Monica LevinsonIndependent Producer, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “Captain Fantastic,” “Brian Banks,” "Wander Darkly"
Monica Levinson is a prolific film and television producer whose expansive career is reflected by the diverse array of projects she has produced. Working alongside top innovators in entertainment, she is frequently lauded for her passion to protect and further the creative aspects of filmmaking, with a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility. Last year (2020) was a busy one for Levinson, with four feature films debuting including the globat hit, Golden Globe Winner Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video to both critical acclaim and record-breaking success. Levinson previously collaborated with Baron Cohen as a producer on the iconic hit comedies, Bruno and Borat. Along with Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Levinson recently produced two high-profile independent films: Wander Darkly, a romantic drama that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, starring Sienna Miller and Diego Luna, written and directed by Tara Miele (The Lake Effect); and The Water Man, directed by David Oyelowo, a thrilling family film that premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, starring Oyeloyo (Selma), Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello. The film made its international debut in 2021, topping the Netflix charts in many territories. Levinson also served as an executive producer of Academy Award Nominee The Trial of Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed drama which was released on Netflix in October 2020 - about the notorious trial of the men charged with inciting violence at the peaceful protests around 1968 Democratic National Convention. The recent Women in Film: Make it Work! television benefit that aired on the CW network was executive produced by Levinson, along with Amy Baer and Stephanie Allain. This virtual fundraiser, featuring appearances from Hillary Clinton, Alfre Woodard, Jane Fonda, Sheryl Crow, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Garner and others, shined a light on the Women In Film #HireHerBack initiative that promotes the employment of women and minorities in the economic recovery during the pandemic. As President of Production at ShivHans Pictures from its inception in 2014 through 2019, Levinson oversaw all aspects of film and television development, production, post-production, financing and distribution turnover, as well as running day-to-day company operations. At ShivHans, she developed and oversaw a distinctive slate of projects including: the Oscar-nominated film, Trumbo: the Oscar-nominated film, Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen; Golden-Globe nominated Danny Collins, directed by Dan Fogelman and starring Al Pacino, Annette Bening and Jennifer Garner; Beirut, starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike, directed by Brad Anderson; The Polka King, directed by Maya Forbes, starring Jack Black and Jason Schwartzman; Brian Banks, directed by Tom Shadyac; and the 2020 films, Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly and David Oyelowo’s The Water Man. Levinson joined ShivHans following stints on an array of hit films such as Bruno, Zoolander, Dodgeball, Clear History, 30 Minutes Or Less, and Borat, which was named one of the Top 10 Films of 2006 by the AFI. After starting her career in broadcast news, where she covered the fast-paced business of Capitol Hill in her hometown of Washington D.C., Levinson made her transition into narrative storytelling while working on feature films with visionary directors Alan J. Pakula, Sidney Lumet and Michael Mann. Levinson is a board member of Women in Film, a member of the Producers Branch of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Science, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, and part of the leadership team for Women’s Production Society, heading up one of their key initiatives to find a path for Production Supervisors into DGA membership. She is passionate about inclusion for marginalized and under-represented groups, and started a training program at ShivHans that she has amplified with other production companies. She is a founding member of INDIE (representing independent films in IATSE negotiations and for the California Tax Credit), mentors young filmmakers, and often guest lectures at universities.