Friday, November 3rd, 2017
Fairmont Miramar's Starlight Ballroom in Santa Monica - on the occasion of the American
DIVERSITY WORK$, Friday, November 4th, 2016
Fairmont Miramar's Starlight Ballroom in Santa Monica - on the occasion of the American Film Market
Diverse perspectives are rising within the entertainment industry. How are new voices and stories transforming media? The shifting media landscape ranges from the impact of Black Lives Matter to how women are tackling gender bias, and from stories of intergenerational characters to the movement to recognize those of us with disabilities.
On the occasion of the American Film Market (AFM) which is the industry's largest international conference, attended each year by over 8,000 industry professionals, this symposium was moderated by Pepperdine's Joi Carr, Roslyn Satchel and DreamWorks Animation's Christina Lee Storm, and hosted by Craig Detweiler in a series of lively and evocative discussions about the evolution of the business in light of greater diversity and inclusion.
State of the Industry with Michael Paseornek, President of Motion Picture Productions, Lionsgate
Special Guest - Laura Richards, a criminal behavioral analyst who gives a voice to the voiceless discussed how she reexamines The Case Of: JonBenet Ramsey in a four-hour limited event docu-series on CBS.
Conversation 1 - Roslyn Satchel with Quincy Newell of Lionsgate and Britta Wilson of Pixar
Conversation 2 - Christina Lee Storm of DreamWorks Animation, and Nina Yang Bongiovi, best known for her work with Significant Productions on Fruitvale Station and Dope.
Conversation 3 - Joi Carr with Charles Howard, Co-Chair of the Producers Guild of America's Diversity Committee and Scott Bowling, President of the Exceptional Children's Foundation.
This symposium was made possible in part with the generous support of The Hearst Foundations.
Special thanks to symposium producers - Christine Bishop, William Nix, and Alison Treleaven, and executive producer, Kathryn Linehan.
Diversity Work$ Featured Speakers
Nina Yang Bongiovi is a feature film producer with over 17 years of combined production, finance and management experience in the entertainment industry between Hollywood and Asia.
Nina met her producing partner Forest Whitaker in 2009 and they've set on a path to champion distinct filmmaker voices, under the banner - Significant Productions. During their first year in operations, Nina and Forest met filmmaker Ryan Coogler and went on to produce the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station, which won The Audience and The Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival 2013, Cannes Film Festival's L'Avenir Award, Indie Spirit Award, Producers Guild's Stanley Kramer Award, alongside 40+ prestigious awards worldwide.
In 2015, the producing duo returned to Sundance with two feature films: Dope, written/directed by Rick Famuyiwa, and Songs My Brothers Taught Me, written/directed by Chloé Zhao, in U.S. Dramatic Competition. Dope and Songs also had their international premieres at the Cannes Film Festival, and both films were represented in the 2016 awards circuit receiving nominations from NAACP Image Awards and Indie Spirit Awards, respectively.
Significant Productions' projects cover feature films, documentaries, television and digital endeavors which all strive to be at the forefront of discovering emerging talent, developing and producing quality projects with a focus on diversity in front of and behind the camera.
Nina serves on the Board of Directors at Film Independent, the Oscar Grant Foundation, and is a member of the Academy (AMPAS). She is fluent in Mandarin, Chinese and received her Master's degree in Entertainment Management from the Walter Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. IMDB
Scott Bowling is President and CEO of the Exceptional Children's Foundation, Scott Bowling has over 25 years of experience with nonprofits that serve people with developmental disabilities, including direct service work with clients and several program and organizational management positions. Scott joined ECF in 1999 as President and CEO where he is responsible for a complex nonprofit with a $25 million operating budget, 15 service sites in LA County, 375 employees, a 20 member board of directors, and, which serves over 3,600 children and adults with special needs each year.
Two of Scott's accomplishments at ECF include implementing a long-term strategic planning approach to management and achieving 85% of planned goals; and facilitating a merger with another nonprofit – creating the only organization of its kind in California that provides a continuum of lifespan services for children and adults with special needs.
Scott earned a Doctorate in Psychology from Ryokan College, an M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and a B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Scott serves on the board of directors of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce and the Uniquely Abled Project; and in 2014, was appointed by Governor Brown to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Joi Carr is an Associate Professor of English and Film Studies and the Director of the Film Studies Program at Pepperdine University, Seaver College. As Creative/Program Director of the Multicultural Theatre Project (MTP), Joi frames literary and historical as a theatrical experience that provides a creative space where students explore the multidimensionality of diversity: intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Encountering Texts: The Multicultural Theatre Project and "Minority" Literature (Carr 2015) explores her trans-disciplinary, arts-based, critical pedagogy, and is central aspect of her research and teaching. Joi is a singer-songwriter, actress, and playwright actively engaged with SAG-AFTRA as a National Convention Delegate, an Alternate of the SAG-AFTRA National and Los Angeles Boards, and as a member of the National and Local EEOC and Women's Committees. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and explore faith and the arts, black masculinity, women and film, and women and vocation, primarily in literature and cinema arts with African American Studies as the locus. She earned her Ph.D. in American Literature and Film Studies from Claremont Graduate University. IMDB
Craig Detweiler is an award-winning author and film producer. His cultural commentary has been featured on ABC's Nightline, CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, NPR, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
His newest book is, "iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives." Detweiler also edited the first book on theology and video games, "Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Game with God." His previous book, "Into the Dark," searches for the sacred amidst the top-ranked films on the Internet Movie Database.
As a filmmaker, his documentaries build bridges across cultures from a story of global justice in Uganda, Remand, to the comedic Purple State of Mind, to (un)Common Sounds: Peace Through Music. He blogs as 'Doc Hollywood' for Patheos.com and is @craigdetweiler on Twitter.
A Professor of Communication, he also is Creative Director of Pepperdine's Institute of Entertainment, Media and Culture (iEMC). He's a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Davidson College and earned an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California's acclaimed film school. IMDB
Charles Howard is an award-winning senior executive with over 15 years of experience in leading cross-functional production teams and agency partners in the design, development, execution and delivery of complex integrated digital projects and innovative solutions for Fortune 500 clients.
With expertise in multi-platform media strategies, Charles has consistently achieved financial and delivery goals on immersive one of a kind digital experiences for companies such as Amgen, Allergan, Biogen Idec, Boeing, Honeywell, Exxon Mobil, Merial, Merck, PAC-12, Sikorsky, Toyota and Lockheed Martin; having garnered Davey, Telly, Spark and Excellence Awards for a number of these clients.
Charles thrives on exploring emerging technologies and cutting edge digital marketing strategies as he helps companies develop creative solutions to attract, connect and engage with their core markets through digital and social media communication tools that meet their business needs to obtain a maximum ROI.
Beyond the workplace, one of his personal passions is in leveraging his producing knowledge as a teaching tool for the Producers Guild of America. For the last twelve years, Charles has been leading a producing workshop for the PGA, to find and cultivate new talent in the areas of film, television and new media storytelling. The workshop has taken over 300 emerging producers through all the key components of developing and launching a creative project across multiple platforms. Charles loves having a hand in developing the producers of tomorrow
Quincy Newell is a 20-year veteran of the entertainment business and currently serves as EVP & General Manager at Codeblack Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate Entertainment.
Newell has managed the release of over 100 titles including: Zane's Addicted; Forest Whitaker's Repentance; Kevin Hart's box-office hits Let Me Explain, where Newell also served as Executive Producer and Laugh At My Pain, where Newell served as Co-Producer and oversaw the production and creative direction for all facets of the film and its release; and T.D. Jakes' Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, where Mr. Newell was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his role as Producer.
Newell also served as writer and producer of the critically acclaimed documentary film Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy, an official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Newell is a graduate of Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management and serves on Graziadio School of Business and Management's Board of Visitors. IMDB
Michael Paseornek has been President of Motion Picture Production at Lionsgate since the Company's inception in 1997. In addition to being a key member of the senior management team that has guided Lionsgate from a startup into a global content leader, Paseornek has overseen production of over 200 films that span a wide range of genres and budgets from cult classics such as American Psycho and Buffalo 66, to actioners like Deepwater Horizon and John Wick 2, to the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise.
Paseornek has always taken a keen interest in diversity programming, striking up a relationship with Tyler Perry in 2004 and launching a film career that has turned into an industry. Perry and Lionsgate have collaborated on an unprecedented 17 movies over the past 10 years, generating over a billion dollars in revenue. During Paseornek's tenure, Lionsgate has brought audiences films that focus on issues of diversity, including the acclaimed Oscar winning films Precious, Monster's Ball, and Crash, along with the critically acclaimed Akeelah and the Bee, For Colored Girls and Pride. In addition, Pantelion, a partnership between Lionsgate and Televisa, has brought American audiences the number one grossing Spanish language film of all time -- Instructions Not Included, directed by and starring Eugenio Derbez. Paseornek is overseeing production on Pantelion's current collaborations with Derbez, including the upcoming Latin Lover.
In the horror/thriller genre, Paseornek has overseen the production of several number one box office genre hits, including Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer, the classic Texas Chainsaw 3D, Sam Raimi's The Possession, The Blair Witch remake and the groundbreaking, My Bloody Valentine 3D - the first 3D digital technology horror film.
For over 25 years, Paseornek has played an important role in the emergence of the independent film scene. He founded Cinepix/Famous Players (CFP's) U.S. operations in 1992, bringing American audiences acclaimed films such as Academy Award winner Ang Lee's first feature, Pushing Hands, James Mangold's directorial debut Heavy, James Coburn's Oscar winning performance in Affliction and Bill Condon's Oscar winner Gods and Monsters and Roberto Benigni's The Monster. In 1997, CFP went public and was renamed Lionsgate.
In November 2006, VARIETY wrote, "If there is a Lionsgate model, then Paseornek is one of its chief architects." Additionally, Paseornek is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has been a guest speaker at a number of institutions, including New York University, and the American Film Institute, and he has served on numerous industry panels for organizations such as the NAACP and the Director's Guild of America. Paseornek serves on the board of directors of UCLA Mattel's Children's Hospital, is on the advisory board of Hearts of Hope - a foundation sending doctors to Latin America, and the board of Del Corazon - a year round charitable camp for children with heart disease.
Paseornek began his career after graduating from New York University in 1974 when he became the writing partner of former National Lampoon editor Michel Choquette. He then became a humorist-speechwriter to some of the nation's leading business executives and worked as a script-doctor on numerous features. IMDB
Laura Richards is an internationally recognised expert and award winning victim advocate in the fields of domestic violence, stalking, sexual violence, risk assessment and homicide. After a decade of analysing violent crime at New Scotland Yard Laura became the violence adviser to the National Police Chiefs Council (formally known as the Association of Chief Police Officers). Trained by world leaders as a criminal behavioral analyst at the Behavioral Analysis Unit, National Centre for the Analysis of Violent Crime at the FBI and New Scotland Yard, Laura has applied her psychology degrees to analyze violent crime from a behavioral and preventative perspective. Laura has a BSc in Psychology and Sociology and an MSc in Forensic and Legal Psychology, and with a background in intelligence-led policing. Laura places the victim's voice at the centre of everything she does and was the architect of the stalking and domestic violence legislation in the UK and has won numerous awards for her pioneering work.
Laura is an established commentator in the media who has previously looked at cold cases, launched appeals, spoken with police officers and interviewed families who have lost loved ones through violent assaults. Laura co-created The Case of JonBenét Ramsey and leads the re-investigation on screen. Laura was on air talent in Killer Profile, Britain's Darkest Taboos, Killer in the Family and Jack the Ripper Revealed and is the co-host and co-creator of the podcast Real Crime Profile.
In 2013 Laura launched Paladin, the world's first National Stalking Advocacy Service following the highly successful All Party Parliamentary Stalking Law Reform Campaign spearheaded by Laura, which led to stalking becoming a criminal offence in 2012. Paladin supports, advises and co-ordinates the response to better protect high-risk victims of stalking. More recently Laura spearheaded the Domestic Violence Law Reform Campaign, which resulted in coercive control becoming a criminal offence. Laura advised on the new law and the statutory guidance, which was implemented at the end of 2015.
Laura co-founded the first National Stalking Helpline in 2010 and co-ordinated the UKs first National Stalking Awareness Week in 2011. Since then Laura has won numerous awards for her work including being selected as one of the top ten women in business in Marie Claire's 2014 'Women At the Top' Awards, the Charity Times 'Campaigning Team of the Year', the Suzy Lamplugh Trust 'Talking Stalking' Award and Dod's Charity Champions National Charity of the year Award.
Laura previously worked in intelligence and serious crime for over a decade at New Scotland Yard and set up the first Homicide Prevention Unit. Laura was the head of the Violent Crime Intelligence and Analysis Unit in the Metropolitan Police Service. Laura continues to advise the NPCC, police services and the Home Office on violent crime and public protection. Laura was the lead author of the booked entitled 'Policing Domestic Violence' published by Oxford University Press and has published numerous papers and articles a long with developing the first university accredited training for Independent Stalking Advocacy Caseworkers in the UK and the Home Office and College of Policing training on Stalking and Harassment.
Laura was responsible for developing the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour based Violence (DASH 2009) Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model on behalf of ACPO. Laura was also responsible for instigating the Multi-agency Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) working with the Solicitor General and the Home Office, influencing legislative change in the UK. She developed the DHR training and is DHRs reader on behalf of the Home Office.
Laura provides advice on rape, domestic violence and stalking cases, as well as homicides including so-called 'honour killings' and has trained thousands of police officers, frontline and specialist professionals nationally and internationally. Laura is an award winning analyst receiving three commendations for leadership for her homicide prevention work, as well as receiving the Silver Standard Award for her work on hate crime at the 9th British Diversity Awards ceremony. IMDB
Roslyn Satchel is an activist-scholar who studies and teaches about media and cultural competence. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University. In her forthcoming book, What Movies Teach about Race: Exceptionalism, Erasure and Entitlement, she brings her media, legal, and religious background together to examine cultural representations in the most influential films of all time.
Prior to entering academia, Roslyn was a successful community organizer, policy advocate, pastor, and non-profit executive. A pioneer in using citizen journalism and social media for community organizing, her work influenced several state, national, and international policy changes and grassroots initiatives—for which she received several awards and significant national media coverage. She worked in interfaith coalition building, human rights, child advocacy, and indigent defense. She also trained clergy and lay leaders on complying with ethical standards, policies, and state/federal law pertaining to sexual misconduct and abuse of power. Currently, as a member of Black Lives Matter-L.A., she commits daily to social justice in practice and scholarship.
From "Film's Political Economy and Django Unchained" to "Religion, Race, & the Fourth Estate: Xenophobia in the Media Ten Years After 9/11," Roslyn's publications and presentations stimulate debate and a boundless research agenda. Her newest project addresses best practices in church responses to domestic violence.
Roslyn earned a PhD in Media & Public Affairs at LSU, JD and MDiv degrees at Emory, and a BA in Communication at Howard. She is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church with 20 years in ministry. Her son, parents, and canine kids keep her inspired in a multigenerational village of love and caregiving.
Christina Lee Storm is an award-winning international producer who has collaborated with filmmakers from around the world. While living in Hong Kong she was Head of Creative Development and Vice President of International Production, producing for legendary Hong Kong director Johnnie To on films including Running Out of Time, The Mission,and Second Time Around. A pioneer in bridging the East and the West through film, Christina worked closely with local screenwriters and directors to develop international films that carried a broad appeal for Asian and North American audiences.
Christina currently is a Production Executive at DreamWorks Animation where she is a part of senior leadership for studio-wide initiatives and the Production Strategy Team at DWA.
Christina has a passion for creating stories with profound themes. She was President of Act One, Inc. where she provided leadership and vision for faith-based training and incubator for writers and producers in film, television, & digital media. She is Founder/Executive Producer of the Act One Digital Lab; a funded Lab and Fellowship that combines Science, Story, and Technology to incubate and create the most engaging and impactful stories for youth 14-18 years old online.
Christina was Production Supervisor for the 2012 Oscar-winning film The Artist. She was Manager of Digital Production at Rhythm & Hues Studios where she worked with all in-house feature film productions including Life of Pi, Chronicle, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters to hire, schedule, and build efficient teams with key Supervisors, Leads, and Artists in the Lighting pipeline.
Christina has served on the Producers Guild of America's National Board of Directors for 6 years. She is Chair of the PGA's Diversity Workshop, member of the PGA's China Task Force, and is the elected Treasurer of the Producers Guild of America. IMDB
Britta Wilson serves as Pixar's newly-created Vice President of Inclusion Strategies to empower a wide variety of voices to shape that stories that will grow into vibrant, diverse, and meaningful films. Prior to Pixar, Wilson served as Chief Inclusion Officer/Vice President, Inclusion Strategies at Expedia. She's held executive posts at Paramount Pictures and AON/Hewitt Associates, and began her career as a senior professional staffing rep at The Walt Disney Company. Wilson received her bachelor's degree from UCLA and her MBA and Ed.D from Pepperdine.
Wilson is the recipient of several professional and civic awards, including the Comerica Bank Women's Business Award, the Graziadio Business School Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the Governor's Award for Female Business Owners. She is an active member of the National Black MBA Association, and has served on the board of directors for Goodwill of Orange County, United Service Organizations, and Cornelia Connelly High School in Anaheim. IMDB
Future Symposium Speakers
Katie Elmore Mota is co-founder, co-President and Executive Producer of Wise Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production company behind Hulu's longest running show East Los High, focused on edgy and entertaining content that is socially relevant.
Prior to Wise Entertainment, Katie produced the 70-episode telenovela Último Año with MTV Latin America that aired in the U.S. and in 18 Latin American countries. Katie previously served as vice president of communications and programs at Population Media Center where she worked closely with the UN, governments, other non-profits, and media partners to oversee the development and production of numerous programs using media for social change around the world in countries including Mexico, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Vietnam.
Katie received a Masters in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research in New York and degrees in History and Sociology from the University of Vermont with a strong focus in photography.
Maurício Mota is co-President of Wise Entertainment, the production company behind Hulu's longest running show East Los High. Mota began his career as an entrepreneur at the age of 15, when he developed a storytelling board game with writer Sonia Rodrigues, which he sold door-to-door all over Brazil until it became present in over 5,000 schools. It later became a YA book collection and has been used by many Forbes 500 companies and the United Nations.
He represents the fourth generation of one of the most important Brazilian storytelling families, and has helped re-shape the estate created by his grandfather, Nelson Rodrigues, who is considered the "Brazilian Shakespeare".
Most recently, he co-created with Carla Esmeralda the School of Series, a TV series development lab that will shape the next generation of showrunners and content creators in Brazil and trains 700 writers and producers a year. Wise Entertainment is pioneer in developing and shaping social, trend-driven content for new media and underrepresented audiences.
Women in Hollywood
CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS from November, 2013
Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System
Women have played important roles in the entertainment industry from its earliest days, achieving success as artists and attaining leadership positions in the industry. Yet significant challenges still exist. How have leading women navigated the entertainment industry? What recent breakthroughs suggest a new era of opportunity has arisen? This symposium addressed the issues facing women individually and collectively in the entertainment industry.
Featured guests included film historian Cari Beauchamp, director Lesli Linka Glater (The Newsroom), director Victoria Hochberg (Ghost Whisperer), entertainment attorney Linda Lichter of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman, former WGA president Victoria Riskin and Tom Sherak, past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Saturday features Nell Scovell, co-writer of the massive best seller, Lean In with Sheryl Sandberg, and the producers of the groundbreaking young adult series Lucy Fisher (Divergent), Nina Jacobson (The Hunger Games) and Melissa Rosenberg (The Twilight Saga).
Watch Lesli Linka Glatter, Brenda Chapman, and Linda Goldstein Knowlton discuss the pros and cons of directing for different media platforms.
- Women in Hollywood: Directors Panel - "Asking Questions"
- Women in Hollywood: Brenda Chapman on Animation
- Women in Hollywood: Directing Compelling Stories
- Women in Hollywood: Becoming a Director
- Women in Hollywood: Different Platforms & a Director's Vision
"Women in creative, business, and legal roles still face a scarcity of opportunities in entertainment," said Professor Thomas J. Stipanowich, academic director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University. "This event helped advance the discussion on how to manage conflicts and relationships, both personal and professional, in order to successfully negotiate the system."
CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS from March, 2015
Representation and responsibility. It's everything the media does.
Pepperdine Graphic Media, "PGM", hosted a week of movie screenings and seminars with industry leaders who care deeply about the role the media plays in our lives and its effect on society. Driven by the students of PGM, Media Week ignited conversations that will transform the ways in which we produce and consume media.
"A is for Arab" Screening
This documentary film identifies and contests damaging stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims in American media with the portrayals of other marginalized groups including Jews, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and African Americans. In analyzing the origins of these visual caricatures, the film reveals their very real ramifications for innocent people, and presents solutions to counter them effectively.
Powerful, accessible and compelling, "A is for Arab", features images from The Jack G. Shaheen Archive at New York University (NYU) and reveals and critiques the stereotypical portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in U.S. popular culture. Providing historical context about these images which range from film stills to comic books to editorial cartoons, this traveling exhibition stimulated discussion about the impact of stereotypes on both individual perceptions and national policy.
"A is for Arab" Panel Discussion
Panel moderator, William Nix, is Chairman of the Creative Projects Group and producer of numerous multi-cultural, multi-national films.
An Egyptian-American actor, comedian, producer, and director, Ahmed is one of the most diverse, multi-faceted talents in the entertainment industry today.
Jack G. Shaheen
Shaheen is the leading expert on Arab stereotypes in Hollywood films, television shows and elsewhere in popular culture. He is the author of four books, a member of the AANM's National Advisory Board, and co-hosted Arab Images on Film on cable TV's Turner Classic Movies.
Screenwriter and producer with representation at Creative Artists Agency, Shaloub has a first-look producing deal with Sony Television.
Director of UCLA's Center for EthnoCommunications, Tajima-Peña is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker whose work focuses on Asian American and immigrant communities, race, gender and social justice.
Producers from Fox Sports 1 in Los Angeles met with students to talk about pursuing careers (and internships) in sports journalism and openings at Fox Sports 1. This was not only an informative session but also an inspirational message on breaking into the industry.
Our students had an opportunity to have a discussion with Alex Heffner, host of "Open Minds". Heffner has particular insight into the world of politics and media. His interests in social media and the political process informed the discussion. The students engaged in a Q&A with Heffner, which focused primarily on the media coverage of the 2016 election.
Journalism Degree, Legal Aspirations
Laurie Babinski talked with students interested in attending law school as she shared experiences as a woman at a legal firm in Washington, DC. This popular session attracted a wide cross-section of students and majors.
The Fight Against Sex Trafficking
This session covered the sex traffic industry in Los Angeles from a legal, social and cultural perspective. Researchers in the field shared data on the growing problem in the Southern California and how local law enforcement is tackling the issue.
Journalism and Freedom of Information
Laurie Babinski discussed the major legal areas facing journalists, including intellectual property, copyright, and fair use, as well as her involvement in important legal cases surrounding those areas.