Meet the new NYWIFT Member: Jennifer Buzzelli

By Sofiya Saykovska

Welcome to NYWIFT, Jennifer Buzzelli!

Jennifer Buzzelli is a New York-based producer, international distributor and co-producer. With involvement in the film industry since the 90s, she is the founder of production house Jimmy B Media. Read more to discover her experience in leading film distribution and about her most recent project, producing the upcoming documentary, Long Live the Tyrant.

NYWIFT Member Jennifer Buzzelli


Describe yourself. Give us your elevator pitch!

I’m a long time international distribution & co production exec, originally from Charleston, SC, and a New Yorker since 1998. I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived and worked in both London and Madrid, experiences that enhanced my personal and professional life immensely. I live in Brooklyn with my husband and 15-year-old daughter.


What attracted you to NYWIFT?

With so much upheaval and uncertainty in our industry these past years, I wanted to connect with a broader group of professional women to exchange ideas, to have interesting and inspiring discussions and, frankly, for moral support, as we ride out these tricky and unpredictable times.


What garnered your interest in co-production and international distribution? Was this a particularly male dominated field?

As luck would have it, my very first job in television was as an assistant in the international distribution division of National Geographic Television. I soon moved into content sales and began to travel internationally, attending trade shows and various film festivals (I was hooked!), eventually relocating to the U.K. to open a London office for NatGeo where I lived for three years.

While there were certainly a lot of women in content sales roles, the percentage of women in leadership roles, at that time in the 90s, was definitely lower than men. However, I’m very happy to say that in 2024, there seems to be a significant increase in the number of women running distribution arms of networks and studios.


NYWIFT Member Jennifer Buzzelli (center)


In your experience, what are the main challenges of airing a show across the world?

The main challenge of airing a show across the world, after the long and tricky process of getting the commission, is to deliver a show that connects to audiences in all of the countries where it’s being seen. Sometimes an international co-production, in the process of appealing to multiple cultures/countries, can get watered down and not resonate particularly well for any audience. But this certainly isn’t the case with the global super hits of late – Game of Thrones, Squid Game, Stranger Things…!


What inspired you to found your production house, Jimmy B Media?

For many years, I was always helping friends with their projects – doing intros, getting them meetings, reading scripts, sharing my knowledge of the international markets, etc. One day my husband asked me, teasingly, “Do you ever get paid for all this work you do?” I explained that I did this happily and without pay or credit as I was earning a decent salary working corporate/network jobs.

However, in 2015 when we moved back to NYC from Madrid, I was having trouble finding a job at the level and salary I was seeking and I saw the writing on the wall in terms of the disruption caused by the streaming wars and the staffing effects of all the mergers and acquisitions.

Regardless, I did not want to leave the industry and begin that ‘second career’ that some friends and colleagues in the industry were contemplating. I’ve had a lifelong passion for film & TV and I did not want to start all over again in another industry. So, I doubled down and decided to make my passion for content and my producing skills more official and Jimmy B Media was born.


Are there any projects you are working on currently?

Yes, I am working on a co-production with Italy and Canada on a one hour documentary Long Live the Tyrant: The Life and Times of Giancarlo DiTrapano. We have secured 40% of the budget and plan to start production in Italy late spring. 


Long Live the Tyrant: The Life and Times of Giancarlo DiTrapano, the upcoming documentary, will explore publisher Giancarlo
DiTrapano’s life through the perspectives of friends and family, revealing his poetic journey from West Virginia to New York City and Italy. The screenplay for the film is crafted by Guia Cortassa, who also co-directs alongside Vittorio Antonacci. It is produced by Jennifer Buzzelli, Giulio D’Antona and Thornton, with the support of the Giancarlo DiTrapano Foundation.


Lastly, what does true happiness mean to you?

True happiness for me is a house full of family, friends, children, music and dogs, enjoying a long, wine fueled meal – hopefully, followed by a film screening!

NYWIFT Member Jennifer Buzzelli


Read more about Long Live the Tyrant: The Life and Times of Giancarlo DiTrapano.


Sofiya Saykovska

Sofiya Saykovska

View all posts by Sofiya Saykovska

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