Cris Abrego is currently CEO of Endemol Shine North America and chairman of Endemol Shine Americas. He oversees both the North American and Latin American divisions of Endemol Shine Group, the global independent content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. The former co-founder and chief executive of Endemol Shine-owned studio 51 Minds Entertainment, Abrego is one of the leading creators and producers of reality television in the U.S., recognized globally for pioneering a new genre of unscripted programming with the breakout celeb-reality series, The Surreal Life.
Abrego oversees all of Endemol Shine North America's programming, including hits such as Big Brother (CBS), MasterChef (FOX), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), MasterChef Latino (Telemundo), Mira Quién Baila (Univision), Ink Master (Paramount Network), Trading Spaces (TLC), Deal or No Deal (CNBC), LOL: Last One Laughing (Amazon) and the upcoming launch of Utopia (Amazon Prime), Ripley (Showtime), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (HGTV), Lego Masters (FOX), Súbete a Mi Moto (Amazon), and The Biggest Loser (USA). Additionally, Abrego has oversight of Endemol Shine Latino, the company's Spanish-language sales and development arm that leads all programming initiatives across Latin America. He recently led the launch of Endemol Shine Boomdog, the division's newest studio that produces original content for both the U.S. Hispanic and Mexican markets.
As one of the highest-ranking Latinos in television, Abrego has made inclusion a top priority for his team at Endemol Shine and within the entertainment industry. He recently launched a fellowship program with the Television Academy Foundation focused on creating opportunities within the industry for diverse students. In 2013, Abrego started a scholarship fund at his alma mater, Mountain View High School in El Monte, California, which provides college tuition and additional resources for student athletes. The program, led by his mother Tina, currently has 14 students enrolled at four-year universities nationally and recently celebrated its first college graduating class with three scholarship recipients.
Kelli Berglund stars in the critically-acclaimed STARZ drama Heels, alongside Stephen Amell, Alexander Ludwig and Alison Luff. Written by Michael Waldron and directed by Peter Segal, Heels is set in a close-knit Georgia community and follows a family-owned wrestling promotion, as two brothers and rivals war over their late fathers legacy. Berglund shines as Crystal, a 20-year-old wrestlers' valet who yearns to transform out of her traditional day job and compete as a wrestler. Heels will return for a second season in 2022.
Heels marks Berglunds return to STARZ, following a lead role in the networks sexy and vibrant Gregg Araki-helmed series Now Apocalypse, along with Steven Soderbergh. The series made its premiere as a Sundance selection in 2019 and Berglund was immediately deemed a breakout as Carly Carlson, being called a feisty pleasure (The Hollywood Reporter), a sharp- tongued highlight of the series (Collider), with great comic timing (AV Club), and the perfect level of dont-give-a-f*ck (Rolling Stone). Additional recent credits for Berglund include appearing as young Gwen Verdon in the Emmy-winning limited biopic series Fosse/Verdon for FX, the Apple original film Cherry, opposite Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo, and recurring on TNTs longstanding, hit drama series Animal Kingdom. In 2020 she appeared opposite Adam Sandler in Netflixs mystery/ comedy Hubie Halloween.
Berglund began her career in entertainment with a starring role as Bree Davenport from 2012-16 on Disney XDs hit series Lab Rats and Lab Rats: Elite Force. While on Lab Rats, Berglund also starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie How to Build a Better Boy, opposite China Anne McLain and Noah Centineo, which became a smash hit for the channel. In theatre, Berglund brought her dancing, singing, and acting skills to the stage, starring as Belle in Pasadena Playhouses featured winter production Beauty and the Beast: A Christmas Rose (2017). Produced by Lythgoe Family Panto, the play offered an updated version of the classic tale, featuring family-friendly magic with a comedic twist, dancing, contemporary
music, and more.
A California native, Berglund has worked closely over the years with the Audrey Hepburn CARES Center, in association with the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, which provides services for suspected victims of child abuse and their families, as well as People Concern, an organization aiming to end homelessness across LA county. She is also an accomplished dancer and has been honored with a number of awards for her talents in lyrical, contemporary, ballet, pointe, hip-hop, tap, and jazz. Berglund currently resides in the Los Angeles area.
Eddie Bonin, VFX Production Executive
Eddie Bonin is an Emmy award-nominated and Visual Effects Society award-nominated executive for TV, film, and commercials. Specializing in high-end streaming TV, Bonin is a VFX Production Executive at Netflix, overseeing some of the streamer's most complex titles including Emmy award-winning Love, Death & Robots, Emmy award-nominated Lost in Space, the upcoming Avatar the Last Airbender, and Tim Burton's upcoming Wednesday. Prior to the Executive position at Netflix, Bonin worked on production crews as a VFX Producer, spanning from HBO to MARVEL to Hulu.
Named one of Variety Magazine's 2018 "Movers & Shakers," Bonin is a champion for digital artists, managers and other digital specialists who facilitate visual effects and digital production as the intersection of art and technology, within advanced storytelling.
Virtual Production is an area of focus for Bonin, as he views the traditional VFX industry and the VFX experts occupying new production crew positions, alongside other new partners now associated with virtual production, as paramount in how virtual production is advancing the entertainment production industry at large. Partners in this advancement primarily include the Special Effects Department, Art Department, Camera Department, Editorial Department, and others.
Bonin has served on the Television Academy's Special Visual Effects Peer Group Executive Committee since 2013, plus is an active member of the Visual Effects Society and Producers Guild of America. Bonin is a Regents Scholar UCLA graduate, originally from the Silicon Valley, California.
Joshua Bowen, Managing Director, Look Mom! Productions
After graduating in 2010 Josh wrote and Executive Produced the hit short format animated comedy series Goodwin vs. Badwin. In 2013, Josh joined Blue Ant to launch the adult animated comedy shorts program Bite on Mondo, producing over 150 shorts. In this time Josh fostered relationships which would lead to his Executive Producing the award-winning Gary and His Demons (VRV/CBC), Doomlands (Roku), and developing many other animated shows with major broadcasters. Josh currently spearheads Look Mom! Productions and in his spare time, Josh enjoys writing his bio and referencing himself in the third person.
Alan Caso, ASC, most recently lensed a pilot for Warner's, Fox and Amblin that is an homage to The Goonies movie. There is no title yet, and is waiting to be greenlit as a series pickup. He also filled in and shot an episode for the upcoming season of Why Women Kill. Prior to that, he photographed Paradise Lost, a Southern Gothic mystery series about a psychiatrist who moves with her family from California to her husband's hometown in Mississippi. It aired on Spectrum On Demand and Paramount Cable.
Previously, he shot: several episodes on The Rookie for ABC; the pilot and first season of For the People also for ABC; the pilot episodes of Roswell, New Mexico for the CW Network; and Reverie for NBC. Thanks to his prolific body of work, Caso has continued to work for Showtime, HBO, FX, and USA, as well as network projects such as Heroes Reborn on NBC and Hawaii 5-0 and American Gothic on CBS.
For the unique look he created in HBO's Six Feet Under, Caso received two Emmy nominations.
Other nominations were an ASC nod for his work on Frankenstein, as well as for his work on Steven Spielberg's Into the West, which also garnered him another Emmy Nomination. This acclaimed miniseries also distinguishes him in the western genre, which was followed by Comanche Moon, the prequel to Lonesome Dove. Caso's experience in period pieces landed him an assignment for a Shondaland's Still Star Crossed, for ABC.
Caso's first feature, 84 Charlie MoPic, was shot in 1988. He has subsequently compiled over 60 narrative credits for cinema and television screens. He won the ASC Outstanding Achievement Award for the miniseries George Wallace and additionally received an Emmy nomination. His cinema credits range from Muppet movies to John Frankenheimer's stark drama, Reindeer Games. Additional feature credits include First Sunday, Top of the World and Love Hurts.
Growing up, he learned the basic principles of light, color and composition from his father who was a photographer for the United States Air Force, a graphic artist and lithographer. Caso went on to study painting at Massachusetts College of Art and transferred to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when his interest shifted to film. During this time, Caso also avidly pursued photography, learning the fine skills of black and white photography and darkroom techniques.
After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and found a niche in the industry as a gaffer during the mid-to-late 1970s. He switched over permanently to camera operating in the late 1970s - through the 1980s while additionally mastering the Steadicam, becoming one of the few operators in the 80's who performed both A Camera and Steadicam.
Caso was first an Executive Committee member and then a Governor for the Cinematography Peer Group from 2000-2006 with the Television Academy.
Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. In 2015, Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Pushing Daisies. In 1999, she won a Tony Award for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked in 2004. Chenoweth has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and for a People’s Choice Award for her role on Glee. In 2009, she wrote an upliftingly candid, comedic chronicle of her life so far, A Little Bit Wicked, which debuted on the New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Best Seller List
Chenoweth is a passionate supporter of charities which dedicate their time and efforts to helping those in need. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma. Chenoweth's accomplishments were honored by her hometown with BAPAC naming "The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre" in 2012. Partnering with the BAPAC in a labor of love, Kristin launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015, providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to take classes, hold performances and learn from top mentors in the entertainment industry including Kristin herself. In her lifelong mission to cultivate arts education across the globe, Chenoweth has also created “Places! The Kristin Chenoweth Tour Experience," a unique educational program for young singers that puts them right next to her performing on stage. Each concert in Chenoweth’s ongoing tour will feature local participants from higher education conservatories, universities, and colleges for the immersive educational experience.
Claire Dodson, Senior Entertainment Editor, Teen Vogue
Claire Dodson is the senior entertainment editor at Teen Vogue and a freelance journalist who has written for The New York Times, Fast Company, The Atlantic, InStyle, The Strategist, and more. Her poetry has been published in The Mantle, Public Pool, The Stories, and One Trick Pony Review.
Stephanie Drachkovitch, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, 44 Blue Productions
Twitter: @44blue Facebook: @44blueproductions Instagram: @44_blue
Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch is Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Peabody, Emmy, Gracie and GLAAD award-winning non-fiction producer 44 Blue Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company.
A former studio executive, Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch oversees 44 Blue's development team and, along with Co-CEO and Co-Founder Rasha Drachkovitch, executive produces multiple series on 44 Blue's dynamic slate of programming.
During stints as Senior Vice President of Development for Warner Bros. Telepictures and Disney's Buena Vista TV division, Stephanie developed for broadcast primetime (The Bachelor, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire) and syndication (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Ellen).
Her broad range of programming experience has helped shape 44 Blue's diverse slate, from Netflix's upcoming Life After Death with Tyler Henry to Discovery+ award-winning limited series Last Chance Transplant and Oxygen's true crime franchise Real Murders of Orange County and Real Murders of Atlanta.
Since returning to 44 Blue in 2003, she has played a major role in building the company's reputation for authentic storytelling, access-driven series and A-list relationships, evident in series such as Netflix's breakout hit Jailbirds, Snap's award-winning Coming Out (produced in association with Chloe Grace Moretz), OWN's Gracie Award-winning Married To The Army: Alaska; A&E's Nightwatch and Fox's First Responders Live (both produced in association with Dick Wolf), E!'s top-rated Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, A&E's Emmy-nominated Wahlburgers (produced in association with Mark Wahlberg), Oxygen's GLAAD Award-winning Strut and BET/Centric's According to Alex (produced in association with Whoopi Goldberg), and ID's Twisted Sisters and Twisted Love (produced in association with Khloe' Kardashian).
She has also led the company's development for first-run syndication, including the TD Jakes Show and Emmy-nominated Family Court With Judge Penny.
Denny was born and raised in Los Angeles. She has been working in the film industry for the last 30+ years, starting as a Production Assistant in the Art Department and working her way up to Production Designer. Her work experience includes many feature films, commercials, music videos and hundreds of hours of Primetime Television and streaming. She received an Emmy for Art Direction for the pilot of the TV Series NYPD Blue and was nominated for another Emmy as the Production Designer for the pilot of Arrested Development. Denny spends her time off traveling to foreign locales honing her craft of landscape and wildlife photography and has enjoyed commercial success with her photography. Her passion for Foreign films is evident in her dedication to seeing as many non-domestic films a year as she can, numbering in the 150-200+ range, and she is Lead Programmer for the Southeast European Film Festival, and also programs for The Arab Film Festival and The Austin Film Festival. Denny is currently Production Designing the 3rd season of the Ryan Murphy television series 911: Lone Star. In recent years Denny has designed all 3 seasons of The Kominsky Method for Netflix and The Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - 4 feature films also for Netflix. Denny has an Australian Shepherd named Sadie who was the official Art Department dog during the filming of the feature film, The Secret.
Jay Duplass is an award-winning actor, filmmaker and producer.
In front of the camera, Jay is currently starring opposite Sandra Oh in the acclaimed Netflix series The Chair and also played Josh Pfefferman in the Emmy-winning Amazon series Transparent. Jay will next co-star in the second season of the HBOMax series Industry.
Jay, along with his brother Mark and Mel Eslyn, under their banner Duplass Brothers Productions (DBP), the trio create original projects for film, television, and digital media. In television, DBP is under a first-look deal with HBO which has yielded the hit series Somebody Somewhere, Room 104, Togetherness (in which Mark also starred) and the animated series Animals.
DBP is also active in the docuseries television space, best known for producing Netflix's Wild Wild Country, winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series in 2018. Most recently, DBP produced the popular series The Lady and the Dale on HBO, which followed Elizabeth Carmichael, a larger-than-life entrepreneur who rose to prominence in the 1970's with her promotion of a fuel-efficient, three-wheeled car known as The Dale. The team also produced Hulu's Sasquatch, On Tour With Asperger's Are Us for HBO, and Evil Genius for Netflix.
In film, Mark and Jay first gained recognition in the early 2000's for writing, directing and producing several acclaimed independent and studio films, including "The Puffy Chair," "Baghead," "Cyrus," and "Jeff, Who Lives at Home." DBP's numerous feature film credits in the decades following have included "The One I Love," "Tangerine," "Safety Not Guaranteed," "Creep" (1 & 2), "The Overnight," "Blue Jay," "Horse Girl," "Paddleton," "Outside In," "Duck Butter," and "The Skeleton Twins." DBP recently released Natalie Morales' directorial debut "Language Lessons," as well as the documentary "Not Going Quietly" about the life and work of the activist Ady Barkan.
Joe Earle, CAS
Joe Earle, CAS is a re-recording Mixer for Formosa Audio Group. In this capacity he has mixed the dialogue and music for nearly all of Ryan Murphy Television productions. He has over 30 years of experience in the industry sound business with editing and mixing credits that include Six Feet Under, Snowfall, Glee, American Horror Story, Insecure and The People vs O.J. Simpson.
Prior to joining the Formosa staff Joe worked at Technicolor Creative Services, Todd A-O/Glenn for thirteen years and helped lead a diverse sound editorial department. He shepherded many of the assistants into our what is now our leading editorial contributors.
He has won four Emmys, two CAS awards and has garnered 35 nominations.
Simone Finch is a Los Angeles-based television writer and producer. A native of Boston, Finch graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in theatre from McGill University in Montreal. After graduation, Simone moved to Los Angeles and performed as a stand-up, while also working for various industry types until she got her free drama MFA working for Barbara Hall on Madam Secretary, and her free comedy MFA working for Bruce Helford, first as his assistant and then as a staff writer, on The Conners. Currently, Finch is the creator and executive producer of the dramedy Single Drunk Female on Freeform.
Ruben Garcia is Co-Head of the Cultural Business Strategy Group at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). In addition, Garcia works within the CAA Foundation to advise and consult clients on their prosocial and philanthropic initiatives.
Garcia collaborates with company leadership to execute company-wide strategies and implement inclusive business practices that maximize creative and business growth opportunities for the agency's diverse clients. In addition, he manages a custom slate of programs and initiatives, including CAA Amplify, a platform designed by the agency to leverage the collective influence of cross-industry thought leaders and cultural changemakers of color to create transformational change across business and society.
Garcia also oversees CAA's corporate partnerships and liaises with clients, businesses and organizations interested in promoting and building philanthropic activities connected to diversity in business and creative fields. His clients include Kendrick Sampson, Anthony Ramos, Becky G, Laurence Fishburne, Edwards James Olmos, Connor Franta, Ricky Martin, and Karla Souza, among others.
He currently leads the Industry Advisory Board for the Latino Film Institute and serves on the regional advisory board for the Friends of the Museum of the American Latino.
Prior to joining CAA in 2011, Garcia worked at Paramount Pictures and The Walt Disney Company. A native of San Diego, he is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Sociology.
Daisy Gardner began her career writing for the Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock, for which she won a Writers Guild Award. She went on to write for highly acclaimed comedies like Silicon Valley, Married and The Goldbergs. The chance to partner with Jenni Konner (Girls), Leslye Headland (Russian Doll), Simone Finch (The Conners) and Phil Traill (Good Girls) drew her to Single Drunk Female, where she is excited to write cool, weird, beautiful, sad, funny stories.
Will Greenfield, Co-Head, UTA Entertainment Marketing
Will Greenfield was born and raised just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. Growing up in a small town had its own unique challenges, however, Greenfield always managed to find a way to follow his heart. This can-do attitude has been evident throughout Greenfield's career, beginning with becoming the first in his family to receive a college education.
After graduating, Greenfield took the first step in materializing his dream of working in the film and television industry. His first position, as a production assistant, brought him to New York, Louisiana, and eventually Georgia. Greenfield steadily climbed the ranks from production assistant to his current position as executive producer.
Over the past 7 years, Greenfield has amassed 16 feature film credits; including titles directed by the likes of Frank Darabont, Jon Favreau, Quentin Tarantino, Jeff Nichols, Spike Lee, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lena Dunham and Sam Levinson.
Greenfield recently completed the second season of HBO's Emmy nominated series, Euphoria; created by Sam Levinson and stars Emmy winner Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Eric Dane and Storm Reid. Euphoria season two has broken multiple viewership records, along with becoming the most tweeted about show in over a decade.
Greenfield is currently in early pre-production on the third season of HBO's, critically acclaimed, Euphoria. In his spare time, Greenfield is passionate about being a father and mentoring and helping guide the next generation of filmmakers.
Keisha Hatchett currently works as a staff editor at TVLine. With nearly a decade of experience in entertainment reporting, her name has also appeared in Entertainment Weekly, People, Complex and TV Guide.
Julian Jacobs, Co-Head, UTA Entertainment Marketing
Instagram: @julianjj LinkedIn: julianjacobs1
Julian Jacobs is co-head of UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing, the brand consulting division of leading global talent, entertainment and sports company UTA.
Jacobs helped to build the UTA Marketing practice which leverages the agency's unique expertise across film, television, digital media, video games, music, talent, key industries and powerful marketplace intelligence to create and provide a range of strategic consulting services to top brands including Amazon, Coca-Cola, Coty beauty brands, Delta Air Lines, General Motors, LinkedIn, Lyft, Proctor & Gamble, and more. In this role, Jacobs oversees the group's client strategy, operations and new business efforts, and has helped lead the division's rapid expansion, which now consists of over twenty executives across Los Angeles and New York.
Jacobs is widely considered an expert in branded entertainment and last year served on the 2017 Cannes Lions Entertainment Jury. He was recently named one of Hollywood's "New Leaders" by Variety.
Jacobs serves on the Next Gen Board of the Motion Picture Television Fund, a non-profit that supports the entertainment community. He is also a frequent guest lecturer in the graduate program at USC's Annenberg School for Communication where he received his Master's degree in Communication Management in 2009.
Randi Kleiner is a producer and entrepreneur. She serves as the co-Founder and CEO of SeriesFest, an organization that champions and empowers artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling by providing year-round opportunities for creators and industry experts to connect, collaborate, and share stories, which inspire and impact global audiences. SeriesFest culminates in a highly-curated and celebrated Denver-based festival and marketplace taking place this year May 5-11, 2022. (www.seriesfest.com). She previously produced events for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, including the renowned 17- day New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films in collaboration with MoMA, and the prestigious Chaplin Award Gala. Randi also owns Trifecta Studios, an Event Production Agency that works with major brands, including Marc Jacobs, Macallan, WWD, Sephora, Godiva, and Pepsi, to produce experiential events around the world. Randi teamed up with Vulcan Productions, Oceanic Preservation Society and Obscura Digital to produce the first ever projection events promoting climate change and endangered species on the Empire State Building and Vatican for the Racing Extinction Campaign.
Jenni Konner is a writer, director and producer best known for executive producing and writing Girls, which ran for six acclaimed seasons on HBO. Over the course of its run, Girls was nominated for two Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series and won the 2013 Golden Globe for Best Comedy Television Series as well as the 2013 BAFTA for Best International Show. She also wrote and directed the limited series Camping for HBO. Konner began her career as a writer on Judd Apatow's celebrated television series, Undeclared. Her additional producing credits include the HBO documentaries It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise and Suited. Konner recently signed a multiyear overall deal with 20th Television. She serves as co-showrunner on the dramedy series Single Drunk Female for Freeform. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she runs her production company, Jenni Konner Productions.
Jane Krakowski is an award-winning triple threat actress most commonly known for her role as Jenna Maroney on NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock. She was honored with four Emmy nominations for her work on the show, as well as a collective 2009 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. She can currently be seen on Apple's hit series Dickinson, hosting FOX's reboot of the classic game show Name That Tune, and also as The Countess on Apple's musical series Schmigadoon!
Other iconic performances include her Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of Elaine Vassal on the multi-Award-winning Ally McBeal, her Critics' Choice winning, Emmy nominated Jacqueline White in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series and film, Miss Shields in FOX's A Christmas Story LIVE as well as guest stars on Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, At Home with Amy Sedaris, The Simpsons, American Dad, Drunk History, Younger and even Sesame Street.
In 2016, Jane starred on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater Company's production of She Loves Me (Outer Critics Circle Award, Astaire Award, Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination). She earned a 2003 Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award for her portrayal of Carla in the Broadway musical Nine and a Tony nomination for Grand Hotel. Other Broadway credits include Company, Once Upon a Mattress, Tartuffe, and Starlight Express.
She won an Olivier Award while starring in Guys and Dolls in London's West End and starred in the Encores! revival of Damn Yankees as well as Mrs. Potts in the Hollywood Bowl's 2018 production of Beauty and the Beast. In 2012 Krakowski released her solo debut album, "The Laziest Gal in Town," a CD recording captured during her cabaret nightclub debut at the Park Avenue hotspot, Feinstein's at Loews Regency. In 2012, she performed a one-woman cabaret act to a sold-out crowd at NYC's legendary Town Hall Theater.
A Virginia native, Yale University graduate, and Coca-Cola Scholar, Albert Lawrence is a media entrepreneur and TV personality with 12+ years of journalism and production experience. He currently serves as a host for the National Geographic series Explorer Academy Adventures, technology correspondent for CBS' Emmy-winning educational program Innovation Nation, a producer/host for the Amazon Live talk-show Night Light with Albert Lawrence, a film/TV correspondent for IMDb's video series, and a producer/host for the BL Perspectives digital series that explores the relationship between pop culture and social issues. He created/hosts a series about diverse career opportunities for The Walt Disney Company called Working With, and he's contributed to specials for the Oscars, Emmys, and Comic-Con. As an actor/filmmaker, his short film Theo's Trade received honors at the National Black Film Festival and the Chicago Independent Film Festival.
Albert works with the Television Academy Foundation, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, and the United Negro College Fund to support students as they construct their dream careers and contribute to the goals of others. He also enjoys emceeing national fundraising events for organizations like UNICEF, AVON 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer, and Equinox's Cycle for Survival.
Charming audiences with her charisma on and off the screen, actress and artist Jules LeBlanc is leading a new generation of young talent.
LeBlanc currently stars in Nickelodeon’s fan-favorite buddy comedy series Side Hustle as the smart and sarcastic ‘Lex.’ Together with her confident and tough best friend ‘Presley,’ the two devise creative ways to make money after a mishap destroys a boat belonging to the father of their friend and neighbor ‘Munchy.’ LeBlanc also performs the show’s theme song, “We Got This”.
From 2016-2018, LeBlanc co-hosted and executive produced the YouTube Red Original Series, We Are Savvy, a scripted web series, which featured a variety of segments including DIY projects and celebrity interviews. LeBlanc has also appeared on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark, Nickelodeon’s All That, and Nickelodeon’s Unfiltered. In addition to acting, LeBlanc is passionate about music and has released several original songs and covers, including five songs that have reached the Top 10 on the iTunes Pop Music charts.
After beginning her career at four-years-old with her family’s successful YouTube channel “Bratayley,” LeBlanc created an extensive digital following of her own, amassing 18M+ followers on TikTok, 9M+ followers on Instagram, and 4M+ subscribers on her personal YouTube channel, which landed her on The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 list for Top Young Digital Stars at age 13.
Mara LePere-Schloop grew up in Detroit, Michigan with a mother who taught poetry and Greek mythology and an engineer father who was also a labor negotiator. The byproduct of these two sensibilities, Mara took an early interest in combining the methodologies of planning and expression while getting involved with technical design for the stage at the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit. Mara spent much of her early life traveling with family, the theater or with youth exchange programs. The ability to see the world at an early age, has led to a lifelong thirst for new discoveries and adventure.
With a master's degree in architecture from Tulane University, Mara has worked as an architect, furniture designer and builder, and has volunteered as a Project Manager for the international non- profit, Learn to Live, building rainwater catchment and filtration systems in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
LePere-Schloop's work as an art director garnered her an Art Director's Guild nomination for Outstanding Art Direction for her work on Django Unchained and a win for her work on True Detective for which she was also nominated for an Emmy.
As a production designer, Mara has worked with directors such as Cary Fukunaga, M. Night Shyamalan, Jakob Verbruggen, Phil Abraham as well as many others. Mara was nominated for an Emmy for her design work on The Alienist and won an Art Director's Guild Award for the show. Her work in film and television has taken her all around the world where she continues to pursue an education of the built world.
Michele Lewis, Head of Department Makeup on The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
You see them in movies, on television and magazine covers, the red carpets...celebrities, athletes, artists and comedians looking glamorous and fabulous. It's because of artists like Michele Lewis, working hard behind the scenes, keeping them looking their very best.
"As a make-up artist, I have a responsibility to make anyone who sits in my chair feel confident and comfortable. Only then can they forget about their appearance and concentrate solely on their craft because they know that I've done my best to make them look great."
Michele has worked with such celebrities as Vivica A. Fox, Virginia Madsen, Shaquille O' Neal, Chefs G. Garvin, and Curtis Stone and is currently the personal artist to Actress, Host, Comedienne/Author Kim Coles. A few of her film and television credits include Dreamgirls, Fat Albert, Their Eyes Were Watching God, HGTV's Over Your Head, Rate My Space with Angelo Sermelis, Everybody Hates Chris, The Bernie Mac Show, HBO Films and is currently working her magic at the NFL Network.
Kevin Lin is a talent and literary agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where he represents top actors, writers, directors, composers and choreographers, including Leslie Odom, Jr., Matthew López, David Henry Hwang, Kyle Hanagami, Celine Song, Dina Shihabi, James Alsop, Ashley Park, Tom Daley, Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss, Jordan E. Cooper, Anthony Ramos, Danielle Brooks, Teyonah Parris, and Darren Criss.
He is also Co-Head of Cultural Business Strategy, working to strengthen companywide strategies that maximize creative opportunities and business growth for the agency's diverse clients and build corporate culture best practices.
Lin began his career at CAA as an intern in 2012.
Lin graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology.
Melissa McCoy, ACE on Ted Lasso
Instagram: mellymccoy Twitter: MelBMcCoy
Melissa McCoy first fell in love with editing while studying film at Western Michigan University. She then made her way to California and earned a Master's in Editing from Chapman University Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. In 2007 she earned a coveted internship with ACE, which jump-started her career. Melissa credits include the CW's Life Sentence and Whiskey Cavalier on ABC. Her work on Ted Lasso earned her an Eddie Award and an Emmy nomination in 2021.
Jose Molina, Showrunner
Jose Molina is a Yale-educated writer/producer with twenty years experience writing for television. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Jose relocated to Los Angeles to serve as a writing intern on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. During his long writing career, Jose has collaborated with such luminaries as James Cameron (Dark Angel), Joss Whedon (Firefly), George Lucas (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Steven Spielberg (Terra Nova), and Jordan Peele (Weird City). Jose was also nominated for several humanitarian awards during his tenure on Law & Order: SVU, most notably for his 2005 episode "Alien," which tackled the topic of gay marriage and adoption. He's currently at work on various development projects.
Tish Monaghan, Costume Designer on Schmigadoon!
Tish Monaghan was first drawn to theatre and costume design while a student at the University of British Columbia - a big step away from her original first love, mathematics! She transferred to the University of Victoria where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, studying both acting and costume design. She furthered her studies and training at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she pursued her passion in the Costume Studies Program with a special focus on the cut and construction of period garments.
Upon her return to BC, she worked in theatre in both Vancouver and Victoria. At that time the film industry was growing rapidly, and it was there she found her niche. She began working as a costumer, cutter, and supervisor, and honed her skills beginning as Assistant Costume Designer on such critically acclaimed films as Snow Falling on Cedars, Cousins, The Accused, and Roxanne.
Today, Monaghan is in high demand as Costume Designer having worked on such feature films as Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler; Chris Nolan's Insomnia with Al Pacino, Hilary Swank, and Robin Williams; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Twilight Saga: New Moon; Lasse Hallstrom's An Unfinished Life with Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, and Morgan Freeman; Words and Pictures starring Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen; as well as Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hot Rod, and The Predator.
In addition to many television series and TV movies, Monaghan was Costume Designer for The Terror: Infamy, a 10-part series for AMC and Ridley Scott, focusing on the Japanese internment in WW II; and most recently the musical comedy series Schmigadoon! executive produced by Lorne Michaels for Apple TV+. This hilarious and colourful 6-part series is set both in current times as well as a variety of eras from Broadway musicals.
Future Projects include Lou, a feature for Netflix staring Allison Janney and Jurnee Smollett, currently in post, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians, now in Prep for Disney Plus.
Monaghan is driven by the research and recreation of real works as well as the continual exposure to unique characters from all walks of life. She credits her acting studies as providing insight and a great process for both analyzing scripts and understanding an actor's method.
Josh O'Keefe, Creator of Doomlands, Director at Look Mom! Productions
After graduating with a Film and Television degree in 2014, Josh worked on a variety of projects as a freelance animator, while also a production runner for the unscripted television megahouse 'Endemol Shine'. After successfully crowdfunding and producing the first animated pilot episode of Doomlands in 2017, Josh went on to develop the concept further with Look Mom Productions, resulting in a ten episode season for 'The Roku Channel'. Josh is also Australian... but please don't hold that against him!
Mike O'Malley, Showrunner, Executive Producer, "Charles Gully", Heels
Mike O'Malley is the creator of the award-winning television series Survivor's Remorse. O'Malley wrote for Showtime's Shameless in its first four seasons and is currently the showrunner of the Lionsgate/STARZ hour-long drama Heels.
As an actor, O'Malley is Emmy-nominated for his groundbreaking portrayal of Burt Hummel on Glee, and he recently completed his third season as Sam Roche on Snowpiercer opposite Jennifer Connelly. His television acting credits include Wayne, The Morning Show, The Good Place, Yes, Dear, Parks and Recreation, Justified, My Own Worst Enemy, My Name is Earl, Welcome to the Family and The Mike O'Malley Show.
His film acting credits include Sully, Concussion, RIPD, 28 Days, Deep Impact, Cedar Rapids, Eat Pray Love and Meet Dave. O'Malley hosted the Nickelodeon shows Get the Picture and Guts, and the Jimmy Buffett Broadway musical Escape to Margaritaville is based on a book he co-authored.
O'Malley has written two plays published by Samuel French, Three Years from Thirty and Diverting Devotion. His play Searching for Certainty was adapted into the film Certainty, which won the award for Best Screenplay at the Boston Film Festival.
Born in Boston and raised in New Hampshire, O'Malley currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa, and their three children.
Dominic Patten, Senior Editor; Chief TV Critic, Deadline Hollywood
Dominic is the Senior Editor; Chief TV Critic at Deadline Hollywood. As that title indicates, Patten is not only responsible for breaking news about litigious Hollywood's major lawsuits and courtroom activities, but also offering insights on this new Golden Age of television with his video reviews and reporting. Additionally, with the power of the Hollywood ATM for President and would-be Presidents, Patten helps heads political coverage for Deadline and regularly posts stories on a wide variety of other topics. He previously wrote for The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, and The Globe and Mail. A frequent guest on NPR, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and CBS, Patten has been a documentary director, TV producer, national news correspondent and a newspaper editor.
Cinco Paul, co-creator and showrunner on Schmigadoon!
Cinco Paul is a screenwriter best known for his long resume of blockbuster family films which he co-wrote alongside Ken Daurio. Their films, which combined have made over 4 billion dollars at the box office, include Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me 3, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears A Who, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, And The Secret Life Of Pets, among others.
Most recently he co-created and was the showrunner for Apple TV Plus' Schmigadoon!, starring Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, for which he also wrote all the songs (garnering him a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media). Other upcoming writing and directing projects include the stop-motion animation holiday special homage Winter Wonderland from Imagine and Warner Bros., and the horror-comedy This Sucks, with Naomi Despres and Broadway Video attached to produce.
Lee Porter, producer
Co-showrunner on Doomlands, Lee is central to both production and development efforts at Look Mom! Productions, typically as a Supervising Producer and Voice Director. With passion in storytelling and performance Lee oversees the rigorous creative process developed at LMP to elevate shows at every stage. Prior to his current specialization in adult animation Lee also worked on world-class kids' shows like Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Max & Ruby, Total Drama, and many more. Lee has no chin or personality, but he hides these facts with a beard.
Rich Preuss, Television Director for Variety Shows, Specials, and Live Events
Rich Preuss is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Director known for Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (Netflix), Space Launch Live (Discovery) and The Game Awards (multiple platforms). He's currently directing Stupid Pet Tricks with Sarah Silverman (TBS).
Rachel Raimist, Episodic Television Director
Dr. Rachel Raimist is a formerly tenured college professor turned television director. She broke into TV when she was tapped by Ava DuVernay to direct QUEEN SUGAR for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She has recently directed episodes including QUEENS (ABC), THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS (HBO Max), THE BIG LEAP (Fox), WU-TANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA (Hulu), FANTASY ISLAND (Fox), DIARY OF A FUTURE PRESIDENT (Disney+) and 4400, THE REPUBLIC OF SARAH, NANCY DREW and ROSWELL NEW MEXICO for The CW.
Raimist holds a B.A. and a M.F.A. in Directing from the UCLA School of Film and Television and a M.A. in Women's Studies and a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota where The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center was named in her honor.
Mara Reinstein, Entertainment Journalist
Mara Reinstein is a New York City-based entertainment journalist and Television Academy contributor whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vulture, The Ringer, Parade, The Hollywood Reporter and more. She is the also the movie critic for Us Weekly and SiriusXM Volume and an instructor at the Gotham Writers Workshop.
Barry Sonnenfeld is a filmmaker and writer who began his career as a cinematographer, collaborating with the Coen Brothers on their first feature film, BLOOD SIMPLE, followed by RAISING ARIZONA and MILLER'S CROSSING. Sonnenfeld also served as director of photography on Penny Marshall's BIG, Danny DeVito's THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, and two Rob Reiner films, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and MISERY.
He made his directorial debut in 1991 with THE ADDAMS FAMILY, followed by ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES, GET SHORTY, WILD WILD WEST, MEN IN BLACK, MEN IN BLACK II, MEN IN BLACK III, Big Trouble and RV, among others.
Sonnenfeld was executive producer and show runner on Netflix's Peabody Award winning show A Series of Unfortunate Events, which ran for three seasons. The show revived Emmy Award nominations each year, as well as DGA nominations for Sonnenfeld's direction.
Previously, Sonnenfeld received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for Pushing Daisies – 'Pie-lette.' He recently directed the first season's 6 episodes of Schmigadoon!
For eight years, Sonnenfeld was a contributing editor for Esquire Magazine where he wrote a monthly column, "The Digital Man." His memoir, "Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother, Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker", was published by Hachette in 2020.
Kim Taylor-Coleman, CSA, Casting Director, Governor for the Television Academy and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
Kim Taylor-Coleman, CSA is a Los Angeles-based Casting Director known for her work in Film and Television. She has received 2 Emmy nominations for her casting work on the acclaimed Emmy-nominated television shows Lovecraft Country (HBO) and American Crime (ABC). Some of her past television credits are Dear White People, She's Gotta Have It! (Netflix) , Snowfall (F/X) pilot, The Good Doctor (ABC) pilot and season 1, Greenleaf (OWN), The Haves and the Have Nots, Survivor's Remorse (Starz) and If Loving You Is Wrong (OWN), Wu-Tang: an American Saga (Hulu) , The Good Lord Bird (Showtime), Genius: Aretha (Nat/Geo) The Upshaws, Madam C.J. Walker, Family Reunion (Netflix), Heels (Starz) and Woke (Hulu). Her latest television work includes LA LAW reboot (20th Television), The Umbrella Academy Season 3 (Netflix) , Run The World (Starz/Lionsgate), Real Husbands of Hollywood (BET), BMF (Starz/Lionsgate)and Five Days at Memorial (Apple TV)
She has received 3 Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America for excellence in casting for her work on Dope, Dear White People and Spike Lee's Oscar winning film BlacKkKlansman. She is nominated for 5 Artios Awards 2022 for her work on Lovecraft Country, P-Valley, Young Dylan, Family Reunion and feature film Zola. Her most recent feature films include Cheaper By The Dozen, (20th) Nanny (Sundance's grand jury prize), Emergency (Amazon) , They Cloned Tyrone ( Netflix), The Burial ( Amazon), I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Hustle (Netflix), House Party (Warner Bros/New Line), Da 5 Bloods (Netflix), Zola ( A24), Space Jam 2 (Warner Bros) Fatherhood (Sony), Harriet (Focus Features), Little (Universal) and Night School (Universal). She also casts all television and feature films for the prolific writer, producer, director Tyler Perry.
Ben Travers is the TV Critic and Deputy Editor, TV at IndieWire, where he has been writing reviews, conducting interviews, and covering festivals since 2014. Each year, Ben provides extensive awards analysis on television's best and most popular projects. In 2021, he was a finalist for Best TV Critic at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards and the Southern California Journalism Awards. He is also an experienced moderator, having led conversations for the Television Academy, the Screen Actors Guild, PaleyFest, and San Diego Comic-Con (in front of 6,000 screaming fans at Hall H). Follow him on Twitter @BenTTravers.
Kevin Turen, Producer
Kevin Turen is an executive producer of the Emmy-winning HBO series Euphoria that stars Zendaya. Season 2 has propelled the series to be HBO's second-most watched show of all time and it is also garnered the most social engagements for a premium cable series ever. He produced the upcoming film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent starring Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal and Tiffany Haddish for Lionsgate, which comes out in the Spring. Additionally, he is a producer of X, the upcoming Ti West film for A24, which debuts at SXSW.
He is also the executive producer of two new upcoming HBO series: Irma Vep, based on Olivier Assayas' seminal film, which Olivier is directing all episodes of with Alicia Vikander starring; and The Idol directed by Amy Seimetz and starring The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp. Turen also produced Malcolm & Marie, which was written and directed by Sam Levinson and stars Zendaya and John David Washington that sold to Netflix. Additionally, he produced Pieces of A Woman that stars Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, and Benny Safdie that was acquired by Netflix after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Turen produced the A24 feature film Waves, which was written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, and stars Taylor Russell, Lucas Hedges, Sterling K. Brown, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and was featured on the National Board of Review as one of the ten best films of the year. Previous films Turen produced include award-winning and nominated films such as: 99 Homes, All Is Lost, Arbitrage, Assassination Nation, The Birth of A Nation, and Mediterranea.
Mara Webster, Co-Founder & Head of Programming, In Creative Company
Mara Webster is a programmer, event producer, content curator and interviewer. She is the Co-Founder and Head of Programming for In Creative Company, a year round digital talk series focusing on in-depth craft driven discussions around the creative process across film, television, theater and the arts. Prior to this her most recent role was programming, producing and moderating screenings and talks at SAG-AFTRA Foundation both in person and online. She has also moderated numerous panels for other companies including Netflix, AppleTV+, HBO, IFC Films, BAFTA and numerous film festival Q&A's. In her time as Director of Panels & Special Events and an Associate Programmer at Tribeca Film Festival she grew the talks program creating new strands of programming in film, tv, theater, VR and music and produced the inaugural TIME'S UP conference. At Tribeca she was involved in programming feature films and tv where she helped to launch television into both the festivals main slate and contributed to the creation of the Tribeca TV Festival. She has worked in key roles with numerous events including Vulture Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival and Sundance. She currently consults as an Associate Programmer in Features & Episodic for Sundance and for The New York Times events team. Born and raised in England by a Texan and a Scot, she calls New York home!
Tyler Wong, Editor
Tyler Wong is an editor based in Los Angeles, California who focuses on unscripted/documentary storytelling.
For as long as he could remember, he wanted to work in film/television. During his senior year in high school, he had an internship with his local news station, KSEE 24 in Fresno, CA. He eventually was offered a job as a video editor for KSEE 24.
In 2013, Tyler transferred to UC Riverside to major in Media and Cultural Studies with a minor in Political Science. During the summer of 2014, Tyler landed an internship with the Television Academy with the category of editing reality television at Bunim-Murray Productions.
After college, he worked his way up from Digitizer, Assistant editor, to what he's doing today, Editor. Tyler has worked on shows such as MTV's The Challenge, VH1's Love & Hip Hop: Miami, and BET+'s American Gangster: Trap Queens.