Harvardwood Suggests... Tales from the Set: Featuring Rachel Watanabe-Batton AB '89 & Mynette Louie AB '97

August 12, 2020 at 11:30am - 1pm
A lively virtual talk spotlighting producers, the unsung heroes of a production, as they share their awesome stories from script to screen.

About this Event

Join Women Independent Producers for TALES FROM THE SET featuring producers Katie Mustard, (Otherhood, Restless City), Lisa Cortés (The Apollo, Precious), and Mynette Louie (Swallow, The Tale). Moderated by Rachel Watanabe-Batton (Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl).

Behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood are the tough-as-nails producers who must pivot in any given situation, even a pandemic, to move their projects forward. In this entertaining educational series, watch as our panelists revisit past production moments that challenged and strengthened their resolve... and discover what it truly means to be a producer.

A Zoom link will be sent in advance to registered participants. Sign-up for this FREE online event, watch the trailer from our previous Tales below, and share with others. Capacity is limited.


Rachel Watanabe-Batton AB '89 founded Contradiction and Struggle to champion global stories that reframe history and culture, and connect cinema, causes and capital. She has produced film, tv and popular culture for over 20 years, working in creative development and physical production. Current projects include documentary Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl with filmmaker Julie Dash, which garnered a 2019 NEH Production Grant; and narrative series 1850 about mixing, migration and a pandemic. Her work has been supported by IFP Week, NEH, NEA, Black Public Media, Ford Foundation and Radcliffe. A longtime advocate of equity and inclusion, Rachel has spearheaded the CultureSHIFT intersectional anti-bias storytelling workshop, inter-guild readings, women’s industry mixers, festival celebrations, diversity summits and strategic creative impact partnerships. She programs and moderates in-depth conversations and screenings, and is represented by P.S. 314 Collective for media consulting. Mayor DeBlasio and NYC MOME Commissioner Lopez honored her with a MADE IN NY Award for her leadership as Producers Guild of America East Vice Chair, Diversity Chair (2008-2018) and co-founder of PGA Women’s Impact Network. Rachel serves as Chair of the Board of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (largest U.S. media access center), and on the NYWIFT Board of Directors, and is a co-founding board member of Women Independent Producers. She earned a B.A. from Harvard University in Visual Environmental Studies and Sociology.

Katie Mustard, named by Variety as one of the Top 10 Producers To Watch in 2014, is one of the leading producers in independent cinema. In 2018, Katie joined Netflix International as a Physical Production Executive leading production of Local Language Originals in Central Eastern Europe & Turkey. Katie graduated with Honors from The University of Southern California where she was the top of her class in the Cinema Critical Studies BA program. In 2004, Katie completed a masters program in International Producing in Israel where she began collaborations with producers from around the world. Katie has worked across continents filming in India, China, Nepal, Bulgaria, Romania, Canada, Turkey, Antarctica, Morocco, France, Italy and the UK. With 19 years of Production expertise and 9 films premiering at Sundance, Katie has an impressive resume of 40 feature films, 20 shorts, 3 feature documentaries, dozens of commercials, 10 TV series for Netflix International, and 2 virtual reality films. In 2014, Katie was selected as one of eight US producers for the TAP International Producing Fellowship and for the past 6 years, Katie has served as a Production Executive to the Venice Biennale Cinema Fund, which grants financing to 3 feature films per year across the globe. She is a member of the DGA, the PGA, Women Independent Producers, IFP and is represented by United Talent Agency. Katie currently lives in Amsterdam with her husband, daughter, and son.

Lisa Cortés is an award-winning film Producer and Director. The film Precious (2009), which she executive produced, received Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for best drama. Marking the acting debut of Gabourey Sidibe, the film was nominated for six Academy Awards® and won two. 2019’s The Apollo, an HBO documentary, explores African American cultural and political history through the story of the legendary Apollo Theater. Her directorial debut, The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion (2019), traces the impact of street fashion and African American creativity on global cultural trends and was recently released on Netflix. Cortés current project, Untitled Voting Rights documentary; co-directed with Liz Garbus and produced with Story Syndicate and Stacey Abrams will be released by Amazon Studios in the Fall of 2020. Her early career as a music executive was launched at the iconic Def Jam label and Rush Artist Management; she also was VP of A&R at Mercury Records, and founded the Loose Cannon label. Her film productions have received over 70 international awards and nominations. Cortés is a member of the Producers Branch of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She serves on the Boards of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, ITVS, Yaddo and the Trajal Harrell Dance Company. She is a graduate of Yale University.

Mynette Louie AB '97 is an Emmy-nominated, multiple Spirit Award-winning producer. Her credits include Heidi Ewing's I CARRY YOU WITH ME (Sundance 2020, Winner of NEXT Innovator and Audience Awards, Sony Pictures Classics), Carlo Mirabella-Davis' SWALLOW (Tribeca 2019, IFC Films, 23 festival awards), Jennifer Fox's THE TALE (Sundance 2018, HBO, Emmy/Golden Globe/Spirit Award nominee), Karyn Kusama's THE INVITATION (SXSW 2015, Drafthouse/Netflix), Martha Stephens’ & Aaron Katz’s LAND HO! (Sundance 2014, Sony Classics, Spirit Award Cassavetes winner), Tze Chun’s CHILDREN OF INVENTION (Sundance 2009), and Andrew Bujalski’s MUTUAL APPRECIATION (SXSW 2006). Mynette is on the Board of Directors for Film Independent and serves as an advisor to the Sundance Institute, SXSW, Tribeca, and IFP. She was named one of Business Insider's "12 Movie Producers at the Top of Their Game to Watch in 2020 and Beyond," Ted Hope's “21 Brave Thinkers of Truly Free Film,” and Indiewire's “100 Filmmakers to Follow on Twitter.” Mynette won the 2013 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award and is a member of the diversity committee in the Producers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A native New Yorker, Mynette graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard, where she studied Chinese literature and film.


Founded in 2016, the collective WOMEN INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS, otherwise known as WIP, is an elite network of women producers based in New York City that supports, collaborates and promotes the work of its members. Our goal is to elevate the careers of our members, end the gender gap in  Hollywood and get more female driven projects financed and distributed.

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