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VFT:LA 11/2014 Event ft. Lauren Shuler Donner, Producer

Mon 24 Nov

Keynote guest bio:

LAUREN SHULER DONNER (PRODUCER) has, in the past three decades, established herself as one of the most successful and versatile producers in Hollywood.  To date, her films have grossed $4 billion worldwide.    
Shuler Donner was bound for success from the beginning, as the first feature film she produced was the smash hit comedy, “Mr. Mom,” one of the top ten grossing films the year.  She then went on to produce “Ladyhawke” starring Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer and “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Pretty in Pink,” both of which created a new phrase in teen lexicon, “Brat Pack”.
 In the early ‘90s, Shuler Donner produced the box office smash hits “Dave” and “Free Willy,” two of the top ten films of 1993.  The critically acclaimed “Dave” was nominated for both an Academy Award® (Best Original Screenplay) and a Golden Globe (Best Picture-Comedy).   She went on to produce “You’ve Got Mail”, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks,  “Any Given Sunday”,  “Radio Flyer”,  “3 Fugitives”,  the sequel to “Free Willy” and “Constantine” with Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz.  As head of The Donners’ Company, she has executive-produced “Volcano,” "Bulworth,” “Just Married”.   Shuler Donner’s other productions include “Timeline” with Paul Walker and Gerard Butler, and “She’s The Man” with Amanda Bynes, and "Hotel For Dogs" starring Emma Roberts.
Shuler Donner also produced “The Secret Life of Bees” for Fox Searchlight, which was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and stars Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo and Paul Bettany.   This film won multiple People’s Choice awards - “Favorite film” and “Best Dramatic Film” among them.  It also won Best Picture from the NAACP Image Awards.
In 2000, Shuler Donner began a new franchise with “X Men” and followed up in 2003 with "X2".   The second film was released by Fox and broke box office records with an opening weekend total of $86 million dollars nationwide.  Not only did the film gross $406 million dollars internationally, it is also the only sequel of 2003 to receive critical acclaim as well.  “X Men: The Last Stand” was released in May, 2006 and a month later it was on its way to the half billion dollar mark worldwide.  
Her most recent films were “Xmen First Class”, fifth in the “Xmen” franchise, which received critical raves, and “The Wolverine”, released July 26, 2013.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" opened on May 23, 2014.
In October 2008, both Shuler Donner and her husband Richard Donner were awarded Stars next to each other on Hollywood Blvd Walk o f Fame.  She and  Richard were also honored by The American Cancer Society in June of 2006, by Lupus L.A. in 2008, They were also awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Ojai film Festival in November of 2008, and honored by the Women’s Guild of Cedar’s Sinai Hospital in 2013. 
She has been recognized for her body of work in 2001 by Premiere magazine with the Producer Icon Award, and was recognized by Daily Variety with a Billion Dollar Producer special issue.  In June 2006, she received the prestigious Crystal Award from Women in Film.   
Shuler Donner is a dedicated philanthropist who thrives on giving back to the community.  She was on the board of directors for Hollygrove Children’s Home until it merged with EMQ in 2006.   She has been on the advisory board of Women in Film, was a long-time member of the advisory board of TreePeople, and is an ex-Board member of Planned Parenthood.  She is serving currently on the advisory board of Lupus LA, has served as the Treasurer for the Producers Guild of America, and is on the executive committee of the Producer’s Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Click here to see photos from the VFT Lauren Shuler Donner event