Lisa Cortés

Lisa Cortés
© DR
Producer, Associate producer
Principal country concerned : Column : Music, Cinema/tv

Lisa Cortés is an Academy Award®-nominated Producer whose producing credits include Precious, The Woodsman, Shadowboxer and Tennessee. Prior to her film career, Cortés worked with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin to launch the iconic Def Jam brand. She was Vice President of Artists and Repertoire at Mercury Records, where she signed and worked with many multi-platinum and Grammy® Award winning artists. She became the first African American woman to have her own label deal at a major record company when she founded and served as President of Loose Cannon Records, a subsidiary of Polygram Records. Cortés launched her own production company, Cortés Films, in 2010 and has several projects now in production including Kwaku Ananse (by Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana) for Focus Features Africa First program and Happy Birthday To A Beautiful Woman by Mickalene Thomas.

Source: Urbanworld Film Fest 2013 (18-22 sept)

Lisa Cortés has been navigating the entertainment industry for more than twenty years. She worked at Def Jam during the hip-hop label's early days in the 80s. She cofounded a company with Russell Simmons that represented music producers. She even started her own record label.

Eventually the Yale graduate turned her talents towards film, officially entering the game as an assistant to director Lee Daniels during the making of Monster's Ball. Since then, her producer credits have included The Woodsman and Shadowboxer. Now, she's traveling around the world promoting her new project, Precious, the emotionally-charged film that she executive produced.



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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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