The Content Audiences Want & The Industry Needs to Provide
Independents have always been risk takers, finding and championing the stories that need to be told and bringing choice to the world’s audiences. But are content creators giving today’s audiences enough of what they want? Viewers have become more open to exploring diverse genres and narratives as they pursue genuine storytelling that reflects the realities of their lives. Leading producers and financiers discuss how they approach creating films and series today, the ways in which they are embracing audience needs, and how the industry can do better in bringing authentic and relatable projects to the global marketplace that garner audiences and result in commercial success.
Scott Roxborough, European Bureau Chief, The Hollywood Reporter
Lourdes Diaz, CCO, AGC Studios
Jeffrey Greenstein, President, Millennium Media
Joe Lewis, CEO, Amplify Pictures
Maren Olson, EVP, Film, 30WEST
Jeffrey GreensteinPresident, Millennium Media
Jeffrey Greenstein joined Millennium Media in 2010, handling more than sixty films during his tenure at the company, including The Expendables franchise, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, and Angel Has Fallen, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Mechanic: Resurrection and Jolt with Kate Beckinsale and Stanley Tucci.
Greenstein has risen through the proverbial ranks of Millennium’s corporate ladder with lightning speed. Named President of International Sales & Distribution at Nu Image/Millennium Films in April 2015, Greenstein oversaw the sales and distribution of all Millennium productions. In 2016, Greenstein became President of Millennium Media. In this role, he manages all aspects of the independent studio. He is also a member of the PGA.
Millennium Media recently wrapped productions include the highly anticipated comic book adaptation, Red Sonja starring Matilda Lutz, Wallis Day, and Robert Sheehan, Subservience starring Megan Fox and Dirty Angels with Eva Green, Ruby Rose, and Maria Bakalova. Recent releases include the 4th installment of The Expendables franchise, The Offering with Paul Kaye, Till Death with Megan Fox, and The Enforcer with Antonio Banderas, Kate Bosworth, 2 Chainz.
Millennium Media’s upcoming releases include The Bricklayer with Aaron Eckhart and Nina Dobrev, and The Piper with Charlotte Hope and Julian Sands.
Joe LewisCEO, Amplify Pictures
Joe Lewis is the Emmy, Tony, Peabody, Golden Globe-winning producer and CEO of Amplify Pictures, the pioneering independent studio that develops, finances, and produces award-winning, commercially driven scripted series, documentary projects and theatrical productions, including HBO’s Emmy-winning 100 Foot Wave. Lewis produced the acclaimed series Fleabag, Transparent and Too Old To Die Young. He is co-producing Gutenberg! The Musical! starring Tony Award nominees and Grammy award-winners Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, currently on Broadway, and also co-produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop on Broadway in 2022.
Founded by Lewis in 2018, with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam, Amplify Pictures is focused on producing globally successful series through bold ideas, brilliant creators, and unparalleled filmmaking. The second season of Amplify Pictures’ hit series 100 Foot Wave recently received six Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series. It’s HBO’s most nominated documentary project, series, or film this year. The first season of 100 Foot Wave won an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program as well as a PGA Award for Outstanding Sports Program. This summer, HBO announced season three of the big wave docuseries.
Lewis was a co-founder of Amazon Studios, running comedy, drama and mixed reality for the studio’s first six years (2012 – 2017). Series commissioned by Lewis include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Underground Railroad, Jack Ryan, Bosch, Catastrophe, Transparent, Fleabag, Homecoming, Good Omens, Mozart in the Jungle, Hanna, The Tick, Carnival Row, Undone, Red Oaks, I Love Dick, One Mississippi, Tosh.0, The New Yorker Presents and Long Strange Trip, among others. Series commissioned by Lewis have garnered 93 major award wins out of 196 major award nominations, including two Emmy Awards for Best Comedy Series and four Golden Globe Awards for Best Comedy Series.
Prior to Amazon, Lewis was CEO and co-founder of Bark, a startup AVOD streamer, Director of Production at 20th Century Fox and Manager of Development at Comedy Central.
Lewis received his B.A. in Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California. He grew up in Washington, DC and even went to TV camp in high school. He and his wife reside in Los Angeles.
Lourdes DiazCCO, AGC Studios
Lourdes Diaz is the Chief Creative Officer for AGC Studios, overseeing the company’s creative team and robust feature film and television slates from development through launch. She is also a member of the Producer’s Guild of America, the Television Academy, and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Diaz was most recently President of AGC Television, responsible for the company’s scripted, non-scripted, non-fiction and digital television content. Diaz has been with AGC Studios since its earliest days and has a had a huge impact on the company’s choices in material, in people, and on the dynamic, multicultural working environment.
Prior to AGC, Diaz served as President of Entertainment for Univision Communications, Inc. (UCI), diversifying its entertainment content, and working closely with Televisa, Netflix, Globo, Endemol, and other partners. Prior to UCI, Diaz was Head of Global Production and Development at Viacom International’s Comedy Central where she oversaw their development across all Comedy Central International channels and was the Executive Producer of numerous international scripted and unscripted series and shows. Before Comedy Central, Diaz was Vice President, Primetime Programming at NBC and Universal Media Studios. She also served as executive producer for multiple NBC comedies and dramas, including House, Parenthood, and The Office. Prior to NBC, Diaz founded Agua Entertainment Group (AEG) specializing in film, television, and new media, and was Head of Creative Affairs for Green Moon Productions, a company formed and operated by Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith. A graduate of Emerson College, Diaz began her career as an agent at ICM, representing over 50writers and directors.
Maren OlsonEVP, Film, 30WEST
Maren Olson is EVP, Film at 30WEST where she manages the fast-growing company’s slate of projects, including the forthcoming HELL OF A SUMMER written and directed by Finn Wolfhard and Billy Bryk, which screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2023 as a part of their Midnight Madness program; the re-imagining of THE CROW directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs; the musical biopic FRED & GINGER starring Jamie Bell and Margaret Qualley; and genre-bending thriller DAY DRINKER, to be directed by Marc Webb (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER).
Olson joined 30WEST from leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where she spent seven years as an agent in the Media Finance department, specializing in packaging and representation of independently financed films, including DOG, directed by Reid Carolin and Channing Tatum and starring Tatum; I, TONYA, directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Margot Robbie; LATE NIGHT, directed by Nisha Ganatra and starring Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson; THE PALE BLUE EYE, directed by Scott Cooper and starring Christian Bale and Harry Melling; PUSSY ISLAND, directed by Zoe Kravitz and starring Naomi Ackie and Channing Tatum; and THE DELIVERANCE, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Glenn Close, Octavia Spencer and Rob Morgan.
Prior to CAA, Olson served as President of Traction Media, an independent film production and domestic sales company. While there, she oversaw the creative development, packaging, production, financing, and sales of over 80 films on the Traction Media slate, including 2011 Best Foreign Language Oscar winner THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. She produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s sophomore feature SHORT TERM 12, which was nominated for and won multiple awards including both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at SXSW. Olson also produced AVA’S POSSESSIONS, directed by Jordan Galland and starring Louisa Krause, and her executive producing work includes THE WANNABE, starring Patricia Arquette.
Olson graduated from University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts with a degree in Film and Television Production.
Scott RoxboroughEuropean Bureau Chief, The Hollywood Reporter
Scott Roxborough is the European Bureau Chief for The Hollywood Reporter. He has been reporting on the international film and television industry for more than 20 years. He lives in Germany.