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Cinematic Arts announces commencement speaker

Stacey Sher and Matthew Weiner

Stacey Sher, longtime ally of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and veteran producer (Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich) will be the commencement speaker at the school’s satellite ceremony next month. Matthew Weiner MFA ’90, executive producer of Mad Men, will receive this year’s Mary Pickford Alumni Award.

“It is particularly gratifying this year to have two SCA alumni the caliber of Stacey Sher and Matt Weiner returning for commencement,” said Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. “Stacey is a stellar example to our students of how to make empowering, entertaining and socially conscious films and television, and as a writer, director and producer, Matt is an inspiration to our students of how an individual voice can redefine the boundaries within the entertainment industry.”

Sher, a two-time Academy Award nominee, recently produced the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained. She and producing partner Michael Shamberg are in postproduction on Runner Runner with Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, as well as on Get a Job, starring Bryan Cranston and Anna Kendrick. The producers are in preproduction on a feature adaptation of A Walk Among Tombstones with Liam Neeson.

Contagion was the third project Sher and Shamberg have done with director Steven Soderbergh, including the Oscar-nominated films Erin Brockovich and Out of Sight.

Sher and Shamberg were honored by the ACLU for their commitment to films that have been empowering, inspirational and thought-provoking. Sher received the Mary Pickford Award from the School of Cinematic Arts in 2002.

Weiner is the creator and executive producer of the award-winning AMC drama Mad Men, which launched its sixth season this month. In addition to winning three Emmys and five WGA Awards for writing on the series, he has received Directors Guild nominations for his work behind the camera.

Weiner is currently in postproduction on the Owen Wilson film You Are Here, which he wrote and directed. He previously served as a writer and executive producer on The Sopranos. He also wrote for The Naked Truth, Becker and Andy Richter Controls the Universe. Weiner made his feature film debut as the writer and director of the indie What Do You Do All Day?

Before coming to USC, Weiner studied philosophy, literature and history at Wesleyan University. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, architect Linda Brettler, and four sons.

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Cinematic Arts announces commencement speaker

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