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What is Hollywood's diplomatic role?: An interview with film producer Mike Medavoy Print E-mail
Written by Lauren Madow   
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 15:28

Interview by Lauren Madow

Mike Medavoy is Chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures, a member of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy Advisory Board, and co-author with Nathan Gardels of American Idol After Iraq: Competing for Hearts and Minds in the Global Media Age (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).

Born to Russian-Jewish emigrants in Shanghai, Medavoy’s family moved to Chile in 1947, and later to the U.S. His career began at Universal Studios in the 1960s. Since then, in various positions at several Hollywood studios, he has overseen the release of many major American films, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Rocky (1976), Annie Hall (1977), Platoon (1986), Philadelphia (1993), The Thin Red Line (1998), and others.

Public Diplomacy Magazine Managing Editor Lauren Madow spoke with Medavoy about Hollywood’s complex position as a potential diplomatic actor, as well as Hollywood’s shifting role on the world stage since the publication of American Idol After Iraq, in which he wrote: “If culture is on the front line of world affairs in the times to come, then Hollywood, as much as Silicon Valley, the Pentagon, or the U.S. State Department, has a starring role.”1

Shanghai film fest kicks off with honor for Mike Medavoy Print E-mail
Written by Jonathan Landreth   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 14:31

June 17th, 2012

Read the original article here.

Shanghai film festivalSHANGHAI –- The Shanghai International Film Festival kicked off Saturday night by honoring a native-son turned Hollywood producer, Mike Medavoy.

Medavoy -- co-founder of Orion Pictures, producer on such films as "Black Swan," and chief executive of Phoenix Pictures -- received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the festival, applauded by the city where he was born in 1941 to Ukrainian Jewish refugees.

"Shanghai has roots for me. My parents lived here for 24 years and this is the place that gave them the safety net they needed," said Medavoy, who lived in China's biggest city until he was nearly 7. Qin Yi, a silver-haired former starlet, presented Medavoy with the award. Holding the heavy-looking golden goblet, he fumbled a handshake from her outstretched hand.

"The 50 years I've spent in Hollywood all started in cinemas here in Shanghai," Medavoy said, recalling the tears his late father shed upon landing at the city's airport 15 years ago on a father-son trip to the first Shanghai International Film Festival.

Chilean Miners Sell Rights to Mike Medavoy Print E-mail

July 24, 2011

Written by Mike Fleming for

Academy Award-nominated producer Mike Medavoy and representatives of the 33 Chilean Miners, whose remarkable rescue from the San José Mine last year captivated the world’s attention, jointly announced today that they have entered into an agreement to bring the miners' extraordinary story to the screen. Academy Award-nominated screenwriter José Rivera (MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) is set to adapt. The film will recount the events surrounding the mine's trappedMiners_1734657ccollapse and the subsequent rescue efforts, which culminated in the emotional retrieval of all 33 miners after 69 days trapped half a mile beneath the surface.
Mike Medavoy Honored At Locarno Print E-mail

August 9th, 2011

Locarno, Switzerland

Written by Eric J. Lyman,

Famed producer Mike Medavoy was honored at the Locarno Film Festival on Tuesday with the Raimondo Rezzonico career prize, while the winners of the Open Doors co-production lab focus on India awards were announced. The German-Russian co-production 4 Tage im Mai (4 Days in May), a film about a standoff between German and Russian soldiers at an orphanage in the closing days of World War II, was the main film attraction Tuesday, screening in a nearly full Piazza Grande. Director Achim von Borries, who presented the film along with half a dozen cast members, was taken aback by the picturesque venue and the size of the crowd, telling the crowd in German, “What a magnificent place to show a film.”


Jennifer Lopez Joins the Cast of What To Expect When You're Expecting Print E-mail

June 24, 2011

Lionsgate and the producers of the film adaptation of the worldwide bestselling book “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” are thrilled to announce that Jennifer Lopez (MONSTER IN LAW, MAID IN MANHATTAN) has been cast to star with Cameron Diaz in the film, which is expected to begin shooting mid-Summer 2011, and will be released on Mother’s Day Weekend 2012. Lopez will play Holly in one of the film’s the interlocking stories, a woman who adopts a baby from abroad with her husband after difficulty conceiving.

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