Maria Zuckerman has been promoted to president of Topic Studios, First Look Media announced Wednesday.
Zuckerman joined Topic in May 2019 as EVP and head of Topic Studios and will now continue to report to the company’s CEO, Michael Bloom. She will continue to lead the studio’s creative vision and overall strategy, including development, financing and production across feature films, documentaries, television and podcasts.
“I’m thrilled to recognize Maria’s role in growing Topic Studios with her promotion to President. Maria and her team have built the Studio into a major creative force, giving new and established voices the opportunity to collaborate and produce truly extraordinary work. I know the Studio will continue to thrive under her leadership, and I can’t wait to see what’s next,” Bloom said in a statement.
“It has been thrilling over the past two years to grow Topic Studios’ reach and slate of productions. By working with the most exciting creators and partnering with the most dynamic leaders in our industry, we are demonstrating Topic Studios’ unique full-service capabilities across all our formats, playing diverse roles bespoke to each project,” Zuckerman said. “I’m grateful to our stellar creative team and for the tremendous support of Michael Bloom, as well as our fantastic colleagues across First Look Media. I look forward to sharing so much more to come from Topic Studios.”
Zuckerman has expanded Topic by bringing in creators and collaborators such as Pablo Larraín, Destin Daniel Cretton, Awkwafina, Kevin Macdonald, Chris Smith, Nikyatu Jusu, Adam Leon and Toni Collette. In the podcast division, Zuckerman oversaw “Someday,” which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
The film division, meanwhile, has been behind “The Mauritanian,” the upcoming “Spencer” with Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana and the psychological horror film “Nanny.” Currently in production is a film starring Awkwafina about the influence of Chinatown restaurants on the California punk scene, as well as Toni Collette’s directorial debut “Writers & Lovers,” adapted from Lily King’s novel.
On the TV side, Zuckerman has been behind an untitled Vincent Chin project from Destin Daniel Cretton for Amazon, the thriller “Savannah” from Tracy Oliver, also for Amazon, and the English-language adaptation of the Israeli comedy “Nehama.” Topic has also been active with non-fiction stories, including the docuseries “100 Foot Wave” that recently debuted on HBO and HBO Max, the Leonard Bernstein documentary “Bernstein’s Wall” and Lucy Walker’s Sundance film “Bring Your Own Brigade,” which hits theaters Aug. 6 and Paramount+ and CBSN Aug. 20.
Additionally, Zuckerman set first-look deals with The Population, the independent production company formed by producers Mynette Louie, Mollye Asher and Derek Nguyen. Topic recently partnered with Carly Hugo and Matt Parker’s Loveless for scripted and unscripted projects, and the studio recently extended its first-look deal with Mike Covino and Kyle Marvin’s Watch This Ready production company.
Zuckerman joined Topic Studios in 2019 after nearly 20 years at HBO, where she served as senior vice president for HBO Films. Her films earned HBO 95 Emmy nominations and 17 wins during her time at the company.