Speaker Poppy Hanks

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Poppy Hanks

Senior Vice President, Development and Production

MACRO

Poppy Hanks is the Senior Vice President of Development and Production at MACRO, the next generation multi-platform
media company founded by former WME Partner/Agent Charles D. King, where she manages the company’s slate of film
and television projects.

Most recently, Hanks was an executive producer on the MACRO produced and co-financed Academy Nominated Judas and the Black Messiah through Warner Bros. Pictures, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield. Hanks subsequently produced Blast Beat, an energetic, youth-driven, metal-blasting coming of age story that follows two Colombian brothers as they adjust to life in the USA. Co-financed by Sony, the film is directed by Esteban Arango and stars Moises and Mateo Arias, Wilmer Valderrama, Diane Guerrero, and Kali Uchis. She also executive produced Ekwa Msangi’s feature directorial debut Farewell Amor, which, along with Blast Beat, debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hanks also served as a producer for Justin Chon’s Blue Bayou, a heartbreaking story inspired by true events about a Korean adoptee raised in the U.S. who is forced to confront his distant past and what it means for his own future and his family’s when he unexpectedly faces deportation. Justin Chon also stars in the film opposite Oscar®-winner Alicia Vikander. Entertainment One co-financed the film which Focus Features acquired to distribute out of this year’s Cannes Virtual Market.

MACRO’s Really Love, the feature directorial debut for award-winning writer and director Angel Kristi Williams, was executive produced by Hanks and follows the life of a starving artist in gentrifying Washington D.C. who is struggling to find his place in the prestigious art world. Staring Kofi Siriboe and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, the film was awarded Special Jury Recognition for Acting at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Hanks also produced Alan Yang’s Tigertail, which debuted on Netflix. The drama touches on themes of regret, longing, passion, and repression while spanning continents and generations, from 1950’s Taiwan to present-day New York City.

Previously, Hanks executive produced the director Boots Riley-helmed Sorry to Bother You; starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yuen, and Armie Hammer. The film was co-financed by MACRO, made its debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and was released to critical acclaim by Annapurna Pictures in June 2018. She was also an executive producer on both of MACRO’s 2018 Oscar®-nominated films. Mudbound; directed by Dee Rees and starring Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, and Mary J. Blige; premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and was acquired by Netflix in the highest sale of the festival. It received four 2018 Academy Award® nominations. Roman J. Israel, Esq., a legal drama written and directed by Dan Gilroy with Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell starring, was co-financed by MACRO along with Sony Pictures and received an Academy Award® nomination as well.

In addition, Hanks was co-executive producer of MACRO’s first major studio feature Fences, directed by and starring Denzel Washington, along with Viola Davis. The film, distributed by Paramount Pictures and co-financed by MACRO, grossed over $64 million at the box office and received four 2017 Academy Award® nominations. It won a myriad of awards including Davis’ Academy Award® and Golden Globe wins for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and Washington’s first-ever SAG Award—Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture. Her other credits include The Land, which debuted at Sundance in 2016 and was acquired by IFC Films.

On the television side, Hanks executive produced Raising Dion, a 10 episode hour-long, sci-fi, family drama based on commercial and music video director Dennis Liu’s short film about an African American single mother who discovers her young son has multiple, constantly changing abilities. The series was renewed for a second season with MACRO, Liu, and Michael B. Jordan, who will also has a supporting role, producing for Netflix.

Over her 20-year career, she has worked with a wide range of prolific writers and directors. Prior to joining MACRO, Hanks was Senior Vice President for Tyler Perry’s 34th Street Films. Beginning since its inception in 2008, she grew the division and expanded Perry’s brand beyond its traditional borders. During her tenure, she oversaw production on For Colored Girls, starring Thandie Newton and Whoopi Goldberg, and Peeples, starring Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson. She was also part of the team that was instrumental in bringing Precious, starring Gabourey Sidibe, to the big screen after discovering it at Sundance.

Previously, Hanks was Vice President for George Tillman and Bob Teitel’s State Street Pictures. While there, she oversaw development of successful box office standouts Barbershop starring Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer and Michael Ealy, Men of Honor starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr., and Soul Food starring Vanessa L. Williams and Nia Long.

Hanks received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Speaking on: Expanding your audience through the power of diverse storytelling (panel + mixer)

At the Banff Media Festival, we met with Netflix and took a ride up Sulphur Mountain on the gondola. That’s where we made the pitch.
- Naveen Prasad, EVP and GM, Elevation Pictures

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