Chris went from studying filmmaking at NYU, to earning production credits on multiple films, to becoming a seasoned expert in film and television deal-making and contract drafting.
Most recently before joining Divergent as CEO, Chris was a Senior Counsel at Netflix. Before that, he was Director of Business Affairs at HBO, Head of Business Affairs and Production at Magnolia Pictures, and Head of Business Affairs at HDNet Films. Chris also worked in the business affairs department at ITV, the UK's largest commercial television broadcaster.
He has a high level of expertise and experience in negotiating, drafting and otherwise handling all commercial and business affairs aspects of the US, UK and international television and film industries, including development, financing, acquisition, production, distribution and operational.
Writer-director Katherine Dieckmann’s career has spanned filmmaking, journalism and teaching. Her track record is that of an accomplished film director and writer, Creative Advisor at Sundance, and Associate Professor at the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program. Katherine’s most recent feature film is STRANGE WEATHER (2016), starring Holly Hunter and Carrie Coon, which opened theatrically in July 2017 before being distributed worldwide by Netflix. STRANGE WEATHER had its gala premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to play multiple festivals worldwide.
Other films include MOTHERHOOD (2009), starring Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards, which premiered at Sundance; DIGGERS (2007), written by Ken Marino and starring Paul Rudd, Sarah Paulson, Maura Tierney, Lauren Ambrose and Marino; and A GOOD BABY (2000), starring Henry Thomas, David Strathairn, and Cara Seymour.
For over fifteen years, Katherine has taught screenwriting at Columbia University’s School of the Arts Film Program, where she is an Associate Professor. She has also been a Creative Advisor for The Sundance Institute at screenwriting labs in Jordan and Turkey, has twice been a Creative Advisor at Sundance’s New Frontier Digital Storytelling lab, and has helped advise Sundance on the development of online screenwriting curriculum. She has also mentored for the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony and the IFP Narrative Lab.
HEAD OF PRODUCTION
To his role as Head of Production for Divergent, Russell Smith brings experience both as a producer (current CEO of Convergent Media) and as an entertainment lawyer (current partner at SmithDehn and former partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz).
Russell’s recent executive producer credits include BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB ADIÓS (also executive produced by Wim Wenders and directed by Lucy Walker, which was released on 80 screens in over 50 U.S. cities in May 2017), GUANTÁNAMO DIARY (upcoming, produced by Benedict Cumberbatch), and SAY HER NAME (upcoming, with producer Bill Horberg, director Leena Ladav, and Oscar-nominated writer Scott Smith).