Fremantle’s CEO Jennifer Mullin joins Banff’s Keynote Series lineup

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce that Jennifer Mullin, CEO of Fremantle (pictured above left), is confirmed as a keynote speaker as part of its renowned Summit Series lineup. In addition, BANFF has announced two exclusive ‘In Conversation With’ sessions featuring multi-faceted entertainer, actress, producer, writer, creator and New York Times bestselling author Lilly Singh (The Muppets Mayhem, The Bad Guys, Dollface, Battle of the Generations) as well as the World of Wonder co-founders and EPs behind the Emmy Award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race, Oscar-winning The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Emmy-winning Party Monster and owned-and-operated pioneering streaming service WOW Presents Plus, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. The 44th edition of the Festival will take place in-person June 11 – 14 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

“Each of these incredible individuals have changed the face of the industry in unique and important ways,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival. “Jennifer Mullin no doubt will have us rapt with her vision of what it takes to helm one of the world’s global content powerhouses. Lilly Singh is a Canadian-born superstar, and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate and explore what drives her talents in front of and behind the screen. And it’s just impossible to quantify the good that Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have put into the world via the legendary global juggernaut that is Drag Race and many other productions. They have changed minds and opened hearts and continue to demonstrate that beauty is about authenticity and joy, that love conquers hate, and that despite horrific efforts to the contrary in many places around the globe, the civil rights and human rights of the LGBTQ+ community must be protected.”

BANFF is the international conference and marketplace where new business partnerships are forged and new TV, film and digital media projects are ignited. With delegates from 50+ countries, the Festival attracts the world’s top creators, producers, showrunners, talent, networks, studios, streamers, press and media companies.

As CEO of Fremantle (part of the RTL Group), one of the biggest production companies in the world, Mullin oversees a business that achieved revenues of €2.3 billion ($2.44 billion) in 2022.

Under her leadership as Fremantle’s first American head, the creative powerhouse behind iconic entertainment franchises such as Idol, Got Talent, and Family Feud, has continued expansion of its high-end global drama and film output, producing the likes of Bones and All, My Brilliant Friend, The Responder and Academy-award nominated The Hand of God. The company has also set ambitious plans to continue its growth in the documentary space.

Fremantle has grown its global footprint through strategic M&A activity welcoming companies including Element Pictures, Lux Vide, 72 Films, Wildstar and Eureka to the Group. The company also continues to enter into high-profile creative talent partnerships with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Edward Berger, Paolo Sorrentino and Michael Winterbottom.

Mullin has served as Group CEO since 2018 having been promoted from her senior leadership role as CEO of Fremantle North America.

Before joining Fremantle, she worked as an executive and producer at such companies as Disney, Paramount and Universal.

Named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Hollywood & Entertainment list, Fast Company’s Most Creative People, and as one of the most influential people on the internet by TIME, Lilly Singh (pictured above right) is an award-winning, multi-faceted entertainer, philanthropist, actress, producer, writer, and NYT-Bestselling author. A leading force in popular culture, she has amassed a global audience of nearly 40 million followers across her social media channels.

Up next, Singh is starring as the human lead and first woman of colour to lead a Muppets project in Disney+ upcoming comedy series The Muppets Mayhem. Singh also hosts and serves as executive producer of CTV’s upcoming primetime quiz series BATTLE OF THE GENERATIONS. In 2022, Singh starred in the DreamWorks Animation action-comedy The Bad Guys, which premiered to a global box office of over $230 million. Singh is also a judge on CANADA’S GOT TALENT, that just returned for Season 2. Singh was the only woman to host a late-night show on a broadcast network television in nearly two decades for her show A LITTLE LATE WITH LILLY SINGH. As an author, she has published the #1 New York Times bestseller “How To Be A Bawse: A Guide to Surviving Conquering Life” and “Be a Triangle: How I Went from Being Lost to Getting My Life Into Shape”, which debuted as an instant best-seller in Canada and India.

Singh struck first-look deals with Universal Television Alternative Studio (unscripted) and Blink49 Studios and Bell Media (scripted) with her Unicorn Island Productions banner that she leads with Polly Auritt, highlighting South Asian storytelling. Debuting from the company in 2023 as a YouTube Original series is the animated series, “The Mindful Adventures of Unicorn Island” in partnership with Headspace Studios. She is also attached to star in a Netflix comedy series which she is developing with Kenya Barris’ Khalabo Ink Society.

In addition to her projects under Unicorn Island Productions, Singh launched “Lilly’s Library” to further her mission of spotlighting South Asian stories for everyone, as well as the Unicorn Island Fund – focusing on girls who continue to be systemically undervalued across cultures and geographies and empowering them to live without limits. UNICEF appointed Lilly as one of their Goodwill Ambassadors, where she’s advocated for gender equity in countries around the world since 2017.

She currently resides in Los Angeles and was born and raised in Scarborough, Ont.

For three decades, World of Wonder has introduced audiences to new worlds, talent and ideas; reshaping international pop culture, while earning 30 Emmys and inspiring Oscar®-winning performances. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato first met as film students at NYU film school in the mid-80s before becoming creative and business partners in 1991 when they launched World of Wonder. Since then, they have been behind the Emmy® Award-winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1/Logo) and “Million Dollar Listing” LA & NY (Bravo) franchises, as well as award-winning subversive documentaries.

Together they have produced more than 250 projects and share nearly three dozen credits as co-directors, including award-winning and critically acclaimed films such as “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” inspiring the Oscar-winning scripted film by the same name; “Monica in Black and White”; “Wishful Drinking”; “Inside Deep Throat”; “Party Monster”; “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures”; “Every Brilliant Thing”; and Emmy® Award-winning “Out of Iraq.” Recent projects include “Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes,” based on Ronan Farrow’s explosive Harvey Weinstein investigation, and “Small Town News,” both with HBO.

Working together as directors in both the scripted and unscripted space, the dynamic duo seamlessly creates culture-shifting projects — a vision characterized by an appreciation for the quirky yet tell-tale details that grant access to a greater truth. Fenton and Randy believe that storytelling is not limited to the size of the screen, but rather it is the dimensions of the story that counts. Whether it is a convention (DragCon), a live show in Vegas, a book (ScreenAge) or a line of cocktails and mocktails (House of Love) – World of Wonder’s library inspires people to proudly and authentically live out their dreams, and give a voice to outsiders and marginalized communities.

Fenton and Randy have been honoured for their trailblazing work with the IDA Pioneer Award, Realscreen’s Global 100 list, Variety’s Reality Leaders List, and Variety’s Reality TV Impact Report, as well as the OUT 100. They have also been named by The Hollywood Reporter as the #1 unscripted producers working in the non-fiction space today. Most recently, World of Wonder was ranked #2 among film and TV powerhouses in Fast Company’s World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.