Speaker Cathy Schulman
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President and CEO
Academy Award® winning producer Cathy Schulman began her career in film in 1987 and is currently the President and CEO of Welle Entertainment, a film and television production company committed to producing content that appeals to diverse audiences, with an emphasis on women and girls. Welle has sold over fifteen films and shows to major motion picture studios, networks, and streamers and has produced projects including the YA drama feature FIVE FEET APART, which made over $85 million at the worldwide box office, and the hit comedy film OTHERHOOD starring Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, and Felicity Huffman for Netflix.
Schulman, who has recently added screenwriting to her repertoire, is currently writing and executive producing the Showtime series THE FIRST LADY starring Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Gillian Anderson. The series is a reframing of American leadership told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House, with the first season focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt (Anderson), Betty Ford (Pfeiffer) and Michelle Obama (Davis). Schulman and Welle will also reunite with Davis to produce the epic African female warrior tale THE WOMAN KING for TriStar pictures, with Davis set to star for director Gina Prince Bythewood. Schulman is also currently producing Black Bear Pictures’ action crime thriller MEMORY starring Liam Neeson, Guy Pearce, and Monica Bellucci with director Martin Campbell. Additionally, Welle has acquired the film and television rights to develop the popular nonfiction books ALPHA GIRLS by best-selling author Julian Guthrie, which follows four women who became stars in the high-stakes and male-dominated world of Silicon Valley and helped build some of the foremost companies of our time, and THE TRIALS OF NINA MCCALL by Scott Wasserman Stern, a true story centered on the American Plan, a program set up by the U.S. military and CDC that allowed local law enforcement and health officials to incarcerate and "treat" young women who were unfairly blamed for the spread of venereal disease among American soldiers throughout both World Wars.
Schulman and SISTER have just partnered to develop best seller Michael Koryta’s latest novel NEVER FAR AWAY. Before founding Welle, Schulman served as the Head of Production for STX Entertainment, where she managed the studio’s annual twelve picture slate, including box office hits like BAD MOMS and the critically acclaimed dramedy EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. Schulman’s many noteworthy producer credits also include features such as the Oscar Best Picture winner CRASH, THE ILLUSIONIST, and DARK PLACES.
Schulman was the President of Women in Film from 2010-2018. She is the cofounder of Reframe, the industry’s leading systemic change project, where she established the ReFrame stamp, which recognizes productions that are making
strides towards female-driven content, gender equality, and representation of women in key production roles. And as a top spokesperson for gender parity issues in media, Schulman designed the multi-year Annenberg School gender data and Unconscious Bias Training to Hollywood and established the WIF sexual harassment hotline.
Schulman is a decade-long Board Member of Film Independent and has served as a Council Member of the Producers Guild of America. She is a member of the AMPAS and has taught graduate level film producing at UCLA and Chapman, where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. Schulman gave the 2016 media address for International Woman’s Day at the United Nations. She is a graduate of Yale University, with a double major in Theater Studies and History of Art.
Speaking on: Tales from the hitmakers: strategies for the streaming era