Charter Lecture: "Hollywood South"

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Gale Anne Hurd, CEO of Valhalla Entertainment; Will Packer, Emmy-nominated producer; Jeff Stepakoff, executive director, Georgia Film Academy; and Lee Thomas, division director of the film, music and digital entertainment division at the Georgia Department of Economic Development will present “Hollywood South: The New $9.5 Billion Georgia Industry.”

Hurd has produced numerous works of film including “The Walking Dead,” “The Terminator” and “The Incredible Hulk.” She has been awarded numerous honors, including the 2017 Fangoria Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in the horror and science fiction genres as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2011 Hurd became a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and she currently serves as recording secretary for the Producers Guild of America.

Packer has established himself as one of Hollywood’s blockbuster hit makers with eight of his films opening No. 1 at the box office. His work includes the films “Girl Trip,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Ride Along.” He also was the executive producer of the Emmy-nominated “Roots” remake.

Stepakoff has more than 30 years of experience in writing, producing and content creation in the film and television industry. Some of his most notable television and movie works include “The Wonder Years,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Tarzan,” “Flipper” and “Major Dad.” Stepakoff also has written popular video games, is a best-selling novelist, and has worked in research and digital art for entertainment companies.

Thomas, a native of Atlanta and a UGA alumna, served as film division director and location specialist for the Georgia Film and Videotape office, working with movies such as “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Blind Side,” “Footloose,” “Zombieland” and “Fast Five.” She has also worked for the Brooklyn Arts Council.

Sponsored by the Provost’s Office and the Office of Academic Programs