Jane Rosenthal

 

Co-Founder,
Tribeca Productions and the Tribeca Film Center

There are on-camera stars like Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, and Meryl Streep … and then there’s everyone else who makes film come to life. Jane Rosenthal is a behind-the-scenes entertainment industry A-list superstar. She has distinguished herself as a leading film producer with a roster of both critically and commercially acclaimed films, including one of the highest-grossing comedy franchises of all time, “Meet the Parents” and its sequel, “Meet the Fockers”; box-office sensation “Analyze This” and its sequel, “Analyze That”; the Academy Award-nominated “Wag the Dog”; and critically acclaimed films “Marvin’s Room” and “About a Boy.” Rosenthal’s most recent films include “The Good Shepherd” and “What Just Happened,” which opens in theaters October 3, 2008.

In 2001, Rosenthal, along with partners Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, founded the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11 to heal the community through film. The festival has attracted more than 2 million visitors and generated over $500 million in economic activity since its inception. At the same time, Rosenthal and her partners co-founded the Tribeca Film Institute, where she has served as co-chairman of the board since its founding. The institute, which creates innovative programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote understanding, tolerance, and global awareness, has become an instrumental resource for filmmakers, providing support and funding.

What we learned from Jane: “Artists are the ones who speak the truth in a way politicians can’t; they can speak the truth without worrying about various constituencies. We all need that—to have the artist, to have distinctive voices—in order to have proper balance in life. Without the artist’s voice we are a boring society.”

Shooting for the Stars: A Straight Shot to the Top

“While I was still at NYU I got a part-time internship working for CBS Sports. One thing led to another and in pretty quick succession. I always kept moving. I produced a play called “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” which brought me to the attention of the people I was working with at CBS. Right as I was graduating from NYU they offered me a job in California to do television movies and miniseries. I did that for about five years and went on to work as an executive producer at Disney and Universal. At Disney I worked with Martin Scorsese, who introduced me to DeNiro. That was 20 years ago.”

Getting in the Door: Working for Peanuts Pays Off

“Being a student I was able to work for very low dollars and I was willing to work crazy hours. I was a good bargain.”

Query, the Highest Form of Flattery

“As a student, you have the ability to ask questions and say you want to learn. People are flattered to be asked questions.”

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