Jeff Skoll-owned Participant Media has named Jonathan King as President of Narrative Film & Television, and Diane Weyermann as President of Documentary Film & Television. Both have been with Participant for over a decade and will take on newly established roles in key divisions of the company’s expanded content slate.
Weyermann and King report to David Linde, CEO of Participant Media.
“By shepherding inspiring and highly compelling films over the last decade, Diane and Jonathan have played integral roles in shaping Participant into the dynamic company it is today,” Linde said. “We are excited to continue evolving our content business with their expanded scope as we fulfill Participant’s mandate and expand the company’s work around the world and through all media.”
In a joint statement, King and Weyermann added, “We are grateful to all the talented artists who share our belief that films can be both popular and impactful. Participant could not have grown over the years without their trust in us and we are proud to be able to return the favor, especially as we expand into television. Most of all, we appreciate the unwavering leadership and support from Jeff and David for the work we and our colleagues do every day.”
Participant’s upcoming film slate includes the documentary Human Flow from artist, activist, and filmmaker Ai Weiwei, and narrative films including Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder starring Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, and Julia Roberts; Andy Serkis’ Breathe, which premieres at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival; Steven Spielberg’s The Post; the thriller Entebbe from Jose Padilha and Working Title; and Rupert Wyatt’s Captive State.
The company’s expansion into television production will bring two series to audiences in 2018. Under King’s leadership, Participant’s first limited scripted drama series, Central Park Five, directed by Ava DuVernay, will be released through Netflix. Weyermann is working with acclaimed documentarian Steve James on the company’s first unscripted series, America to Me, a year-long look into one of America’s most exemplary and diverse public schools in Chicago’s suburban Oak Park.
King most recently held the title of EVP of Narrative Film at Participant, overseeing the development and production of the company’s narrative feature films, including the 2016 Academy Award Best Picture winner Spotlight, Beasts of No Nation, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deepwater Horizon, and Shot Caller.
In 2012, he launched Participant’s effort into making films in Latin America, which has produced Pablo Larrain’s No and Neruda; Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman; and Alfonso Cuaron’s return to Mexico with Roma. Prior to joining Participant in 2007, King worked as a producer and an executive for Focus Features, Laurence Mark Productions, and Miramax Films. He started his film career in MGM’s New York office, scouting books, theater, and independent films.
Weyermann was promoted from her recent position as EVP of Documentary Film. This year, she oversaw Participant’s upcoming release, Human Flow, which she executive produced, and the recent An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, for which she also served as a producer. She has overseen some of the most seminal documentaries over the last 12 years for Participant including Oscar-winning CITIZENFOUR; the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth; Emmy-winning Food, Inc.; and the Emmy-nominated The Great Invisible, Chicago 10, Pressure Cooker, Page One: Inside the New York Times, and Darfur Now.
Prior to joining Participant in 2005, Weyermann served as the director of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, and before that as the director of Open Society Institute New York’s arts and culture program. In addition to her work with contemporary art centers and culture programs in the Soros Foundation network, she launched the Soros Documentary Fund (which later became the Sundance Documentary Fund) in 1996.