The division will concentrate exclusively on underrepresented voices and authentic storytelling in film with a focus on developing, producing and acquiring feature films that amplify underserved voices, both in front of and behind the camera. The announcement was made jointly by Michael De Luca, MGM’s Film Group Chairman and Pam Abdy, MGM’s Film Group President.
Said Mayo, “We are at an exciting and critical tipping point in our industry. For years many filmmakers and creators who have been considered and treated as outsiders have nonetheless persisted in creating visionary films that drew audiences across the globe and defined culture. Many of these films and filmmakers inspired me to pursue storytelling as a career, and to work towards creating a more equitable environment for all creators,” said Mayo. I am thrilled to work in partnership with Kevin, Mike and Pam to continue Orion’s legacy and create a home that embraces and furthers the seismic shift happening in entertainment and culture, and to back filmmakers and content that authentically reflect the world in which we live.”
Mayo will oversee Orion’s day-to-day operations, including development, acquisitions, physical and post production, while also working closely with the marketing and publicity team at MGM, and the studio’s distribution partners, on the release strategy and the social impact campaign activation for each film. MGM will handle global distribution, with United Artists Releasing marketing and distributing films under the Orion Pictures label in the U.S. as part of the studio’s joint theatrical distribution venture.
Said De Luca and Abdy, “We believe deeply in creating content that reflects our global communities and we are thrilled that Alana will be heading up the newly relaunched Orion Pictures label to elevate and empower the many voices whose stories deserve to be told. As a company dedicated to entertaining audiences across the world, MGM is committed to increasing access for all people of color, women, the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with disabilities and other historically marginalized groups as a moral and business imperative.”
Said Kevin Ulrich, MGM’s Chairman of the Board, “It was essential that we find an exceptional executive who will be a leader at the forefront of change in our industry. Alana’s incredible vision, experience, and passion, along with her fearlessness makes her the ideal choice for Orion. As we continue to build upon MGM’s strong legacy and foundation as a leading entertainment company, we look forward to the legacy that Alana will create as she brings vital new voices in storytelling to life. Under the strong, visionary stewardship of Film Chairman Michael De Luca and President Pam Abdy, and with the addition of Alana to lead Orion, MGM’s film group is poised to make a lasting impact as we head into the studio’s next century.”
Mayo most recently served as Head of Production and Development for Michael B. Jordan’s studio Outlier Society. There she oversaw the company’s slate of films via Warner Bros. and TV series via Amazon Studios. During her tenure, she worked on Just Mercy, and Paramount’s Without Remorse in addition to developing the feature adaptation of the fantasy novel Black Leopard; Red Wold by author Marlon James; as well as an untitled original monster movie from Kong: Skull Island filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts; and a WWII action drama The LIberators.
She also co-produced the Emmy-nominated HBO Films adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 which earned Jordan a Producers Guild Award; 61 Street for AMC; the OWN drama series David Makes Man from Oscar-winning Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney; Raising Dion, which was one of Netflix’s most-streamed shows of 2019; the comedy feature Fashionably Black written by Emmy nominated writer Robin Thede and Christa Gatewood at HBO Max; and the series Friday Black, created by critically-acclaimed writer Nana Adjei-Brenyah.
Previously, Mayo served as Vice President of Production at Paramount Pictures, where she worked on films including A Quiet Place, Annihilation, and the Oscar winning Fences and The Big Short, Oscar Best Picture nominee Selma, as well as 13 Hours.
Following her time at Paramount, Mayo worked with Vimeo as the company’s VP and head of original development. In her role, Mayo helped strategize the creation of the video-streaming service’s SVOD platform with scripted, original television content. She is a Columbia University grad with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Studies.