolverine, Noah, The Other Woman, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Southpaw, Labor Day, Young Adult, Precious, The Wrestler. Selected Independent films: Luce, The Climb, Assassination Nation, Lizzie, Skate Kitchen, A Kid like Jake, Patti Cake$, The Incredible Jessica James, Amateur, As You Are, People Places Things, Obvious Child, Little Accidents, 2 Days in New York, Liberal Arts, Happythankyoumoreplease, Twelve. Selected TV: Euphoria (HBO), Ramy, Dietland, Taken, Madoff, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Believe, Zero Hour, Pan Am, Mercy.Upcoming Films: After Yang (Kogonada), False Positive (A24), Nine Days, Dreamland.
Keya Khayatian is a Partner in the Motion Picture Literary department of leading talent and literary agency UTA. He began his entertainment career in 1995 as an agent trainee in the UTA mailroom. He was quickly promoted to departmental assistant specializing in film rights for literary properties, and in 1997 he was promoted to agent. He was promoted to Partner in 2017 and became an Associate member of the Academy that same year. He also Co-Heads the Media Rights Group at the agency.
With a keen eye for spotting original artistic voices, Khayatian has helped develop the careers of many of the most sought after writers and directors, as well as representing established talent.
Clients include Marielle Heller (A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME), Garth Davis (LION), Niki Caro (MULAN, THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE), Michael Showalter (THE BIG SICK, HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS), Alan Taylor (THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, TERMINATOR: GENISYS, THOR: DARK WORLD), Lasse Hallstrom (CHOCOLAT, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES), Philippe Falardeau (MY SALINGER YEAR, Monsieur Lazhar, THE GOOD LIE), Asghar Farhadi (THE SALESMAN, EVERYBODY KNOWS, A SEPARATION), Jonas Cuaron (DESIERTO), Carlos Cuaron (Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, RUDO Y CURSI), Ira Glass (THIS AMERICAN LIFE), Rodrigo Cortés (BURIED, THE CONTESTANT), Marjane Satrapi (RADIOACTIVE, THE VOICES, CHICKEN WITH PLUMS, PERSEPOLIS), Conrad Vernon (THE ADDAMS FAMILY), Jared Hess (NACHO LIBRE, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE), Haifaa Al Mansour (NAPPILY EVER AFTER, MARY SHELLEY), Clark Johnson (THE SENTINEL, S.W.A.T., BOYCOTT, THE SHIELD), Naji Abu Nowar (THEEB), Broken Lizard—including director Jay Chandrashekar (BEERFEST, DUKES OF HAZZARD, SUPERTROOPERS).
Born in Iran, Khayatian was raised in Los Angeles and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in English Literature from Amherst College. After earning his degree, he spent two years in New York working at ABC News as a production assistant on World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, before moving to Los Angeles.
Lauren Kisilevsky, vice president, Original Movies, Disney Channel, is responsible for creative development of Disney Channel Original Movies as well Disney Channel-produced movies for Disney+. Her responsibilities include leading a team of creative executives as well as collaborating with writers, directors and producers to generate new projects, overseeing the creative storytelling through development, production and post-production. In addition, Kisilevsky provides creative support through the franchise, marketing, release and sustain periods for Original Movies.
Kisilevsky’s most recent projects include the highly anticipated third movie in the “Descendants” franchise, “Descendants 3,” as well as “Zombies 2” and “The Secret Society of Second Born Royals,” the latter for the upcoming streaming service Disney+. The premiere telecast of “Descendants 3” delivered over 11 million viewers in L+7, ranking as cable TV’s highest-rated telecast among Kids 6-11 and Tweens since the 2015 “Descendants” premiere.
She has also overseen beloved Disney Channel Original Movies including “Teen Beach 2,” “Zombies,” a live-action version of “Kim Possible,” “Zapped” starring Zendaya and the STEM-focused “How to Build a Better Boy.”
Prior to joining Disney Channel, Kisilevsky developed feature films. From 2007-2010, she served as vice president, Production and Acquisitions for Overture Films where she oversaw Sundance favorite and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award winner “Paper Heart,” as well as “Nothing Like the Holidays” and “Pandorum.” Additionally, she managed a slate of over 20 projects in various stages of development.
She has held executive positions for Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, as well as at Beacon Pictures and Blue Star Pictures. During which time she contributed to “Penelope” (Type A – Reese Witherspoon), “Little Black Book,” “The Messengers,” “The Burrowers” and “Darkness Falls” (Blue Star Films).
Kisilevsky grew up in Montreal, Canada and attended Concordia University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Western Society and Culture.
Photo Credit: Disney Channel/Craig Sjodin @ Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Randal Kleiser has been an internationally known film director since the release of his first feature, Grease. Other credits include The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, The Blue Lagoon, Summer Lovers, Flight of the Navigator, White Fang, North Shore, Getting It Right, Lovewrecked, Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, and the 1996 AIDS drama It’s My Party.
Working in 70mm 3-D, he directed Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which ran for over a decade at the Disney Parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, and Paris. This led to the US Government signing him to develop a 360 degree virtual reality simulator to train soldiers to deal with Improvised Explosive Devices in the war in Afghanistan.
In 2007, his USC Thesis film Peege was selected to be added to the National Registry at the Library of Congress. With George Lucas, he produced the online course, “USC School of Cinematic Arts presents the Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers and Actors“.
In 2019, Kleiser released the 12 part 360 degree Virtual Reality series Defrost, which was shown at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. Experimenting with Paramount and Intel Studios, he directed a music video using 20 dancers captured volumetrically. Kleiser is chair of the Digital Day subcommittee of DGA Special Projects and has served on the Western Directors Council and the National Board. At the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences he was invited to serve on the Science and Technology Council.
Ryan Koo’s directorial debut AMATEUR is a 2018 Netflix Original Film starring Michael Rainey Jr. (POWER, LUV), Josh Charles (THE GOOD WIFE, SPORTS NIGHT), Sharon Leal (ADDICTED, DREAMGIRLS), and Brian White (RAY DONOVAN, SCANDAL). AMATEUR is produced by Jason Berman (THE BIRTH OF A NATION) and Chip Hourihan (FROZEN RIVER), and is executive produced by former NBA All-Stars Tony Parker and Michael Finley.
Koo’s screenplay for AMATEUR was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, multiple Sundance grants, a Tribeca Film Institute grant, and Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFP programs. At the time he ran it, Koo’s Kickstarter campaign for AMATEUR became the most successful narrative film in Kickstarter history, raising $125,000 from over two thousand backers.
Koo also released a short prequel to AMATEUR directly online, where it was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick and was featured by Grantland, JAY-Z’s Life+Times, SLAM Magazine, Indiewire, Filmmaker Magazine, and Short of the Week. The short was subsequently invited to play film festivals, including Urbanworld, Indie Memphis, and NBCUniversal’s Short Cuts festival, where it won the Audience Award out of 1,400 entries.
For his web series THE WEST SIDE, Koo won the Webby Award for Best Drama Series, and he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Film.Koo is also the Founder and CEO of the popular filmmaking website No Film School, which won Total Film’s Best Creative Blog award and averages millions of readers a month.
In his 30-year career as co-founder of Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA), co-head of Orion, and as a feature film and television producer, Brad Krevoy has played a key role in the finance, development, production and distribution of more than 200 motion picture and television projects that have generated more than a billion dollars in worldwide revenue. He has produced blockbuster motion pictures, and his MOW’s and series have received high ratings and popular acclaim.
Most recently, Mr. Krevoy has been responsible for some of the most watched and successful films and shows produced for Netflix and The Hallmark Channel, including Netflix’s A CHRISTMAS PRINCE trilogy and THE PRINCESS SWITCH, starring Vanessa Hudgens. Netflix is also premiering HOLIDAY IN THE WILD, starring Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis, and THE KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, starring Vanessa Hudgens. In addition to the more than 40 Hallmark films he has recently produced, Mr. Krevoy has the longest-running and highest-rated series on the Hallmark Channel, WHEN CALLS THE HEART, going into its seventh season, as well as a spin-off, WHEN HOPE CALLS, that just premiered as the first series on Hallmark’s new streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now.
Prior to his work for Netflix and Hallmark, Mr. Krevoy produced the heart-warming true story TAKING CHANCE starring Kevin Bacon, one of the highest rated HBO Original Films, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. TAKING CHANCE was nominated for 10 Emmys, winning one, and won a Golden Globe (Best Actor, Kevin Bacon), along with SAG, WGA, DGA, and Humantis awards. In addition to inspirational stories, Krevoy found a market in family films starting with 2011’s BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 2.
Among his many earlier works, Mr. Krevoy produced the blockbuster Farrelly Brothers’ comedy DUMB AND DUMBER starring Jim Carrey, and the Farrelly’s follow-up, KINGPIN, starring Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, and Bill Murray. Mr. Krevoy also produced BEVERLY HILLS NINJA starring Chris Farley and JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE with Tim Allen. Mr. Krevoy’s moderately budgeted 1994 production THREESOME, starring Stephen Baldwin and Lara Flynn Boyle (and released by TriStar Pictures), remains one of the most profitable independent films to this day.
Prior to joining Entertainment Partners, George was Vice President of Production Finance at Mandalay Pictures where he established the company’s production finance department before segueing to Production Controller. Previous to his stint at Mandalay, he served as a Production Supervisor, Associate Producer and freelance Production Accountant on numerous projects from television to independent and major studio films, including those of Sony, Universal, New Line Cinema, and others.
Anthony Layser is Vice President, partnerships and programming at XUMO, the premium television and video-on-demand service for the digital age. In this role, Layser is responsible for developing strategy and analysis used by the executive team to determine and prioritize content partnerships and potential channel partners. He assists with business development/strategy, acquisition deals, and partner management for XUMO. Layser also works across departments (product, operations, finance, legal, marketing, and advertising teams) to plan and execute KPI driven initiatives. He is tasked with driving business KPI’s through the expansion of current partnerships and the development of new business opportunities. He also leads the development of streamlined tracking documents and instruments that help maintain pipeline of current, new and prospective channel partners, and leads onboarding integrations for new partners. Additionally, Layser provides leadership and support throughout the launch and growth of channels, including program and promotional planning, scheduling and renewals. He analyzes distribution trends and forecast revenue to assist in creation of contract renewal strategy.
Prior to joining the XUMO team, Layser served as the North American content vice president at Dailymotion. His role involved implementing video content development strategies and leading partner acquisition efforts. He oversaw content managers in New York City, Santa Monica and Toronto, providing creative leadership and acting as a liaison between content programmers, executives and the sales team. During his tenure, Dailymotion’s US audience grew over 500 percent (per Google Analytics).
Preceding his work with Dailymotion, Layser oversaw production on over 500 episodes of the award-winning AOL-Huffington Post daily series, You’ve Got. In this role, he guided booking, creation, development, production, distribution, and social media promotion the series. You’ve Got segment views increased from an average of 10M streams per month to 15M streams per month during his tenure, and You’ve Got videos consistently ranked in the daily top five most-viewed videos on the AOL-Huffington Post network. While under Anthony’s leadership, You’ve Got received a Silver Telly Award in the Social Issues category (Silver is the highest honor).
Earlier in his career, Anthony developed the video content strategy for both the men’s and women’s lifestyle networks at AOL. While with the women’s lifestyle group, StyleList.com views increased by at least 500K streams per month and KitchenDaily.com views increased by at least 150K streams per month. While overseeing video strategy for the men’s lifestyle group, video views went from 70K views per month to over 2.6M views per month on a fixed budget over a 13-month period. During this same period, Anthony produced over 300 videos, including segments that featured top-notch comedy talent, including Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Jon Glaser, Chris Gethard, and Matt Walsh.
Anthony has written for VideoInk, Cracked.com, TV Guide and TVGuide.com, Village Voice Media and Anthem magazine.
To learn more about XUMO and the work Layser and the XUMO team are doing with their unique, intelligence-driven content, visit www.XUMO.com.
Tim League graduated from Rice University in 1992 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Art/Art History. After a two-year stint at Shell Oil in Bakersfield, California, Tim left the engineering profession and opened up his first movie theater, the Tejon Theater, in east Bakersfield. When that theater closed after a short run in 1995, he and his wife Karrie loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector, screen, and speakers and headed to Austin, Texas. They founded Alamo Drafthouse in 1997, where as CEO League remains committed to providing creative programming and a zero tolerance policy for disruption during the theater experience. League also co-founded Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States, and NEON, the newest powerhouse in US Film Distribution with titles such as COLOSSAL, I, TONYA, and THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM.
augenschein Filmproduktion was founded in 2008 by producers Jonas Katzenstein and Maximilian Leo and is based in Cologne and Hamburg. The company has produced more than 25 national and international director-driven feature films with a global audience appeal. augenschein produces and develops their own projects working closely with directors and screenwriters, supporting them in the development of their work.
augenschein’s current primary slate of English-speaking titles include the highly anticipated thriller 7500, written and directed by Oscar®-nominated Patrick Vollrath, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The film will be released worldwide in 2020 by Amazon, Universum in Germany, Pathé in Switzerland, and Filmladen in Austria. Also on augenschein’s slate is the drama HOME, starring Kathy Bates, directed by Franka Potente, currently in production and set for release in 2020, and the science fiction thriller STOWAWAY, starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Colette, directed by Joe Penna (ARCTIC).
The company also focuses on producing foreign language auteur films of high artistic value with the potential for festival success. Recent films include ANA, MON AMOUR which was awarded with a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at Berlinale, HUNTING SEASON, winner of the Venice Critics’ week, MY HAPPY FAMILY, which debuted in Sundance and was sold to Netflix, and LOS PERROS which premiered in competition at Cannes Critics’ Week. The company’s German-speaking titles and high-concept series lead by strong director’s vision include CLOUD WHISPERS by Kerstin Polte, starring Corinna Harfouch, Meret Becker and Sabine Timoteo, theatrically released by Alamode in 2018. In addition, ALL RUSSIANS LOVE BIRCH TREES by Pola Beck starring Aylin Tezel is in development alongside PANIKHERZ, an adaptation of Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre’s bestselling novel as well as 34, a European high-end series in collaboration with the French companies Agat Films & Cie and Unité de Production.
From 2002 to 2004, Maximilian Leo shot documentaries in different parts of the world, including Afghanistan and Africa. In 2005, he began his studies at the Cologne Academy of Media Arts and graduated in 2009. In 2008, he co-founded augenschein Filmproduktion with Jonas Katzenstein. In 2014 his directional debut MY BROTHER’S KEEPER premiered at the Berlinale. Furthermore, he has produced over 20 national and international feature films in various countries building up a wide network in Europe, Asia and the US.
Christopher Lemole is a producer and co-founder of Armory Films, a film finance and production company that creates, develops, produces, and finances high concept and commercially viable content. With the ability to finance projects from initial creative inception through production and release, Armory has amassed an impressive slate spanning numerous genres and styles, nurturing distinctive stories into groundbreaking films. The Los Angeles based company was created with partner Tim Zajaros in 2013.
Armory recently wrapped production in Los Angeles on Charlie Day’s directorial debut El Tonto starring Day, Kate Beckinsale, Jason Sudeikis, John Malkovich, Edie Falco, Jillian Bell, Ken Jeong, Adrien Brody, Ray Liotta and Travis Fimmel, and produced The Peanut Butter Falcon, starring Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Dakota Johnson and Bruce Dern, which received rave reviews and the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award out of its SXSW premiere. The film was acquired by Roadside Attractions and has a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes and has made over $20million at the box office so far. Up next, they are currently in pre-production on Raja Gosnell’s live-action family film Santa: The Adventure Begins and will be teaming with Don Handfield on the sci-fi comic book series The Dark Age.
Lemole produced Joe Penna’s Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen which made its world premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival where it was acquired by Bleeker Street for North American distribution and released earlier this year. He also produced and financed Dee Rees’ lauded feature Mudbound, starring Carey Mulligan and Garrett Hedlund, which rose to critical success since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017. After being acquired by Netflix, the film went on to receive a record breaking four Academy Award Nominations, making the film a milestone in Netflix’s history in the awards race. Additional recent productions include: Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair’s latest horror/thriller Mom and Dad, which received rave reviews when it premiered in the midnight madness section at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017.
Before founding Armory Films, Lemole produced three independent features: George Griffith’s From the Head, Richard Gray’s Mine Games and Blinder. Under the Armory Films banner, he went on to produce the horror comedy Zombeavers with Benderspink and the Cabin Fever reboot with Eli Roth and Cassian Elwes.
Lemole received both his undergraduate degree and J.D from Villanova University in Philadelphia, before moving to Los Angeles where he began his career in the business working in the Business Affairs Department at United Talent Agency (UTA).
As Chief Strategy Officer of BRON, Levinson is responsible for fostering filmmaker and industry relationships and identifying key corporate opportunities across the group of companies including BRON Studios, BRON Creative, BRON Animation, BRON Releasing and BRON Ventures, while overseeing day-to-day operations at the company’s LA studio. Prior to joining BRON, Ashley Levinson served as the COO at Annapurna Pictures and has held high-level leadership positions with the Soho House Group and the Sundance Institute. In addition, Levinson served as the president of REX, a tech platform for sharing and curating cultural recommendations and in 2012 she was named to Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood Power List. Levinson is an Executive Producer on Jay Roach’s BOMBSHELL, Co-Executive Producer on Lena Waithe’s upcoming QUEEN & SLIM and David Lowery’s THE GREEN KNIGHT. Additionally, she is a partner in BRON backed Little Lamb Productions which created the HBO series EUPHORIA and will soon go into production on the feature PIECES OF A WOMAN starring Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf.
MONICA LEVINSON (Producer) is president of production at ShivHans Pictures, a production and finance company creating unique and compelling projects outside the Hollywood studio model, while collaborating with top-tier talent.
Since joining ShivHans, Levinson has produced several films, including the recently released Brain Banks, starring Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, and Sherri Shepherd, producing alongside Gidden Media; David Oyelowo’s directorial debut The Water Man (in post production); Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly, starring Sienna Miller and Diego Luna (also currently in post production); Brad Anderson’s Beirut, written by Tony Gilroy with stars Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike; Jay Roach’s Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston in a performance that garnered Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations;Captain Fantastic, with Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella and Kathryn Hahn; and The Polka King, starring Jack Black and Jenny Slate. Also with ShivHans, Levinson executive produced Dan Fogelman’s Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino.
Before entering the world of feature films Levinson cut her teeth working in broadcast news, where she covered the fast-paced happenings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She made her initial foray into film on prominent features with noted directors Alan Pakula, Sidney Lumet and Michael Mann. Levinson went on to lend her talents to hits like Zoolander, Dodgeball, Clear History and Borat. The latter film garnered an Academy Award nomination for its screenplay and was included on the American Film Institute’s list of the “Top 10 Films of 2006.”
Heidi has cast a broad array of films from the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanevicius, to films for directors including Oliver Stone, Wayne Wang, Sally Potter, Wim Wenders, Diego Luna, Kim Nguyen, Neil Labute. Other films cast include JFK, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, The Rock, The Joy Luck Club, Smoke, Nurse Betty, Lakeview Terrace, Chavez, Ginger and Rosa, and Don’t Come Knocking. Heidi often collaborates as a producer with the directors she casts for, and has been a part of the producing team on films, Victor Nunez, Sally Potter, Deborah Chow, Diego Luna, Kim Nguyen and just this past year at TIff. she executive produced and cast Wayne Wang’s film COMING HOME AGAIN, starring Justin Chon.
Currently, Heidi is producing Victor Nunez’s next film Rachel Hendrix along with casting Bertrand Tavernier film, Snowbirds, based on a novella by Russel Banks. And in 2020, Bleecker Street Films will release Sally Potter’s film, Molly, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Savion Glover, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek which Heidi cast and exec produced.
In partnership with Academy Award-winning documentary film maker, Alex Gibney, Heidi is producing an anthology series and pod cast with the newly launched, Best Case Studios called, Exiles on Main Street. The series will be a collection of one hour episodes, each based on a different short story by our most celebrated authors and each story deals with culture clash and immigrant and refugee experience/ weaving together a tapestry of what it means to live in America as a foreigner.
In 2010 she created an iPhone App called Actor Genie which has been featured twice on the front page of the iTunes App Store. She is a member of AMPAS and the Casting Society of America and has won three Artios Awards for her work in casting film and Theatre. Heidi is a graduate of Barnard College and the American Film Institute where she is currently an adjunct professor in directing.
As Head of Wattpad Studios, Aron Levitz connects the entertainment and publishing industries with new voices and original content on Wattpad. Leveraging data and community insights, Aron works with the industry to co-produce Wattpad stories for film, television, print and digital formats.
Previously, as Head of Business Development, Aron helped establish the company’s monetization strategy and launched Wattpad Brand Stories, a native advertising solution. He was also instrumental in launching the Wattpad Stars program that gives top influencers access to a variety of opportunities.
Throughout his career, Aron has connected the entertainment industry with emerging technology and mobile platforms. As Senior Director of Strategic Alliances at Xtreme Labs, Aron developed business and mobile strategies for the world’s top media brands including MTV. Prior to Xtreme Labs, he was Director of Entertainment and Global Content Acquisition at BlackBerry where he worked with artists and other talent, as well as launched innovative music, movie, TV, and gaming services. Aron received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Waterloo.
As Chief Content Officer, Lewinson is responsible for content strategy and acquisitions for Tubi, the largest free movie and TV streaming service. Lewinson heads up Tubi’s Los Angeles office where he manages one of the largest libraries in streaming (larger than Netflix). He oversees more than 200 content partners including Lionsgate, Paramount and MGM.
Most recently, Lewinson was the Senior Vice President of Programming & Marketing at Sony Pictures Television and the streaming platform Crackle. Lewinson oversaw the programming strategy and content slate for Crackle, and led the expansion of the service’s content library to include titles from most major studios. He was also instrumental in the launch of Crackle Original Series and Movies, including Mad Families (Charlie Sheen), StartUp (Martin Freeman) and Snatch (Rupert Grint). Lewinson was also the programming executive on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (2016 Emmy Nominee), including the most-viewed episode with President Barack Obama.
Previously, Lewinson spent more than a decade at FX Networks, most recently as Senior Vice President, Programming & Production. Lewinson spearheaded the launch of FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel) and oversaw the channel’s programming portfolio. As a member of the senior executive team, he oversaw production and current programming of special projects including Sons of Anarchy late night talk series Anarchy Afterword, 10/90 sitcom Partners with Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercury, and the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Prior to joining FX, Lewinson served as the Vice President of Studio Entertainment at Lifetime Television where he was instrumental in the growth of Lifetime Movie Network and expanded the network’s partnerships with the major studios. He also held positions at The Walt Disney Company and Columbia Pictures.
Adam is an Emmy award-winning producer for FX’s A Tribute to Mel Brooks and produced the acclaimed series Fox Legacy alongside former Fox studio chairman Tom Rothman. Lewinson holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the American Film Institute, studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and achieved a BA from Vassar College. He also wrote the 2015 sci-fi adventure novel Earthbound.
With 15 plus years of production and finance experience across features, television and new media entertainment, Fran is a subject matter expert in the entertainment production space. Experience in production planning (scheduling, budgeting and production incentives) coupled with production finance and her work as a strategic marketing leader in production payroll, Fran offers a unique and relevant skill-set to production companies & film studios alike.