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MGM’s Orion Pictures label is getting a shake up.
Alana Mayo, who was previously the producing partner of Michael B. Jordan, has joined the division as president and will oversee its relaunch as a home concentrating exclusively on underrepresented voices.
Current Orion president John Hegeman and his team, which in the last several year produced movies such as Child’s Play and Hansel & Gretel, will be leaving.
The goal of the new Orion will be to focus on developing, producing and acquiring feature films that amplify underserved voices, both in front of and behind the camera, according to MGM, which made the announcement Thursday.
“We are at an exciting and critical tipping point in our industry,” said Mayo. “For years many filmmakers and creators who have been considered and treated as outsiders have nonetheless persisted in creating visionary films that drew audiences across the globe and defined culture. Many of these films and filmmakers inspired me to pursue storytelling as a career, and to work towards creating a more equitable environment for all creators. I am thrilled to work in partnership with Kevin, Mike and Pam to continue Orion’s legacy and create a home that embraces and furthers the seismic shift happening in entertainment and culture, and to back filmmakers and content that authentically reflect the world in which we live.”
Mayo will oversee the label’s day-to-day operations, including development, acquisitions, physical and post production, while also working closely with the marketing and publicity team at MGM, and the studio’s distribution partners, on the release strategy and the social impact campaign activation for each film. MGM will handle global distribution, with United Artists Releasing marketing and distributing films under the Orion Pictures label in the U.S. as part of the studio’s joint theatrical distribution venture.
Mayo was head of production and development for Outlier Society, actor Jordan’s production banner. Among the movies she spearheaded was the legal drama Without Mercy and the upcoming action thriller Without Remorse. She made waves when the company instituted an inclusion policy for its productions, a move which prompted other companies to relook at their hiring practices.
Mayo also had executive stints at Paramount and Vimeo and interned with director Lee Daniels.
MGM’s film group chairman Michael De Luca and film group president Pam Abdy said in a statement: “We believe deeply in creating content that reflects our global communities and we are thrilled that Alana will be heading up the newly relaunched Orion Pictures label to elevate and empower the many voices whose stories deserve to be told. As a company dedicated to entertaining audiences across the world, MGM is committed to increasing access for all people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with disabilities and other historically marginalized groups as a moral and business imperative.”
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