The MPAA welcomed film industry great Mike Medavoy to our DC office this evening in the latest installment of our “Evening With” event series. These events feature leaders in the entertainment community sharing their experiences and wisdom, which in Medavoy’s case, spans 50 years in the industry. MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd and American Film Institute Founder and entertainment industry leader George Stevens, Jr. moderated what was a fascinating and incredibly timely discussion.
Medavoy's talent for recognizing talent is a main contributor to his success, as he explains "There's no science to it. It's instinctive. That's just what I did." He went on to share stories about working with iconic figures in film, among them Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Kevin Costner, and Terrence Malick. His profound reflections on the industry's role in a globalized society struck a chord with the audience, stating "Movies are markers. You remember where you were, what effect they had on you (when you saw them). And that's true everywhere, around the world."
From working in the Universal Studios mailroom to having his hand in over 300 feature films, seven of which won the Oscar for Best Picture, Medavoy has quite a story to tell. Working as both an agent at Creative Management Agency and studio executive at several studios, Medavoy developed an eye for talent that has translated to success after success on the silver screen. Early in his career, he helped produce One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Annie Hall, The Terminator, Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs, and Sleepless in Seattle. In 1995, Medavoy co-founded Phoenix Pictures and currently serves as its Chairman and CEO. During Medavoy’s tenure, Phoenix has released numerous award winning films, including The People vs Larry Flynt, The Thin Red Line, All The Kings Men, Shutter Island, and Black Swan.
We look forward to continuing to host these captivating discussions, celebrating those who make the film and television industry such an important part of our nation’s culture.