On our April 21, 2020, NYWIFT Talks we joined Disney+ showrunner and NYWIFT Board member Kathryn O’Kane for a virtual Zoom conversation. Kathryn discussed the COVID-19 effects on pre-planned productions and what the future holds for her current projects.
The conversation was moderated by NYWIFT Executive Director Cynthia Lopez.
Kathryn O’Kane is currently the showrunner and director of the Disney+ docuseries Parenting Without Borders, which examines how culture shapes parenting around the world and is hosted and executive produced by Jessica Alba. Kathryn was also the showrunner of the James Beard award-winning Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, a four-part travel culinary series on Netflix based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling book of the same name. Kathryn recently directed and produced episodes of Death Row Stories, a true crime documentary series for CNN. Kathryn is a non-fiction director/producer with over 15 years of experience in television, advertising, and web media.
She provides content for clients like ABC, IBM, OWN, Nike, Discovery, and Sundance Channel. Her strength is telling character-driven stories, and she’s crafted narratives as diverse as Mission Juno, documenting NASA’s probe to Jupiter; Talking Dead, the hit show for AMC; and commercial assignments for United Airlines, SAP and Kellogg’s. Having started her career supporting democratic initiatives in Latin America, Kathryn first learned the power of messaging while organizing election observations in the Dominican Republic with President Jimmy Carter. She now seeks to bridge cultural differences through art and storytelling.
Cynthia López is the Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television, an award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where she implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. López is the recipient of many coveted industry awards including: 11 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, three Peabody Awards, DOC NYC’s Leading Light Award, Women e-News’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, and two duPont-Columbia Awards. In addition, she received the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Commitment to Corporate Diversity.
Prior to working as Commissioner, López was Executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series American Documentary | POV, and was involved in the organization’s strategic growth and creative development for 14 years. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work. Notable partnerships include: New York Times, Reuters, Al-Jazeera Network, Discovery Communications, The Moth, Story Corps, Harpo Studios and ABC News, NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel. López is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is proud to have spent her career collaborating with independent filmmakers across all portions of the film and television industry. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center, NYC & Company, Museum of the Moving Image and the Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Latino Public Broadcasting, Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Hunter College IMA Program.
NYWIFT Talks is a new weekly series to bring updated news and vital information about the impact of COVID-19 on the media and entertainment industry. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more.