Participant Media Promotes Trio of Execs

Courtesy of Participant
Gabriel Brakin, Christina Kounelias, Krista Wegener

The company behind 'Roma,' 'Green Book' and 'RBG' just earned 17 Oscar noms, the most in its history.

Participant Media, which is on a roll with best picture Oscar nominations for Roma and Green Book and a feature documentary nomination for RBG, announced three exec promotions from within its ranks today.

Gabriel Brakin, who previously served as general counsel and exec vp business affairs, has been named chief operating officer; Christina Kounelias, executive vp worldwide marketing and communications, has been elevated to president of worldwide marketing; and Krista Wegener, senior vp sales and distribution, has been promoted to executive vp sales and distribution. All three will continue to report to Participant CEO David Linde.

“I am thrilled by this well-deserved, long-overdue recognition of the hard work and dedication shown by this incredibly talented trio,” Linde said in announcing the promotions. “Gabe’s experience and growth with the company has resulted in some of our most important successes, and he will continue to be an incomparable asset as we look to new and exciting ways to expand our social impact work. Christina, meanwhile, has proven time and again her value and expertise in progressing what this company can accomplish, as well as her work with our various partners to help leverage our brand and content with a worldwide audience. And with her broad network of top-tier contacts in global sales and distribution, Krista will continue to be an even more instrumental component to the growth and success of the company.”

Brakin, who joined Participant in 2008, has been instrumental in overseeing all of Participant’s film financing and investments, as well as playing a key role in shaping and implementing strategic business initiatives, the company said. He also managed the business and legal affairs team for all of Participant’s film, television, digital content, marketing, social impact, and cross-platform creative and distribution activities. In his new role, he will oversee company-wide business operations and deal-making, as well as corporate and legal affairs. 

Since joining Participant in 2016, Kounelias has overseen global strategy for all of the company’s marketing and communications efforts, working in tandem with the social impact team. This past year, Kounelias led a reorganization of the marketing and communications department and was instrumental in the release of such projects as RomaGreen BookRBG, On the Basis of Sex and America to Me

Wegener, who joined Participant in 2016, has been overseeing global sales and distribution for all of its film and television content, including narrative and documentary releases. In her new role, Wegener will continue to work in tandem with key partners including Focus Features, Netflix, YouTube, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Entertainment One. 

The production company, which focuses on projects with social impact, was founded by Jeff Skoll. With Diane Weyermann serving as president of documentary film and television, and Jonathan King serving as president of narrative film and television, it just received 17 Oscar nominations, the most in the company’s history. Its docuseries America to Me, airing on Starz, got a Critics' Choice Documentary Awards nomination.

Participants’ social impact group, led by Holly Gordon, has led campaigns for America to Me, the Sundance award-winning doc The Price of Free and the feature On the Basis of Sex.