After recently consolidating its original series/specials operation into English-language originals under VP Cindy Holland and non-English-language ones under Bela Bajaria, Netflix continues to streamline its executive ranks with new responsibilities for Lisa Nishimura, VP Original Documentary and Comedy Programming, and Brandon Riegg, VP Unscripted Originals & Acquisitions.
Nishimura, one of Netflix’s best known executives, who is credited with acclaimed documentaries including Icarus, The 13th and The White Helmets as well as hugely popular docuseries Making A Murderer and Wild Wild Country, will become VP Independent Film & Documentary Features. She will oversee independent films, English & non-English documentary features, documentary shorts and limited documentary series (such as Wild Wild Country and Our Planet).
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Nishimura, who in her dual previous role also oversaw comedy specials, reported to VP of Original Series Holland. With a focus on film, she will now report to VP of Original Film Scott Stuber, who runs Netflix’s film group.
Riegg, whose unscripted team has launched such successful Netflix series as Queer Eye, Nailed It! and My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, will continue as VP Unscripted while adding to his portfolio standup/sketch comedy and ongoing documentary series (like Chef’s Table). Riegg, who used to report to Bajaria in her previous role, will now report Holland.
Nishimura will be a key member of Netflix film head Stuber’s senior team. She will oversee documentaries as well as modestly budgeted indie features for the streamer, including romantic comedies and genre films, working alongside Tendo Nagenda, who oversees big-budget movies like the current Triple Frontier, and David Kosse, who is in charge of international films. Netflix’s indie film executives Matt Brodlie and Ian Bricke, who were behind the platform’s recent success with rom-coms like The Kissing Booth, now will report to Nishimura.
Additionally, Nishimura will continue to manage some of her existing projects on the comedy and documentary series side, like Making a Murderer.
“Lisa blazed a trail within Netflix, building our documentary and comedy initiatives, and we’re so lucky to have her expand her role into indie films,” Stuber said. “Lisa joins Matt Brodlie and Ian Bricke, who have built our indie film business over the last several years. Together they will continue to deepen our talent relationships and give diverse and unique storytellers a home to share their films. I’m looking forward to working alongside Lisa, Tendo Nagenda and David Kosse as we grow our film studio.”
This marks a return to indie films for Nishimura who joined Netflix in 2007 as VP Independent Content Acquisition, focusing on the acquisition of independent cinema from around the world, and was one of content bosses Ted Sarandos and Holland’s first hires. Prior to joining Netflix, she served as General Manager at Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures, where she oversaw the production, acquisition and distribution of more than 75 independent, foreign and documentary feature films.
“Lisa’s impeccable vision, taste and style have shaped our original documentary and stand-up comedy initiatives from the beginning, and I know she will continue to flourish in her new role,” Holland said. “I look forward to supporting Brandon and his team as he brings enthusiasm and proven talent to this expanded role, and as they chart the future of non-fiction english language programming for Netflix.”
In his new role, Riegg is taking on Netflix’s comedy teams led by Robbie Praw (stand-up) and Ben Cavey (unscripted comedy – sketch, event). He joined Netflix in 2016 as Director of Alternative Programming, rising to his most recent VP post in 2018.
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