First Look Media’s Topic Studios has announced the appointments of Alysse Bezahler and Christine Connor, who will take on the Senior Vice President of Production and Vice President of Nonfiction roles, respectively. The new executives, announced Friday, will report directly to Maria Zuckerman, Executive Vice President of Topic Studios.
Bezahler, who comes into the new position following her time at AMC Studios, will oversee all physical production needs for Topic Studios’ content across television, film, podcasts, documentary features and premium nonfiction series. The industry vet will also helm Topic Studio’s dedicated in-house production and postproduction executives and boost the company’s presence in the production community.
“With her sterling bona fides as both an independent producer and studio executive, Alysse’s boots-on-the-ground know-how, problem-solving spirit and proven track record across media position Topic Studios to provide best-in-class support to creators and partners alike,” said Zuckerman.
Connor, as the new VP of nonfiction will manage development, production, investment, and go-to-market strategy for the studio’s documentary series and feature films. The XCCON Production alum will also help create and execute the editorial vision of the nonfiction slate. In the new role, she will also collaborate with the Studio’s TV, film and podcast executives to expand media reach for potential projects.
“Christine’s extensive and lauded experience in the nonfiction space, plus her sharp eye for surprising stories and voices that speak to the zeitgeist, make her the perfect addition to our creative team,” Zuckerman added. “I’m so excited for Topic Studios’ new chapter in Docs under Christine’s leadership, and am thrilled for both of these accomplished executives to join us.”
While SVP, Head of Production at AMC Studios; Bezahler oversaw the production of titles including Killing Eve, Rectify, Brockmire and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Before AMC, Bezahler produced a number of shows including The Sopranos and Elementary, and feature films The Ice Storm and Vanya On 42nd Street.
Connor, after more than a decade showrunning and executive producing various titles, launched XCON Productions in 2010. Under the XCON banner, she created shows including ABC’s Final Witness and the Emmy-winning A Crime to Remember. She also co-created Going Deep with David Rees for National Geographic.
During her time at XCON, Connor has also teamed with Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions, Netflix, BreakThru Films, Eva Longoria Lincoln Square Productions and ABC News. Most recently, Connor consulted for wiip Studios in its documentary and unscripted slate.
Topic Studios more recent projects include Love Fraud, 16 Shots, The Fight (with Magnolia) and Mucho Mucho Amor. Upcoming narrative titles are Kevin Macdonald’s Prisoner 760 and Pablo Larrain’s Spencer. The studio also recently launched the return of the podcast Politically Re-active with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabalu, in partnership with WarnerMedia Podcasts.
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