2017 Guest Speakers


Janice Williams
Keynote Address

Janice Williams joined financing and production company Groundswell Productions in early 2007 and currently produces and serves as President of Production for the company.

Williams was nominated for an Emmy for producing HBO's CONFIRMATION written by Susannah Grant, directed by Rick Famuyiwa and starring Kerry Washington as Anita Hill and Wendell Pierce as Clarence Thomas.

She recently produced BIRTH OF THE DRAGON which screened at TIFF 2016, written by Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, directed by George Nolfi, and starring Xia Yu, Philip Ng, and Billy Magnussen; LOVE THE COOPERS, directed by Jessie Nelson from the script by Steven Rogers and starring Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde, Ed Helms, June Squibb and Anthony Mackie; and TRUMBO, directed by Jay Roach from the script by John McNamara and starring Bryan Cranston (who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Dalton Trumbo), Diane Lane, John Goodman, Louis CK, and Helen Mirren.

On the television side, Williams is currently producing a new pilot for Showtime (UNTITLED FRANKIE SHAW PROJECT) in addition to the second season of THE MAGICIANS for SyFy based on Lev Grossman’s bestselling book trilogy and CHANCE adapted from the noir thriller by Kem Nunn and starring Hugh Laurie which started airing on Hulu in October 2016. Williams also produced the ABC limited series THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB which aired in 2015.

Other recent productions include THE FINAL GIRLS, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson from the script by Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin; Fox Searchlight’s LOLA VERSUS, directed by Daryl Wein and starring Greta Gerwig; VERY GOOD GIRLS, written and directed by Naomi Foner and starring Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, and Boyd Holbrook; and NIGHTLIGHT, a supernatural thriller by filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods released by Lionsgate in March 2015; and ALL GOOD THINGS, the Andrew Jarecki directed thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst (the true story of which was made into THE JINX, a documentary by Jarecki for HBO.) Williams also oversaw production on APPALOOSA, directed by and starring Ed Harris; MILK, Gus Van Sant’s Harvey Milk biopic starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and James Franco as well as on WIN WIN, THE VISITOR, SMART PEOPLE, and MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH.

Williams began her career in film in 1996 working in the UK for Carnival Films and acclaimed British producer Brian Eastman (Shadowlands). She moved into freelance work in production before moving to New York where she was production manager/supervisor on many films including three Woody Allen films (THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION, HOLLYWOOD ENDING and ANYTHING ELSE), Michel Gondry’s DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY, Lasse Hallstrom’s THE HOAX and James Gray’s WE OWN THE NIGHT.

Williams, born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, moved to London upon graduating from college and started her career in entertainment in the music industry. After 5 years managing record producers and engineers in both London and Los Angeles, she began a seven year association with Mick Jagger managing recording activities for both his solo work and albums for the Rolling Stones, and working with him to found his independent production company, Jagged Films.