Manage episode 282704343 series 2792803
Kevin Arbouet is a writer, director, producer and film executive whose career has been about expanding the idea of what diversity in filmmaking really means. With surprising influences that range from Nora Ephron and Mike Nichols to Bong Joon Ho, he is not only a rising African-American writer/director with a penchant for classic storytelling, but one who is defying stereotyped expectations.
Arbouet always had an eye for talent, so he followed that deep into the industry. He got his start as a modeling agent, then moved into developing the careers of promising new actors, which then led to producing indies. His own filmmaking breakthrough came in a quintessentially 21st Century way: with a viral video that exploded overnight to 100 million views around the world. I“I Got a Crush … On Obama,” featuring the now famed “Obama Girl,” A comedy phenomenon, the video tapped into a cultural moment, with Newsweek naming it a “Top 10 Meme of Decade” and the Webby Awards honoring it with “Top Web Video of the Decade.”
His skill for nurturing exciting artists led to his role Vice President of Lee Daniels Entertainment, where he developed projects for the company behind such award-winning hits as the Oscar®-winning “Monster’s Ball” and the hard-hitting “The Woodsman,” “Precious” and “The Butler.”
Stepping into the borderless art world, he also produced David Michalek’s innovative Portraits in Dramatic Time, a series of 40 short films – each shot in just 10 seconds but played back in intensely reveal slow-mo -- exhibited as part of the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival. The films brought Arbouet together with an all-star cast including Alan Rickman, Holly Hunter, Liev Schreiber, William H. Macy and his brother Michael J. Arbouet.
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