ARI ELAN LEWIS
TV & Film Development
Get Lifted Film Co.
Ari Elan Lewis grew up in View Park-Windsor Hills, Los Angeles, and has had a zest for storytelling since she unwrapped her Hot Wheels film camera. She currently works in Film/TV Development at Get Lifted Film Co as an Executive Assistant. She holds a Master of Arts in International Film Business from the University of Exeter and the London Film School, which she funded through the U.K. Fulbright Postgraduate Award. Prior to that, she attended undergrad at University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema & Media Studies and Communication. She loves yams, her dog Thor, penny boarding, traveling, and winning.
President of Production
Raised in the suburbs of Atlanta by Nigerian immigrants, Chisom has enjoyed the journey of moving the needle in pop culture. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2015, Chisom has worked in franchise management at DreamWorks Animation and at a boutique management company. However, she found her best creative fit in film development. Last year, she landed her current gig assisting the President of Production, Erin Westerman. She has to anticipate the needs of her boss as well as next steps for every project on the film studio’s slate. Prior to working at Lionsgate, Chisom worked on the trading floor of UBS Bank in London, and as an associate producer in unscripted development at BET. Chisom is an alumna of Princeton University.
Chris Caldwell is an experienced professional having started his career as an investment banker before joining the entertainment industry. Since joining the entertainment industry, Chris has experienced working within both the sell and buy sides, holding positions at both an agency and broadcast network. Chris originally joined CAA as a mailroom clerk and then became an assistant within the agency’s Alternative/Unscripted department. After two fulfilling years at CAA, Chris then joined CBS to work as an assistant to the Head of Alternative Programming. After two more years, Chris was then promoted to his current role of Coordinator.
As a Coordinator, Chris’ responsibilities include working with the Alternative team to manage current programing as well as development projects. Chris joins Los Angeles by way of Southside Chicago and is a proud Howard University alumnus.
Office of the President
Disney Television Studios
Originally from Miami, Florida, Julio graduated with a double major in International Business and Marketing. He started his career working at a boutique talent agency in TV talent. He then moved to ICM Partners where he worked for an agent who had a diverse roster of TV and Motion Picture talent. Realizing he wanted to be closer to content, he joined Touchstone Television (then Fox21) under both development and current programming. Most recently, he came on to work for the President of Disney Television Studios, comprising three studios.
EVP of Creative
Sony Pictures Animation
Micaela Hammond was born in Hollywood but raised in Pasadena, CA. Her love for the arts started in high school when she decided to join the Graphic Design Academy. However, it wasn't until Micaela shadowed an Editor on AMC's THE WALKING DEAD that she decided to pursue a career in the film industry. In college, Micaela balanced her time producing undergraduate, graduate, and professional short films while pursuing a Bachelors degree in Screenwriting. The summer before her Senior year, Micaela worked on the Sundance selected film, HONEY BOY. That same summer, she interned at Disney Junior in their Development/Current Programming Executive office. Micaela graduated from Loyola Marymount.
Shortly after graduation, Micaela worked freelance and co-produced a music video in collaboration with Bad Robot Production Company. Micaela currently works at Sony Pictures Animation as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President of the Creative Department. In her free time, she continues to produce music videos and short films.
Development & Production
Warner Bros., Stage 13
A first-generation Colombian American and alumnus of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Television MFA Film & TV Producing program, Miguel Berg continues to bridge the range of his global life experiences and talents to amplify Latinx and underrepresented voices in entertainment. Over the past decade, his commitment to creating new opportunities have led to him founding his own international film festival that united over 70+ countries worldwide, to also meeting with the President of his native Colombia to generate avenues for economic prosperity within entertainment industries abroad. Eventually his passion would lead him to NBCUniversal as an assistant, covering the span of television execs and departments including Casting, Scripted Drama Development, Movies, Miniseries, and International Co-Productions among others.
In early 2018 he joined Warner Bros. in the unique role as an Administrator for both the WBTV Workshop and then emerging Stage 13; though shortly thereafter would transition solely into the role of Development & Production Administrator, where he currently serves to amplify the next generation of creators and authentic stories. Aspiring excellence, he loves giving back to community organizations like NALIP, Young Storytellers, ALPFA, AEPi and trains regularly as USAT National Qualifying Triathlete on the AT&T WarnerMedia Triathlon / Tri-Life Coaching Team, where he has raised over $1000 annually for CHLA. & Pediatric Cancer Research.
Coordinator & Agent Trainee
Verve Talent & Literary Agency
Born and raised in the Back of the Yards on Chicago's Southwest side, Roberto is a 1st generation Mexican-American who has his sight set on creating an impact within the entertainment industry. A Notre Dame alum and DePaul MFA recipient, Roberto is the first in his family for a number of things, including attaining both a college and advanced degree in addition to being the only member of his family in the "biz" as they say. Growing up, solace was found in either reading books, consuming facts via his after-school tutor aka the TV, or watching sporting events with his sports bar owning father. If there is one thing he would change in his life, it would be to understand the true difference between a public and catholic school education.
Having been born and raised in Mexico City, educated in both Mexico and the United States, fully-fluent in both Spanish and English, Santiago brings a timely multicultural perspective to the industry and is passionate about bridging the gap between US and international audiences. In 2012 he moved to the United States to study Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts majoring in Producing. In his time there he produced multiple shorts that premiered in festivals like Munich Film School Festival, IVY Film Festival, and Riverrun Film Festival. After college he moved to Los Angeles and began working as an assistant to Producers’ Chris Hanada and Tanner Kling at Retrofit Films gaining experience as they produced and developed tv series and feature films in the US. For the past year and a half, Santiago has been working at Stampede Ventures and was recently promoted to coordinator of International Content and IP. Part of his job is to literally bring people together from around the world to tell stories that have never been told before.
Narrative Film Development
Born and raised between Brooklyn and Queens, Sydney Lowe is a creative producer and aspiring creative executive, passionate about bringing inclusive, interesting & untold stories to life in unique and artful ways. Sydney has worked as producer’s assistant to show creator Issa Rae on HBO’s Insecure and as associate producer on Yara Shahidi’s Refinery29 Shatterbox short film, X. Most recently, she is associate producer of A24 & Plan B’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Winner of Sundance’s 2019 Best Director Award, Special Grand Jury Prize for Creative Collaboration, and featured on Barack Obama’s 2019 Favorite Films List), and executive producer of the 2020 HBO APA Visionaries short film Lonely Blue Night (Winner of AFI Fest's 2020 Audience Award). In addition to being a script reader for Sundance's Feature Film Labs and Sesame Street's Writers' Room Fellowship, she is a 2019 Film Independent Project Involve Creative Executive fellow, a 2019 TIMES UP's "Who's In The Room" Mentee, and 2019 WarnerMedia Fellowship Award Winner.
A graduate of Wesleyan University, she currently works in Narrative Film Development and Production at Participant. She usually lives in LA, is currently sheltering in place in Berkeley, but is forever a New Yorker at heart.
Original Series Production
Originally from the Bay Area, Tiffany moved out to LA, starting out as a producer of short form original web series for digital start-ups before transitioning to working in premium scripted TV. She is a former Co-President of JHRTS and founder of GenHBO LA, with a passion for fostering growth and inclusion for the next generation of industry professionals.
NEXT UP LIST
Please join us in celebrating our 2020 cohort! These ten individuals have been working hard to be NEXT UP in the entertainment industry. This list celebrates the diversity we see in the corporate-creative business today.
"We are thrilled to share our 2nd annual NEXT UP list because we truly believe we are shining a light on the best and the brightest of the next generation of BIPOC leaders in Hollywood. It is imperative that we uplift, encourage, and support these young influencers who we believe will help shape and reflect not only the face of what Hollywood will look like, but the content and talent we put forth around the world. Congratulations to everyone!"
- Eric Kim, Executive Liaison to Colour Associates, Colour Entertainment
"We are pleased to recognize the next generation of leaders in the industry. Each one of these rising stars bring with them the promise of great things to come."
- Kelly Edwards, President, Colour Entertainment