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Elise Pearlstein Joins Participant Media as SVP, Documentary Films

Oscar nominated, Emmy-winning producer Elise Pearlstein is joining Participant Media as Senior Vice President, Documentary Films, it was announced today by Participant’s Diane Weyermann, Executive Vice President, Documentary Films. In her new position, Pearlstein will work alongside Weyermann to manage Participant’s slate of feature documentaries from development to release.

Said Weyermann, “Since we first worked with Elise on FOOD, INC., she has been a close and trusted member of the Participant family, and it gives me enormous pleasure to be able to welcome her to the Participant team. Her strong background, coupled with her tremendous intelligence and collaborative style make Elise exactly the right arm I need as we move into our 10th year as a company.

Pearlstein added, “Having had the pleasure of working with Participant on four films, I am honored to join the team, and so excited to work with Diane in this new capacity. There is not a better, more supportive place for documentary filmmakers to create films, with Participant’s outreach team helping to ensure the films have impact.”

Most recently, Pearlstein has served as producer on Participant’s upcoming documentary about women’s rights and the colliding global issues of consumption and population, directed by Academy Award winner Jessica Yu, with whom Pearlstein last collaborated for the Participant’s 2012 documentary, LAST CALL AT THE OASIS, which was released by ATO Pictures and will air on Participant’s new TV network, Pivot, on August 25. Pearlstein also produced Participant’s STATE 194, directed by Dan Setton, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival and had its theatrical run in Los Angeles and New York in May and will air on Pivot December 1. In 2009, with director Robert Kenner, Pearlstein produced Participant’s hit documentary, FOOD, INC., (airing on Pivot November 1) for which she received an Academy Award nomination and two Emmys.

Prior to producing FOOD, INC., Pearlstein produced Jessica Yu’s documentary PROTAGANIST, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by IFC. Pearlstein and Yu also worked together on THE LIVING MUSEUM for HBO, and recently completed THE GUIDE, a documentary short about the Gorongosa National Park Restoration Project in Mozambique.

Other films include the 2006 MILLION DOLLAR RECIPE, a feature-length documentary that Pearlstein directed and produced about changing roles of women as seen through the lens of the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. From 2000 to 2005, with Executive Producer Craig Leake, Pearlstein produced and wrote prime-time documentaries for Tom Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings on subjects ranging from Frito Lay’s campaign to globalize potato chips to reform efforts in public education. Pearlstein also co-produced and co-wrote SMOKE AND MIRRORS: A HISTORY OF DENIAL, a feature documentary about the tobacco industry’s deceptive practices that was short listed for the 2000 Academy Awards.

Elise began her documentary career with a short film about the beloved Los Angeles hot dog stand Pink’s. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and debuted on PBS station KCET.

Participant is a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature film, television, publishing and digital content that inspires social change. Participant's more than 40 films include GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, SYRIANA, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, FOOD, INC., WAITING FOR ‘SUPERMAN’, THE HELP, CONTAGION and LINCOLN. Through its films, social action campaigns, digital network TakePart.com and Pivot, its new television network for Millennials, Participant seeks to entertain, encourage and empower every individual to take action.


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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 100 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 73 Academy Award® nominations and 18 wins, including Best Picture for Green Book and Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.


Participant Media became a Certified B Corporation in 2018. B Corps are a new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.