13 Female Power-Players Who Rule the World
UPDATED: From film financing to media giant board members, these are the go-to women in the international film and television biz.
Executive director, Telefilm Canada
The 20-year Telefilm vet is Canada's premier film financier. In addition to backing features like David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method and Oscar nominee Incendies, she oversees Telefilm's work with the new Canada Media Fund, which gives $350 million annually to support digital content production.
CEO, Screen Australia
Prior to becoming CEO of the government funding body Screen Australia in 2008, the former Fulbright Scholar and native Kiwi was the chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission from 1997 to 2008. Harley has more than 25 years of experience working in film and television.
Head of BBC Films
The Oscar-nominated producer of The Queen took over BBC's film division in 2009, overseeing productions including StreetDance 3D (Britain's first 3D movie) and Ralph Fiennes' Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus.
General Manager of Sales and Acquisitions, Edko Films
Lee has been instrumental in Hong Kong-based producer-distributor Edko Films' release of international blockbusters in Asia, including 2008 Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire and recent Bollywood smash 3 Idiots. Edko also owns the theater chains Broadway Circuit and AMC Cinemas.
Executive vp Global Product Management, Walt Disney Studios
The woman who turned Blu-ray into a money-spinner is now charged with doing the same for digital distribution. MacPherson oversees the management, sales and distribution of Disney content worldwide.
Shareholder/board member, Bertelsmann
The Mohn family controls German media giant Bertelsmann -- owner of RTL Group, BMG, Random House and The X Factor/Idol producer FremantleMedia. Mohn, the family matriarch, keeps a low public profile but remains the governing power behind the throne. She also has the ear of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Mohn calls a close friend.
Chairman and CEO, Shine
One of the few Murdochs not stained by the phone-hacking scandal, Elisabeth founded Shine Group in 2001 and spent 10 years building it into one of the world's leading indie TV production companies with such global franchises as The Biggest Loser and MasterChef. Liz cashed out this year, selling Shine to dad's News Corp. for about $650 million, but remains on Shine's board.
Founder, Ruby Films
From the period perfection of Jane Eyre to the Emmy and Golden Globe success of Temple Grandin to cult zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, Owen has one of the most successful and eclectic producing careers in the indie biz with her London-based shingle.
Head of Film4
The uncrowned queen of the British film industry, Ross is responsible for developing, financing and exec producing highbrow fare as Slumdog Millionaire, Happy-Go-Lucky and The Lovely Bones. Her recent films include awards hopefuls The Iron Lady and Shame.
CEO, RTL Television
Arguably the most powerful woman in European television, Schaeferkordt was the first international buyer to recognize the potential of the CSI franchise. The channels she manages collectively accounted for 44 percent of the German TV ad market in 2010 and earned $730 million in profit for parent company Bertelsmann.
The most influential female producer in the greater China region, Shi is the longtime producing partner of Hong Kong super director Tsui Hark. A 30-year vet industry vet, she is also chairman of Hong Kong's influential Distribution Workshop and was a jury member at last year's Festival de Cannes.
Majority shareholder, Axel Springer
Another FOM (Friend of Merkel) and one of Germany's richest women (personal wealth: $3.2 billion), Springer is the chief power broker at Germany's second-largest media group. Publishers of Das Bild, Europe's biggest tabloid and the broadsheet Die Welt, Axel Springer also holds stakes in several German regional TV channels.
Co-president, Focus Features International
The right hand of Focus CEO James Schamus and President Andrew Karpen, Thompson runs the indie giant's international operations, from production and acquisitions to sales, distribution and marketing for prestige titles like The American, Beginners and Wes Anderson's upcoming Moonrise Kingdom. At Cannes in May, Thompson launched FFI's most ambitious project to date: the mega-budget Cloud Atlas, starring Halle Berry and Tom Hanks.
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