Who runs the world? A look at Hollywood’s most powerful boss babes
Boss bitches, listen up! Longtime senior programmer Kim Yutani was named director of programming for the Sundance Film Festival, replacing Trevor Groth who tapped out from the position earlier last year. Having worked at Sundance since 2006 and previously serving as the artistic director and director of programming at Outfest Los Angeles, it’s suffice to say Yutani knows her shit.
In a statement, festival director John Cooper announced, “She’ll now helm an incredibly talented team of curators and programmers, and I predict that our festival slates will further deepen and broaden the reach of independent artists and stories in fiction and nonfiction.”
Yutani taking the spot in one of the most influential roles on the American festival circuit marks a significant moment for women in film and is something that we here at Film Daily are all for. To celebrate, we’re taking a look at some of the most powerful women in Hollywood today. Let’s hear it for the girls!
President, ABC Entertainment Group
As one of the entertainment industry’s most powerful boss bitches, Channing Dungey is a TV executive who in 2016 became the first African-American president of ABC Entertainment Group. After hitting it big with The Good Doctor – one of broadcasting’s top ten highest-rated series – Dungey is on the lookout for more positive shows.
Actor, writer, producer
Fey’s most recent works include Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and NBC’s Great News, not to mention a musical adaptation of Mean Girls, which has received rave reviews since hitting Broadway. This isn’t a regular musical – it’s a cool musical.
The DC Comics 2017 smash hit Wonder Woman was the first female-led superhero film in more than a decade, and with Patty Jenkins (Monster) at the helm, it’s the first studio superhero flick to be directed by a woman.
While some argued this shouldn’t be a milestone in 2017, nevertheless it was a cinematic feat on Jenkins’s behalf in that the movie’s release gave her the most successful domestic opening of all time for a female director. Her talents as a filmmaker were proved, so much so that she’s just got a big fat pay rise to direct Wonder Woman 2. Chaching!
Chairman and CEO, 20th Century Fox Film
Since taking over as the head of Fox’s film studio following Jim Gianopulos’ ouster in 2016, Snider has had a tough job on her hands running a studio in the wake of plummeting cinema ticket sales and stiff competition from the digital streaming services.
In her role so far, Snider has dedicated herself to focusing on the films that are powerful enough to cut through the competition and has booked several business initiatives while also being tasked with calming the troops ahead of the Fox-Disney merger deal.
Chair, Universal Pictures
Having been the chairman of Universal Pictures since 2013, movie executive Donna Langley was named in Variety’s 2014 Power of Women and this year received the Producers Guild of America’s 2018 Milestone Award. Working on films like Straight Outta Compton, Trainwreck, and Pitch Perfect Langley has shown a willingness to embrace diverse voices in terms of race, gender, and sexuality.
As Producers Guild Awards chairs Donald De Line & Amy Pascal said in a statement: “Not only has she built Universal into a powerhouse through her stewardship of tentpole event films, she’s built her studio into a home for smart, talented, passionate filmmakers — especially for those who color outside the lines or don’t fit into Hollywood’s usual boxes.”
VP of Content, Netflix
Netflix is one of the most powerful forces in the entertainment biz today, and working her magic on the site’s content is VP Bela Bajaria, who made a jump into the position in 2016 following a stint at Universal TV.
Since then, Bajaria has built out Netflix’s unscripted division with a buttload of incredible reality TV shows while also managing major studio productions and making international distribution deals for hit shows such as The CW’s Riverdale.
Actress, producer, goodwill ambassador – UNICEF
Priyanka Chopra (Baywatch) is an actress, singer, film producer, and philanthropist. As one of India’s highest-paid and most popular stars, Chopra has received an endless stream of accolades, including a National Film Award and Filmfare Awards in five categories and the Government of India’s Padma Shri.
Meanwhile Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world while Forbes listed her among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017.
In addition to her acting career, Chopra is lauded for her philanthropic contributions away from the camera, having worked with UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador and promoting various social causes on health & education, women’s rights, gender equality, and feminism. Basically, she’s not just Hollywood’s leading boss bitch – she’s killing it across the world.
Director, screenwriter, producer
What Sofia Coppola puts her hands to turns to gold, whether that be screenwriting, producing, acting, or directing. Her feature length debut – The Virgin Suicides – remains an indie hit. Fast-forward to 2003 and Coppola won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the dramedy Lost in Translation (a film we will eternally be grateful for).
This was only the beginning for the now-established auteur, who went on to become the first American woman to win the Golden Lion top prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2010 for her drama Somewhere, and more recently in 2017 she landed the honor of being the second woman (and the first American woman) in Cannes Film Festival history to win the Best Director award for the unsettling period drama The Beguiled. 👏
Writer, producer, director
Ava DuVernay is one of the most influential and important filmmakers in the industry today. As the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize at Sundance Film Festival (Middle of Nowhere), the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award (Selma), and first woman of color to direct a live-action film with a budget of over $100 million (A Wrinkle in Time), DuVernay is an inspirational figure.
Speaking on A Wrinkle in Time, Ava declared, “It was lovely to be able to delve into a story with some feminine energy, interrogating the interiority of women.”
Screenwriter, director, showrunner, producer
As one of TV’s most celebrated showrunners, Shonda Rhimes has held a long list of titles, best known for creating and executive producing the hit TV shows Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal.
Championing women’s stories and generally besting Hollywood’s on and off screen projects, last year she continued her move into world domination with an estimated $100 million Netflix deal, where she will exclusively develop new shows for the streaming behemoth, as well as the launch of her lifestyle site Shondaland. Crushin’ it!