Harvardwood x HGSE Present: Entertainment for Educators - Executive Vice President Naia Cucukov

March 30, 2023 at 2:00pm - 3pm

2 pm PT /5 pm ET (Virtual)


Naia Cucukov is a dynamic, innovative and conscientious executive with over sixteen years of experience in the entertainment business. Naia has a passion for identifying inclusive, uplifting and inspiring projects in order to help them grow into movie and television magic.

A native of southern New Jersey, Naia grew up loving film and ultimately discovered her affinity for production while receiving her B.A. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University. Like many entertainment executives before her, Naia started in Hollywood as an assistant at CAA, followed by a post at Legendary Pictures. She then made the transition into the role of Creative Executive at Bold Films followed by the opportunity to work with Sir Richard Branson as the Director of Development at Virgin Produced. While at Virgin, Naia oversaw creative programing for the Virgin Produced Channel onboard Virgin Airlines and co-produced the award-winning short film Departure Date – the first film shot on a plane and edited while 35,000 feet in the air.

Since her start at Walden Media in 2013, Naia has cultivated a diverse slate of films and television projects. On behalf of Walden, she has overseen development and production for: The Giver, based on the bestselling book by Lois Lowry; Universal and Working Title’s Everest, based on the true story of the 1996 Everest disaster; Disney’s The BFG, a Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved novel; A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog's Journey, parts one and two of the beloved series by W. Bruce Cameron; Sony Animation’s The Star; Lionsgate’s Wonder, based on the bestselling middle-grade novel, Paramount's live action Dora the Explorer and Playing with Fire starring John Cena. Naia has executive produced the critically and commercially acclaimed series, The Baby-Sitters Club, for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's and Family Viewing Series.

Other Producing/Executive Producing credits include: A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting with Netflix; the Tom Hank’s starring sci-fi film, Finch, with Amblin and Apple TV; and Rumble, an animated feature from Paramount Animation/Paramount Plus. Her next release will be the limited series, Manhunt, with Apple TV. Additionally, Naia starred in the Netflix documentary, The Claudia Kishi Club, which reflected on the impact of Claudia Kishi in the Asian-American community. 

Naia actively vocalizes her impact in the industry as the Vice Chair of CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment), a creator of the AAPI female empowerment group, A+, and is a member of the Television Academy, the PGA and Women in Film. She spends her free time with her daughter, Anya, husband Peter and miniature dachshund, Sharky.

The power of a great story to educate, shed light on rarely discussed topics, and change hearts and minds draws millions of learners and storytellers to entertainment.

Produced in partnership with students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Educators for Entertainment Speaker Series highlights leaders working at the intersection of education and entertainment who are using storytelling, media, and the arts to create educational impact around the world. 

Through this series, we hope to bring together Harvard students passionate about the magic that happens at the intersection of education and entertainment and strengthen the bridge between the two industries within the broader Harvard community. 

Register for this event at the link below. Harvardwood members, friends, and non-members are ALL welcome, but every attendee must register for themselves individually. So if you're inviting others to join you for this panel, please forward them the link to this page so they can sign themselves up. Thank you!

Members, Friends of Harvardwood, and Current HGSE students: Register Here

Purchase ticket  $1 for Members, friends, HGSE current students

Non-Member Ticket Options

To attend all 5 events of the Entertainment for Educators series, Register Here

Purchase ticket  $15 for access to all 5 events of the Entertainment for Educators series

Register Here

$5.50 Non-Members
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