The Black List Promotes Kate Hagen, Megan Halpern to SVP – The Hollywood Reporter

Two longtime Black List staffers have received elevations that reflect the company’s own growth as a producer of content.

Kate Hagen and Megan Halpern, who have both been with the company since April 2014, are now senior vice presidents. Together, they will shepherd the Black List’s film and TV slate, which includes the upcoming The Silence of Mercy, its third feature following 2019’s Come As You Are and last year’s Breaking News in Yuba County. Hagen and Halpern also will continue to manage the screenwriting platform’s robust array of programs and partnerships (which includes labs with Women in Film and linkups with MGM, Sony Pictures Animation and Warby Parker) as well as the day-to-day operations of its website and online community.

“Kate and Megan’s work and leadership have been vital to the strength and growth of the Black List since they joined the team more than eight years ago,” founder and CEO Franklin Leonard said in a statement. “They are indefatigable, clear-eyed strategic thinkers who never waver from advocating for writers and their work in film, television and theater. Simply put, I’m glad they’re on my team, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build with them in the future.”

After studying film and television at Columbia College Chicago, Hagen started at the Black List as a script reader. In 2018, she penned an essay, “In Search of the Last Great Video Store,” on the Black List’s blog that went viral and spawned a TEDx Talk the following year and an appearance in the documentary The Last Blockbuster a year after that. Also in 2020, the Cincinnati native co-hosted The Black List Podcast, a Luminary Original, alongside Franklin, and she also is a member of the Vidiots Foundation’s advisory council.

Halpern began her career in book publishing and joined the Black List to develop its labs and produce live events. The NYU alumna has overseen the company’s collaborations with Google, Warby Parker, Marriott and Jim Beam and recently led its expansion into theater. Independently from the Black List, she is a producer on Noga Pnueli’s film Deborah, starring Sophia Bush and Deborah Ann Woll, currently in post-production.

The Black List also has installed two managers in newly created roles: Shelby Kovant, an entertainment mentorship program veteran who began her career in ICM Partners’ independent film program, has joined as manager of writer development, while Claire Austin-Kulat has been promoted from coordinator to manager of partnerships and programs. The latter began at the Black List last year to assist with labs and partnerships after art department stints for projects including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and BlacKkKlansman.

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