Symposiums on Gender in Media

Global Storytelling: Portrayals of Women and Girls

Global Symposium Panelists • Los Angeles
October 6, 2014

Cathy Schulman, Moderator
President, Mandalay Pictures

Ashok Amritraj

Chairman and CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment

An internationally renowned Award winning film Producer, Ashok Amritraj has produced or executive produced over 100 films during the span of his 30-year career, with a worldwide gross in excess of $2 billion. He has partnered with every major studio in Hollywood, and produced films starring the likes of Bruce Willis, Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Martin, Antonio Banderas, Robert DeNiro, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Aniston, Nicolas Cage, Andrew Garfield and many more.

In addition to his work in the entertainment business, Amritraj spends much of his time on his philanthropic endeavors worldwide. Amritraj is currently hosting a 7 part TV series titled " Chance Of A Lifetime" in Partnership with the United Nations , The UCLA/Burkle Global Initiative, and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. The show brings diverse cultures together to create a unified vision on crucial social issues based on the Millennium Development Goals of the UN. COAL aired on Pivot in the US and National Geographic, internationally.

Amritraj was a former tennis professional, having played in every major tennis event including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Kristine Belson

Producer, DreamWorks

Kristine Belson most recently produced the Academy Award®-nominated original film, The Croods, which was has grossed over $587 million at the worldwide box-office. Prior to The Croods, Belson served as Executive Producer of the Academy Award®-nominated film, How to Train Your Dragon.

Belson came to DreamWorks Animation with more than 15 years’ experience developing and producing both live-action and animated films. She spent eight years as Executive Vice President of Production at the Jim Henson Company. During her tenure, she developed a slate of more than 40 live-action and animated films. In addition, she served as an Executive Producer on Muppets from Space, producer on Good Boy! and Co-Producer on Five Children and It and The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz.

Prior to joining The Jim Henson Company, Belson held the post of Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures, overseeing such films as Big Daddy and Spice World. Before her stint at Columbia, she served as Senior Vice President for Turner Pictures, and also spent two years as Director of Production at 20th Century Fox

Ben Cosgrove

President of Production, 2929 Productions

Ben Cosgrove is President of Production at 2929 Productions, where he produced Deadfall starring Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, and Charlie Hunnam and Serena, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, directed by Oscar winner Susanne Bier.

Ben previously served as Senior Vice President of Production at Paramount Pictures. At Paramount, he supervised Dreamgirls, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and The Fighter. Among the projects he developed were Interstellar with Chris Nolan, Dune with Pete Berg, Lost City of Z with Brad Pitt and James Gray, Nick Tungsten with Doug Liman, and What Men Want with Cameron Diaz.

Previously, Cosgrove was president of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company Section Eight, where he produced The Good German and Rumor Has It… and served as executive producer of such films as Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, A Scanner Darkly, The Jacket, Criminal and Welcome to Collinwood. He also served as associate producer on Insomnia. Additional Section Eight productions include Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen, Far From Heaven and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

Cosgrove’s first job in the entertainment industry was as a freelance reader at TriStar Pictures, where he ultimately became Director of Creative Affairs. At TriStar he worked on numerous projects including Jumanji, The Mask of Zorro and Devil in a Blue Dress.

Cosgrove graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English Literature.

Camela Galano

President, Relativity International

Camela Galano has served as President of Relativity International since January 2013, overseeing global sales, marketing and distribution management of Relativity’s own titles, acquisitions and third-party releases. The veteran international film executive was previously the Founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based global sales and distribution company Speranza13 Media. Before that, she served as President of International Film Acquisitions for Warner Bros., where she acquired such box-office hits as The Hunger Games and District 9 for select territories.

Prior to joining Warner Bros., Galano was President of International Sales, Marketing & Distribution for New Line Cinema. There she oversaw record-breaking results on such titles as the Lord of the Rings, Austin Powers, Blade, Rush Hour and Final Destination, franchises, as well as hits Seven and Wedding Crashers. Galano opened New Line’s London-based international sales office, which she ran for six years, and oversaw international distribution for Picturehouse, a joint venture between New Line Cinema and HBO Films, and Material Entertainment, a joint venture between New Line and Entertainment Film.

She is a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Cathy Schulman

President, Mandalay Pictures

Cathy Schulman is a veteran producer and film executive. Currently President of Mandalay Pictures, where she oversees the company’s studio and independent pictures, Schulman’s background includes executive jobs at companies including Sovereign Pictures, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Savoy Pictures and APG, as well as Sundance, where she was co-director of programming in the late 80s and early 90s. Schulman has produced 18 films including Crash, for which she won the Best Picture Academy Award in 2006, The Illusionist, Thumbsucker, Darfur Now, and Bernie.

In early 2015, Schulman will produce the Mandalay Film “Whatever Makes You Happy”, based on the novel by William Sutcliffe, written and to be directed by Emmy® Award Winner Cindy Chupack. Susan Sarandon, Viola Davis, Allison Janney and James Corden will star.

Schulman’s Mandalay film When the Game Stands Tall is in theaters now, released by Sony Pictures. Recently, Schulman completed Mandalay’s Horns, directed by Alex Aja, starring Daniel Radcliffe and based on Joe Hill’s best selling novel. The film will be released by Dimension / RADiUS-TWC on Halloween, 2014. Schulman also recently wrapped Marjane Satrapi’s latest film The Voices, starring Ryan Reynolds, Jacki Weaver, Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick. Schulman is also in post production on Dark Places, based on Gillian Flynn’s best selling novel, directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and starring Charlize Theron, Chloe Moretz, Nicholas Hoult and Christina Hendricks.

Active in the industry, Schulman is the President of Women In Film, a Board Member of Film Independent and has served as a Council Member of the Producers Guild of America. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, a USC Stark Program producer’s mentor and teaches graduate level film producing at UCLA and the Dodge College of Film Media and Arts at Chapman University, where she was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate. She has also served as a judge for the prestigious Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards. She is a notable industry spokesperson and public speaker, who gave the commencement address for the 2013 graduates of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and will give the 2014 commencement address at Dodge College. She is a graduate of Yale University, with a double major in Theater Studies and History of Art. She is the mother of one daughter and resides in Los Angeles, California.

Linda Woolverton

Script Writer

While working as a development executive at CBS, Linda Woolverton wrote two young adult novels: Star Wind and Running Before the Wind. After her books were published by Houghton Mifflin, she began to write full time.

She started by writing scripts for animated television shows. When one of her novels caught the attention of a Disney executive, she was hired to write the script for the animated feature, Beauty and the Beast. Upon its release in 1991, the film won the Golden Globe for the Best Comedy/Musical and became the first animated film to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. She also wrote the screenplay for The Lion King, rewrote the script for Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and wrote on the animated feature Mulan.

She went on to adapt the script of Beauty and the Beast for the Broadway stage and received the Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical in 1994.

Linda Woolverton’s script for Alice In Wonderland directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, was released in March of 2010. The film grossed over 1 billion dollars worldwide.

In 2008, Linda received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writers Guild of America-Animation Writers Caucus for her longtime work in the field of animation.

Woolverton’s screenplay for Disney’s Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie was released in May of 2014. She has recently completed Through the Looking Glass for Disney which is in production in the UK. She is currently working with Ron Howard on a television pilot for LIFETIME.