Effie Brown speaking on Leadership
Effie Brown: Award-winning Producer

Diversity is necessary everywhere. It is especially important in media because representation matters so much. It’s valuable for people to see themselves and their stories reflected back at them from the screen. There are certain producers and creators we can thank for making it their mission to show diverse stories and voices through every possible lens.

Effie Brown is an LA-based award-winning producer. Brown received a degree in Film Production and Theater from Loyola Marymount University before going on to participate in the Film Independent’s Project Involve fellowship. She started her career at Tim Burton Productions as Director of Development.

After producing several feature films there, Brown founded the production company Duly Noted, Inc. So far, it has produced the critically-acclaimed HBO films Stranger Inside, Real Women Have Curves, and Everyday People. Real Women Have Curves won the 2001 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize for Ensemble.

Working in association with Sony Screen Gems and Pathe International, Brown also executive produced In The Cut. Brown’s film Rocket Science, won the Sundance 2007 Grand Jury Prize for Directing. Her latest film Dear White People won the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Effie Brown has been an executive producer for 20 years and has made over 23 films and 200 pieces of digital content, but she still struggles with a leadership role. While creating all of these different films and managing teams of up to 100 people, she realized she never really wanted to be a leader.

Effie Brown

On outsider leadership

When asked how she identifies, her response is often “I identify with the other.”

In this 99U talk, Brown teaches us how to embrace being an outsider in our leadership roles. “I know it may seem like…a bit of a stretch, having an identity crisis or a come-to-Jesus moment when thinking about leadership. But truthfully, it led me to sort of like a weird place.

“I want to do my art, I want to show different types of people in film and TV so that they don’t feel so alone. That’s really all that I want to do,” Brown continues. “Leading, to me, seems like a like a lot of responsibility.”
“If I was asked to identify as a leader I’d say ‘no I’m a producer.’ But that’s a job title of leader,” says Brown. “What do you identify as? – and I had a moment – I identify as an outsider. I identify as a misfit, as a nerd, as a weirdo. And yes I love myself but I holy identify myself as the other. And I tend to gravitate and gather other others to make kick-ass movies about people who don’t get to see themselves in TV and film. So that they can see that they matter, that their stories matter.”

Want more information on Effie Brown? Please visit our website. For booking inquiries on speaking engagements or appearances, please contact us.
For further related speakers on subjects like representation and the media, check out our Top Lists under diversity topics.


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