It's award season for the U.S. film industry, culminating with the Oscars on 22 February. Many GSB alumni play a significant role in the entertainment world, including Jeff Bewkes '77, President and CEO of Time-Warner, Inc.; Micheline L. Chau '76, President and COO of Lucasfilm, Ltd.; Yair Landau '89, President of Sony Pictures Entertainment; Ali Rowghani '02, CFO and Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning for Pixar Animation Studios; Tom Staggs '87, CFO and Senior Executive Vice President of The Walt Disney Company; and Andrea Wong '93, President and CEO of Lifetime Networks.
After leaving eBay, Jeff Skoll '95 founded Participant Media, which has produced many Oscar-nominated films, such as Murderball, The Kite Runner, and Good Night, and Good Luck, while its films Syriana and An Inconvenient Truth were both winners. If you watch the Oscars, keep an eye out for the Best Actor category. Richard Jenkins is nominated in this category for Participant's film The Visitor.
The arts are thriving right here on campus as well. Membership in the GSB's Arts, Media, and Entertainment Club has grown steadily, and now includes more than 140 MBA students. Many members have held positions at MTV, Disney, Universal, and Fox, to name a few. The club's big initiative this year is the Breaking into the Industry series, which brings industry insiders to campus for discussions about specific entertainment functions such as production, digital media, and corporate strategy. Also popular on campus is the Leadership in the Entertainment Industry course, which will be taught again this spring by Bill Guttentag, a two-time Oscar-winning documentary and feature film writer, producer, and director.
And finally, here's a movie viewing tip: The film Bottle Shock was released this month to DVD. Produced by GSB alumni Marc Lhormer '86 and J. Todd Harris '86, the movie chronicles California wine making and the now-infamous blind wine tasting of 1976 which changed the future of the wine industry. The film was an official selection at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, so look for it at your local video store.