Issue 223 | August 2023


In this issue:



  • Featured Job: Assistant, Business Affairs (UTA) - NY


  • Alumni Profiles: Marc Resteghini AB '99 (producer)
  • Industry News
  • New Members' Welcome
  • Exclusive Q&A with Eric d'Arbeloff MBA '93 (producer, executive) and Howard Cohen AB '81 (producer, executive)
  • Meet the Chapter Heads: D.C. 


  • Harvardwood Co-Presents with TAP-NY: Q&A with Abigail Hing Wen, author of Loveboat, Taipei
  • Harvardwood Beach Day!
  • Harvardwood Presents - From Cannes to the Oscars: Producing for the Big Screen
  • Last Month at Harvardwood

Become a Harvardwood member 

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Going into a moderate-in-LA-absolutely-rank-in-New-York August at Harvardwood, we have wrapped applications for the Inaugural Jonathan Sethna Harvardwood LGBTQ+ Fellowship and the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program 2023 is well underway! 

This month we are offering events including a Beach Day! Wet your toes with Harvardwood both figuratively and literally with our very own beach episode. Come for the character development and stay for splishy splashy fun!

Thank you for being a part of the Harvardwood community. Thanks to your support of our nonprofit SIG, in the past year we’ve:
    • offered 100 hours of free/low-cost programming

    • matched over 50 students to internships through Harvardwood 101 and Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)

    • organized over 40 events, including exclusive Q&As, screenings, parties, and more, virtually and in-person in LA, NYC, Boston and DC!

    • Distributed fellowships totalling $64,000 (and counting!)

Stay tuned for upcoming exciting updates to our website and upgraded membership tiers, benefits, and new perks this Fall as we prepare to streamline the Harvardwood member experience!

As always, we want to hear from you, our members -- if you have an idea for an event or programming, please tell us about it here. If you have an announcement about your work or someone else's, please share it here (members) and it will appear in our Weekly and/or next HIGHLIGHTS issue.

Please consider donating to Harvardwood
. Your donations are tax deductible!

Best wishes,

Grace Shi
Operations and Communications Associate
[email protected]

Featured Job: Assistant, Business Affairs (UTA) - NY

Job Description: 

UTA is seeking a Business Affairs Assistant in our New York office to provide comprehensive administrative support to two Business Affairs Executives in News and Broadcasting. The Business Affairs Assistant will handle a variety of administrative duties and will be integral to the contract administration process. Qualified candidates must have precise, detailed-oriented organizational skills, as well as excellent communication and writing abilities. Candidates must have the ability to manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment, experience in handling heavy paperwork, phone volume and scheduling and familiarity with contracts and general legal terms. This is a full-time position with benefits and will pay $23.00 per hour.

Click here for more info!


Alumni Profile: Marc Resteghini AB '99 (producer)

by Laura Frustaci

Marc Resteghini AB '99 in 2023 established his own production company – Jack Tar Pictures – at Amazon Studios, with an overall deal in television and a first look deal in film. Previously, Marc spent more than eight years helping to build Amazon Studios, most recently serving as the US's Global Head of TV Development, where he led an organization of approximately 50 people and oversaw the development and production of all new US/Global scripted, unscripted and animation television content for Amazon's Prime Video Service.  Prior to assuming this position in February 2021, Marc served in various capacities at Amazon, including Head of Drama television, Head of Current Drama Programming and as a senior executive in the Drama department.  During his tenure as an executive at Amazon, Marc developed and oversaw hundreds of hours of content, including such shows as: THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL, Tom Clancy's JACK RYAN, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, REACHER, SWARM, DEAD RINGERS, THE TERMINAL LIST, OUTER RANGE, DAISY JONES AND THE SIX, THEM, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, GOLIATH, PATRIOT, Lizzo’s WATCH OUT FOR THE BIG GRRRLS, THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY, THE LEGEND OF VOX MACHINA, SWARM AND DR. SEUSS BAKING CHALLENGE. Marc’s programming has been the recipient of 25 Emmys, 4 Golden Globes, and countless other nominations and awards. He has worked closely with some of the most significant and innovative talent in entertainment, including Josh Brolin, Donald Glover, Barry Jenkins, John Krasinski, Jonah Nolan, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Plan B Entertainment, Chris Pratt, the Russo Bros., and Billy Bob Thornton. Prior to joining Amazon Studios in 2014, Marc shepherded more than a dozen feature films over the course of 15 years, serving as an executive at 20th Century Fox and as a producer with DreamWorks based Parkes/MacDonald Productions and Warner Bros. Marc graduated Cum Laude from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in English Literature.

Marc Resteghini AB ‘99 has played the role of both producer and executive for both film and television, most recently as Head of US Series Development at Amazon Studios. After stepping away from the executive ranks, he’s now excited to be delving back into producing with a film and television deal at Amazon. But let’s back up to the very beginning of Marc’s career. Marc became interested in development the way many college students discover their passion: by doing an internship. “I was really interested in entertainment, I watched a lot of TV, but I was not aware of or well-versed in career paths in entertainment,” Marc recalls. “I didn’t understand what went into the filmmaking process. But I found my first internship with the Princeton Review through the Television Academy (The Emmy Organization) and it’s still offered today. They partner with host companies in Hollywood, across a range of categories, including screenwriting, directing and development. I read the blurb of what development was: look for story ideas in magazines, read books for adaptation, work with screenwriters. That sounded really interesting.” 

With a degree in English from Harvard, Marc was poised for success. He enjoyed his internship so much he moved to LA right after graduation and got a second internship through a Harvard connection. Although, as Marc puts it, “There wasn’t corporate recruiting for entertainment at Harvard,” the school still aided his career path in more abstract ways. “As an English major, understanding storytelling and literature and writing and being a good succinct communicator was helpful,” Marc explains. “The interactions with peers and professors were great preparation to work with artists who are really intelligent and have strong opinions. And there’s a curiosity that pervades the Harvard culture that is also really important to success in the entertainment industry. It’s always about thinking around the corner.” 

After his second internship, Marc worked as an assistant for several years, before becoming a creative executive for Denise Di Novi (who, among other things, produced HEATHERS and numerous Tim Burton films, including EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS). Then Marc moved on to 20th Century Fox as an executive, and later he oversaw film development and production for husband-and-wife producing team Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who helped found DreamWorks Films. After such success in film, Marc found a new challenge in television. He started at Amazon Studios when there were just 30 employees, and helped build it into the entertainment powerhouse it is today. His work at Amazon culminated in overseeing all of U.S. and Global TV development. 

While at Amazon, Marc helped push through Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show THE MARVELOUS MRS MAISEL, of which he says he is the proudest. “It was a joyful show that also had a really resonant message,” Marc says. Marc is also particularly proud of OUTER RANGE, a science fiction western, which he calls “incredibly innovative and imaginative and unique”, as well as Barry Jenkins’ excellent adaptation of Colson Whitehead AB '91’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD.  

Throughout his career, Marc has gone back and forth with experience acting as both producer and executive. “I’m back now on the producing side, which means I have fewer projects but I’m more hands-on,” Marc notes. “From his time in the industry, Marc has collected some wisdom that he generously shared: “I’m a firm believer that the best entertainment has some element of risk to it, and has to innovate, and yet you have to make sure you’re offsetting those risks. I’ve learned the importance of taking calculated risks.”

But what makes good television, that’s worth taking those risks, in Marc’s eyes? “I look to answer a few questions,” Marc says. “Why this show now? What is it about a show that has some resonance to the current world that we’re living in? And it doesn’t mean the show has to be issue-oriented. It can purely be escapist, because post-pandemic that’s valuable to audiences.” Marc also asks himself why the creator or filmmaker is the right person to tell that particular story, and why at this point in their career is it the right time to tell it.

Of course, there are also certain skills that make Marc so successful in his work. “Communication is really important– with talent, being able to be direct and succinct and clear in expressing your point of view, but being respectful as well,” Marc explains. “Communication internally, when you have people working under you, being able to communicate a vision, express the needs of the company. Problem solving is also really important because as producer and executive, you’re putting out fires constantly. And conflict resolution is really important. Artists and studios can have really strong, and differing, opinions and sometimes you have to reconcile those.” And the final, most important thing? Marc had just two words to conclude: “Creative passion.” 

Having all of those skills will certainly set one up for success in the industry, but Marc had additional words of advice for those seeking to follow a similar career path. “If there is anything else that you see yourself doing, do that instead,” Marc laughs. “You have to really want a career in entertainment because it is daunting and hard. There is no set career path. As I look at classmates and friends and their journeys, there are much more linear career paths. In entertainment, you could do A and B and never get to C. It will depend on luck, relationships, and being at the right place at the right time. There will be a lot of highs and lows, and oftentimes, the success you have or the feeling of achievement is not always in your control.” So, accept controlling what you can and relinquish trying to control what you cannot. And, above all, make sure you really want it. And in classic English degree fashion, Marc imparted this last piece of advice about development in the entertainment industry: “As equally important as watching movies and watching television shows, is reading great literature.”


Dayna_Wilkinson_headshot.jpgLaura Frustaci ('21) is an NYC-based actor and writer. She recently completed a yearlong Harvard Postgraduate Traveling fellowship in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she wrote her first full-length play. While at Harvard, Laura studied English and performed with the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the HRDC, On Thin Ice, and the American Repertory Theater.

Industry News 

THE MORNING SHOW starring Nestor Carbonell (AB '91) has received a season 3 premiere date on Apple TV+, as well as some first-look photos.

The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio will host the Tony- and Grammy-winning JAGGED LITTLE PILL, directed by Diane Paulus (AB ‘88), this fall.

Variety and Rolling Stone have announced additional speakers and programming for the Truth Seekers Summit presented by Showtime, including R.J. Cutler (AB ‘83).

The original film SHOOTING STARS, based on the book by Buzz Bissinger (Nieman Class of ‘86) became Peacock’s most-watched original film in its first four weeks of availability.

Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir as Bob Marley and Lashana Lynch as Rita Marley, BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE, produced by Jeremy Kleiner (AB '98), explores the Jamaican singer-songwriting legend’s burgeoning success with THE WAILERS. The trailer is out now!

Nata­lie Port­man (AB ‘03) will be honored at the 49th edition of Deauville Amer­i­can Film Fes­ti­val, which will bestow her with its Deau­ville Talent Award!

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, the upcoming Martin Scorsese movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and John Lithgow (AB '67), will be released on October 20.

Two-time Emmy winner Paris Barclay (AB ‘79) is the first Black director to be nominated in the Drama, Comedy and now Limited or Anthology Series or TV Movie Emmy categories with his nomination for MONSTER: THE JEFFREY DAHMER STORY!

Warner Brothers and Max have unveiled a trailer for their new documentary series titled SUPERPOWERED: THE DC STORY, executive produced by David Madden (AB ’76), which will be streaming on Max later this month.

The Hollywood Reporter says that JUSTIFIED: CITY PRIMEVAL, showrun by Michael Dinner (AB ‘78), “carves out new and distinctive terrain for Givens and a fresh, sometimes spectacular supporting cast of characters.”

Congratulations to Nicholas Britell (AB ‘03) on an outstanding THREE Emmy nominations, two for Original Dramatic Score for the series ANDOR and SUCCESSION, and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for ANDOR! 

Neon has recently acquired the rights to Michael Mann’s highly anticipated passion project, FERRARI, starring Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari and Penelope Cruz as his wife, Laura Ferrari. The film is produced by John Lesher (AB ‘88).

Congratulations to BARRY and its co-creator Alec Berg (AB ‘91) on receiving eleven Emmy nominations, including for Outstanding Comedy Series!

In case you missed it, the trailer for WONKA, the origin story of Willy Wonka starring Timothee Chalamet and produced by David Heyman (AB ‘83), has arrived! The film hits theaters December 15.

The first look images from Hulu and Onyx Collective’s upcoming TV series THE OTHER BLACK GIRL, executive produced by Marty Bowen (AB ‘91), have been released.

In on the BARBENHEIMER hype? The two films had the fourth-largest opening weekend in Hollywood history. Jack Cutmore-Scott (AB ‘10) appears in OPPENHEIMER, which The Prague Reporter says “burns through the screen” in its glowing review.

Paramount+ has unveiled a first-look image and October 6 premiere date for horror movie PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES, produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (AB ‘80) and adapted from Stephen King’s self-proclaimed scariest property of all time.

Shock-rock pioneer Alice Cooper has shared a new song, "White Line Frankenstein," a hard-rock jaunt that features a blazing solo from Rage Against the Machine axman Tom Morello (AB ‘86). Listen to the song here.

The trailer for PAINKILLER, Netflix’s upcoming limited series on the U.S. opioid crisis, has been released. Created by Micah Fitzerman-Blue (AB '05) and Noah Harpster, the six-episode series premieres on Netflix on August 10.

The Hollywood Radio and Television Society has elected 12 new board members and six new advisory council members, including David Madden (AB ‘76), Head of Global Entertainment at Wattpad Webtoon Studios.

Premiering on Paramount+ on August 10, LOVE IN TAIPEI tells the story of Ever Wong who is sent to a cultural immersion program in Taipei where she begins a new journey of self-discovery and romance. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen (AB ’99). Watch the trailer here.

New Members' Welcome

Harvardwood warmly welcomes all members who joined the organization last month:

  • Jessica Shand, College, BOS/Campus
  • Anika Khan, HLS, LA
  • Amelia Cossentino, College, NY
  • Jalen Daniels, College, NY
  • Sebastian Reyes, College, LA
  • Aman Kaleem, Graduate School of Design, BOS/Campus
  • Alex Lee, College, NY
  • SeoYoung Ha, College, BOS/Campus
  • Michelle Luo, College, BOS/Campus
  • Jennifer Carriere
  • Caroline Choi, College, BOS/Campus
  • Ana Alcala, Ext., Other International
  • Sharoll Fernandez, GSE, NY
  • Nora Jaenicke, Ext., NY
  • Joseph Bradley, College, BOS/Campus
  • Nitika Khaitan, HLS, BOS/Campus
  • Brandon Paul Agcaoili, Ext., LA
  • Fatima Loeliger, College, NY
  • Imran Ali, HMS, NY
  • Elizabeth Filippouli, Ext., BOS/Campus
  • Scott Reida, Ext., Atlanta
  • Maren Quezada, GSBA, LA
  • Anne Wedner, College, LA

Exclusive Q&A with Eric d'Arbeloff MBA '93 (producer, executive) and Howard Cohen AB '81 (producer, executive)

Join us for a conversation with Eric and Howard here!

Eric d’Arbeloff MBA ‘93 and Howard Cohen AB ‘81 are the Co-Presidents of Roadside Attractions, a specialty film distributor based in L.A. Roadside has released over 150 films in its near 20-year history, with combined box office exceeding $500 million. Their films have garnered numerous Oscar® and other award nominations and wins. Roadside is partially owned by Lionsgate, who distributes Roadside films in aftermarkets such as VOD and television. In 2022, Roadside announced a three-year deal with Hulu for the post-theatrical streaming window on its theatrical releases. Roadside’s recent releases include MOVING ON starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, SOMEWHERE IN QUEENS starring Ray Romano, and the Independent Spirit Award winning EMILY THE CRIMINAL starring Aubrey Plaza. Upcoming releases include RETRIBUTION starring Liam Neeson. Notable releases in recent years include BENEDICTION from director Terence Davies, THE COURIER starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Matteo Garrone’s double Academy Award® nominated PINOCCHIO, Academy Award® winner JUDY, and the number one independent film of summer 2019: THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON. Also in recent times were the highest-grossing independent film of 2018, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, the Spirit Award-nominated BEATRIX AT DINNER, and double Academy Award® winner MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. 

Howard Cohen is the Co-President and Co-Founder of Roadside Attractions, which devises innovative theatrical release strategies for outstanding specialty films. Before running the show with Eric d’Arbeloff at Roadside Attractions, Cohen was also an Executive Producer on Mira Nair’s film VANITY FAIR and was head of the Independent Film Department at United Talent Agency. Cohen’s early career included executive positions at HBO, Paramount, and TNT. Cohen is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), in the Executive Branch. Cohen has a B.A. from Harvard College.

Eric d’Arbeloff is the Co-President of Roadside Attractions. His other credits include TRICK, which premiered in Sundance, LOVELY & AMAZON, which premiered in Telluride; LIFETIME GUARANTEE: PHRANC'S ADVENTURES IN PLASTIC, which premiered at Outfest and is currently available as part of the Masc curation on the Criterion Channel; and ALL IS LOST, which premiered in Cannes. He has a B.A. in Modern Studies from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard.

Q: You’re both producers on the soon-to-be-released film SHORTCOMINGS, Randall Park’s hilarious feature directorial debut based on the graphic novel by Adrian Tomine. What drew you to this film? What are you most excited for audiences to see when it hits theaters?

SHORTCOMINGS is a wonderfully wry and poignant work of literary fiction from author Adrian Tomine that was way ahead of its time when it was originally published, and named a New York Times Notable Book, in 2007. We admired the book’s unflinching honesty and its astute, often hilarious, observations about identity politics, sexual mores, and the impact of racial representation in pop culture. We felt like the broader culture has caught up to it, and we immediately saw its potential as a feature when our head of development, Ryan Paine, presented it to us. Like many of our favorite independent features, it’s told from a perspective that we hadn’t seen on screen before.

Adrian wrote the script for the film, and he and Randall Park worked closely together to update SHORTCOMINGS’ story and setting to the present day. We’re excited for audiences to get to know Randall as a director and for audiences to experience this story and get to know Adrian’s razor-sharp comedy and writing voice, since this is his first produced screenplay! Likewise, we’re excited for audiences to see our phenomenal, funny cast in action.

Q: We’re in a really exciting era of increased representation in Hollywood, specifically with regard to Asian American representation (with last month’s release of JOY RIDE in particular and LOVE IN TAIPEI coming out this month). What can you say about where this film fits within the current industry landscape?

Asian Americans have historically been underrepresented in Hollywood, on camera as well as behind the camera. This has been true even in the independent film sector, though were both old enough to remember the defining impact of Wayne Wang’s early films. While it’s exciting that the past few years have brought an upsurge in Asian-American representation in Hollywood, it’s also frustrating that it’s taken so long for this to happen. Thanks to decades of work by the Asian-American Hollywood community, there’s now a proven track record for a variety of commercial films with Asian characters. But we’ve seen fewer stories that feature flawed, funny, and complex Asian-American characters like our leads, Ben, Alice, and Miko. Our hope is that filmgoers will agree that our creative team has made a film that both leans into Asian-American identity and transcends it. Romantic confusion and the journey toward self-discovery are universal human experiences. They are themes explored in many of the films we love, and in particular, films we love to see with other filmgoers in a movie theater!

Q: Your company, Roadside Attractions, has released a lot of very unique, engaging, and acclaimed films, including THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, JUDY, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, and WINTER’S BONE. What do you look for in films when you’re considering becoming attached to them? What really makes you feel like a film is going to be successful?

We try to approach every movie on its own terms, i.e. does it succeed in what we judge to be its intentions? And then we ask how it affects us personally: Is it memorable, moving, and/or funny? We also try to gauge how we think critics will respond if we’re seeing it in a setting without reviews. If we’re seeing it at a festival where it gets reviewed, we read all the reviews carefully—and ask ourselves not just are they positive reviews—but are they motivating reviews that would get you off your couch and to a theatre? And then we ask ourselves who the audience is in terms of demographic (e.g. age, ethnic group, etc.) and psychographic (e.g. arthouse, commercial) that might actually go to see it in a theatre. Our financial model for movies is still theatrically driven, though we also consider how it might play in home entertainment. We get input from partners to assess that. We go through this exercise on each film, with the goal of seeing both the rewards and the risks. It’s great to stretch for films we love, but we also want to live to fight another day. So it’s a tricky dance between personal passion and business judgment.

Q: Can you talk about your paths to where you are now in the industry? As partners both in work and life, are there challenges or times when you don’t see eye-to-eye creatively? Or do you find yourselves to be very in sync when it comes to creative decisions?

Howard had history as a creative exec at a few companies—HBO, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, and notably running the early indie film dept at UTA in the late ’90s. Eric started in early reality TV and became an indie producer of such notable films as TRICK and LOVELY & AMAZING. We made a decision in the early aughts to join forces and start a company.  There have been challenges here and there being partners in work and personal life but two separate careers had challenges too! We are in sync creatively far more than not, and we’ve learned to politely disagree when we’re not. It’s actually easy because the one who doesn’t like something always says, ‘well if you really love it, even though I don’t, then we should do it,’ and that raises the bar pretty high! We use comps a lot when we assess risk, and every once in a while we drag out the comps that one of us championed that either didn’t work or did work but we didn’t buy. Luckily, we use those sparingly, usually at about 3AM in Sundance!

Q: Eric, you were quoted in a Vanity Fair article a few years ago: “From the very beginning, we really wanted the company to be the antidote to elitist, New York-based entertainment. We wanted to be more populist, to make movies that have what we call a willingness to entertain.” Do you feel like this still rings true for Roadside and your approach?

To some extent the theatrical marketplace has shifted since Eric said that, no question populism has continued to be a North Star for us. We’re not in a position to release tentpoles, so it’s not populist in that way. But we’re interested in films that play different niches out in the world that are not all driven by what happens for indie films in NY and LA and Sundance. Our biggest box office success to date, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, which grossed $83 milllion in 2018, is a film few Hollywood executives have even seen. We’re proud of that, though we love our coastal elite films too!

Q: How did your time at Harvard play a role in your career paths, if any? And what’s the biggest lesson you each learned early on in the industry?

It sounds kind of pat, but Harvard played the biggest roles for both of us in shaping who we are as people: having confidence in our taste, and bolstering our characters in how to deal with the industry and the world. We both still have close friendships formed at Harvard which are indeed priceless. But there have been ironies too: Eric has an MBA, but he learned one of his most valuable business skills, how to create and manage a budget, in the shabby production offices of the Roger Corman Studio in Venice. That’s a reason to bounce around a bit early in your career—you may learn something real-world and useful!

Q: Of course, I have to ask, what piece of advice do you have for aspiring directors/producers/creatives?

In moving forward with any of your content ideas for film, TV, or any other media, think about whether the film or show is something you yourself would pay to see (or go out of your way to make an appointment to watch it at home). It’s such a simple threshold and yet we find people don’t consider this. If the answer is YES I WOULD, ABSOLUTELY, with little hesitation that’s so meaningful. If the answer is very qualified, well, if it were playing within 6 blocks from my apartment at my favorite theatre (or it was fed to me on an app during the credits of another show) and it had over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s cast with my favorite actors…DUMP THAT IDEA NOW. If you’re not totally excited by it at its core you have to assume it will have trouble exciting others. And you might be surprised how powerful it can be to dump an idea or put the brakes on a project. Reason being, you can learn a lot working on someone else’s idea and on someone else’s dime! One of the challenges of being creative and going to a great school is that the expectations get set so high. There are many aspects of entertainment that can lead to a creative and rewarding career. Film is about great teams as much as it is about grand individual statements.

Q: How do you both spend your free time? Any particular media you’ve been enjoying lately?

We have both played tennis (not with each other though)! We have a son who just graduated high school (and going to Harvard, Class of 2027!) so he has been a huge focus for the last 18 years! Eric is on the Board of Film Independent and Howard has sung baritone in the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles since 2002. We are avid theatregoers with a subscription to the Pantages and we travel to Broadway a few times a year. And we pay to see movies in the theatre almost every week. Even during the pandemic, we drove to Orange County when they reopened theatres before LA in June of 2020—we needed our fix.

Q: Finally, which project have you both been most proud of being involved with?

That’s a bit like asking us which one of our children we love the most (luckily we have just one!). What’s fascinating is that our feelings about our films are inextricably bound to our feelings about the process of releasing them. There could be a great poster, a memorable PR moment, or a unique idea from a member of our team that we tried for the first time. If you’ve ever adopted a pet, you know your love blooms from the journey, not just the pedigree.

Meet the Chapter Heads: D.C.

Harvardwood would like to welcome our new D.C. Chapter Head, Joseph A. Farsakh (Harvard Kennedy School) and thank our outgoing D.C. Chapter Head, Dayna Wilkinson (Harvard Business School).

Joseph A. Farsakh serves as a political appointee in the Biden Administration, currently in the United States Department of State. Prior to joining the Biden Administration and the Office of Secretary Blinken, Joseph served as a member of the Biden-Harris 59th Presidential Inauguration Committee. On the Biden-Harris Campaign, Joseph led the Americans Abroad portfolio, and served on the foreign policy working groups, where he focused on Arabian Peninsula affairs. Joseph also contributed to the effort to secure celebrity endorsement to the campaign, working on the intersection of entertainment and politics. Prior to government service, Joseph spent nearly 10 years practicing law at King & Spalding LLP in the law firm’s New York, Riyadh, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi offices, and Snell & Wilmer LLP in the Los Angeles office.

Joseph also worked for a number of business and political organizations in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East. Joseph served as a legal analyst for The Carter Center during periods of transition in key Middle Eastern nations. He also clerked at the California Supreme Court for the Honorable Justice Ming W. Chin. Over the course of his academic career, Joseph served as the Co-Chair of Harvard’s Electoral Politics Professional Interest Council, and Harvard’s Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs Professional Interest Council, as well as Senior Managing Editor of his law school’s Science and Technology Law Journal, and Chair of the International and Comparative Law Society. Joseph, an Orange County, CA native, holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.

From Dayna:

“The creative Force is strong with Harvard alumni (apologies to George Lucas) drawn to D.C. Harvardwood events. Those alumni are would-be & actual memoirists, authors, playwrights, actors and occasionally screenwriters. It was a pleasure to convene them! Early in my tenure, I was delighted to be awarded a HARVY as Harvardwood’s Volunteer of the Year for 'revamping and re-energizing the D.C. chapter' (in the words of Harvardwood’s executive director at the time). Above all, however, I’m proud of having sought out and introduced two emerging writers at a D.C. Harvardwood event: Vinita Mehta and Richard Nguyen. They became a writing team, and their TV pilot script AMERICAN PSYCHE has done well in screenwriting contests (winner of a SAGindie fellowship for the Stowe Story Labs & Retreat; a Tracking Board Top 100 Pilot & Winner of the Mentorship Prize; a HUMANITAS New Voices finalist; a Cinequest Top Ten finalist). Remember Vinita and Richard’s names! Heartfelt thanks to John Wasowicz, who enthusiastically organized and led multiple D.C. Harvardwood events and panels. When we first met at a D.C. Harvardwood writers’ event, he was working on his debut legal mystery; now he’s published six mysteries and the seventh is on its way. Finally, here’s a shout-out to Harvardwood’s pre-pandemic executive directors (Kelley, Dona et al) and other L.A. staff who worked with me to publicize D.C.’s live monthly happy hours, speaker events, local & Broadway theater trips, comedy & fringe festival outings, joint activities with the D.C. Harvard Club and more. All the best to my successor Joseph Farsakh and his team!”

Email the D.C. Chapter Head to get involved!

Harvardwood Co-Presents with TAP-NY: Q&A with Abigail Hing Wen, author of Loveboat, Taipei

Wednesday, August 16th 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET (virtual)

Join Harvardwood and TAP-NY for a virtual Q&A session with Abigail Hing Wen AB '99, author of New York Times bestselling novel Loveboat, Taipei and producer of film LOVE IN TAIPEI! 

Premiering on Paramount+ on August 10, LOVE IN TAIPEI tells the story of Ever Wong who is sent to a cultural immersion program in Taipei where she begins a new journey of self-discovery and romance. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen (AB ’99). Watch the trailer here.

More info HERE!

Harvardwood Beach Day!

Join the Harvardwood team for a family beach day at Santa Monica beach. Plan to meet near Lifeguard Tower 26, with more details to follow. We'll send an updated location day-of the event. This will be a free, family-friendly event for all members of the Harvardwood community.

Can't wait for some fun in the sun!

More info HERE!

Harvardwood Presents - From Cannes to the Oscars: Producing for the Big Screen

Thursday, September 21st 5pm PT (virtual)

Join Harvardwood for a conversation with award winning producers and co-presidents/co-founders of Roadside Attractions Eric d'Arbeloff MBA '93 and Howard Cohen AB '81!

More info HERE!

Last Month at Harvardwood

Last month at Harvardwood we watched and talked to Teresa Hsiao ‘07 and Yalie Cherry Chevapravatdumrong about writing / producing JOY RIDE, gathered for a pool party with our Harvardwood Summer Internship Program participants, and discussed physical production with production manager/1st AD Liz Ryan (AB ’81), script supervisor/producer Jennifer Carriere, production designer/art director Sue Chan (AB ’92), and producer/cinematographer Andrew Sachs (AB ’97)...and much more! 

We also ate a sandwich at Mia's house this month, but these are just some of the many events we had the pleasure of hosting last month at Harvardwood


List of All Upcoming Harvardwood Events Here

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Want to submit your success(es) to Harvardwood HIGHLIGHTS? Do so by posting here

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We work hard to create programming that you, the membership, would like to be engaged with. Please consider joining Harvardwood and becoming an active member of our arts, media, and entertainment community



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