Topic Studios has appointed former HBO Films SVP Maria Zuckerman as its new Executive Vice President, leading overall strategy. Zuckerman’s mandate includes development, financing and production across feature films, documentaries, TV, podcasts and digital programming. She will report to First Look Media & Topic CEO, Michael Bloom, and will be based in the New York headquarters as well as working out of the new Los Angeles office.
The veteran exec joins Topic ahead of the premiere of its The Climb, from director Michael Covino, in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes this month. Topic’s other recent projects include Homunculus, the new cinematic musical podcast from John Cameron Mitchell; and the Netflix sports documentary Losers, from Micky Duzyj.
Zuckerman spent nearly 20 years at HBO, most recently serving as SVP of HBO Films. In that position, she oversaw the development and production of original movies for the network, including more than 30 titles during her tenure, and brought such talent as Richard Curtis, Peter Morgan and David Yates to HBO. Her films earned HBO 92 Emmy nominations, winning 17 times; as well as 22 Golden Globe noms with five wins; and 23 BAFTA nominations along with myriad others.
“Maria is a super smart, creative executive who filmmakers and talent love to work with,” says Bloom. “Combined with her extensive experience at HBO and her impressive background working with established and new voices, we knew she had the right sensibility for us.”
Zuckerman adds, “In three years, Topic has firmly established itself as a unique studio, driven by a passionate spirit and innovative approach to storytelling. I’m thrilled to join at such an exciting time at the company and for the opportunity to further build out their compelling slate across film, television, podcasts and digital.”