Actvists named vp at Participant Prods.


NEW YORK -- Veteran entertainment industry activists Bonnie Abaunza and Liana Schwarz have both been appointed vp social action campaign development and operations at Participant Prods.

The execs will create and execute social action campaigns for every Participant feature, reporting to executive vp social action and advocacy John Schreiber. Each campaign will be assigned a project producer who will report to them.

Their efforts will focus on partnering with nongovernmental and nonprofit organizations suited to each film. The pair will coordinate their efforts with Participant's marketing and digital divisions.

Before Participant, Abaunza was director of Amnesty International's entertainment outreach arm Artists for Amnesty for more than six years. She worked with many high-profile artists to enlist their support in Amnesty's social and political action campaigns and was a liaison with international press.

Abaunza remains Board Chair for Artists for Amnesty. Her recent work includes an awareness campaign for the Warner Bros. film "Blood Diamond." Before Amnesty, she spent seven years as vp of Billabong Prods., where she oversaw feature film and TV projects for director Simon Wincer.

Schwarz was political director for the recently separated couple Laurie and Larry David and adviser to the David Family Foundation. She also was executive director of the Stop Global Warming Virtual March and worked with Laurie David on the campaign for Participant's "An Inconvenient Truth."

Before that, Schwarz was director of special initiatives for the Natural Resources Defense Council, director of entertainment industry outreach for the 2000 presidential campaign's California Democratic Coordinated Campaign, and senior associate with political consulting firm Schrayer and Associates.