wagner_paula_2017Paula Wagner

Paula Wagner is a film and theatre producer who has worked in the top ranks of the entertainment industry, and began her career as a talent agent at CAA.

Through the production company Cruise/Wagner that she launched with her former CAA client Tom Cruise, Wagner produced many critically acclaimed and financially successful films including Mission: Impossible 1, 2, 3, Without Limits, Shattered Glass, Narc, The Others, Vanilla Sky and The Last Samurai. She has made films all over the world and her production company C/W, was based at Paramount for 12 years.

After 2 years as co-owner and CEO of United Artists Entertainment, LLC from 2006 to 2008, Wagner established her own production company Chestnut Ridge Productions. Most recently she produced the film Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad and Kate Hudson.

Wagner’s Broadway producing credits include The Heiress starring Jessica Chastain and Dan Stevens, Grace starring Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon, and Terrence McNally’s Tony nominated play Mothers and Sons.  She is currently developing Pretty Woman: The Musical for Broadway 2018.

Wagner is a member of the AMPAS and served on the boards of the PGA and Film Forum, and is a Carnegie Mellon alumna and trustee.



Making Art or Making History: Telling True Stories, sponsored by PBS

Life is stranger than fiction – and often more entertaining! Whether scripted or unscripted, documentary or dramatization, finding an unsung story and sharing it with the public is a thrilling experience. While producers are often described as the traffic cop at the intersection of art and commerce, this session will examine the producer’s role at the intersection of storytelling and journalism – bringing true stories to a mass audience. This session will explore issues of rights acquisition, developing a creative team and a consistent, collaborative point-of-view, and the tension between the essential facts of the story and the appeal of creative license and artistic interpretation.

Mentoring Roundtables

For 60 minutes, small groups of up to eight attendees will get to ask questions to, and seek advice from, the mentor of their choice. This is your chance to ask any question about your project to a top producer. Established producers will be scheduled throughout the day conducting the Roundtables. Sorry, NO pitches, just questions! Mentoring Roundtables are available through registration at an additional cost of $100.