Producers Mollye Asher (“The Rider”), Mynette Louie (“The Tale”) and Derek Nguyen (director of “The Housemaid”) announced the launch of a new production company on Tuesday called The Population.
The group will focus on producing film and TV projects by or about women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community and other underrepresented groups. Producer Mary Jane Skalski will serve as senior advisor to The Population.
The Population will also premiere the film “I Carry You With Me (Te Llevo Conmigo)” by director Heidi Ewing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is in post-production on Josef Kubota Wladyka’s “Catch the Fair One.” The Population also has several other projects in development including a feminist horror film based on a true survival story in Mexico and a true-crime series set among the Asian American and working-class communities in Detroit.
This past Saturday, Asher won the Producers Award from the Film Independent Spirit Awards along with an unrestricted grant of $25,000. Together, however, the three producers have worked with more than 75 directors and thirty feature films that have played at Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto and Venice.
“Our hope with The Population is to help build a more equitable film and television industry,” Louie said in a statement. “While so many companies seem to regard ‘diversity’ as the latest trend to capitalize on, Mollye, Derek, and I have been telling these kinds of stories for our entire careers. As members of underrepresented groups, and coming from working-class families as well, we’ve noticed how fortune favors the privileged in our industry. So we decided to gather the collective experience and connections we’ve built to keep enabling stories by or about people from marginalized groups. Our goal is to change the status quo of who gets to make movies, and who gets to ultimately influence society and culture.”
Louie’s credits include Jennifer Fox’s Emmy-nominated “The Tale” starring Laura Dern, which premiered at Sundance and was acquired by HBO. She’s also credited on Aaron Katz’s “Gemini” and Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ “Swallow.” Louie previously ran Gamechanger Films, which helped finance “The Invitation,” “Buster’s Mal Heart” and “Lovesong.”
Asher produced Chloe Zhao’s acclaimed “The Rider” and has also produced “Swallow,” “Fort Tilden,” “She’s Lost Control” and Zhao’s “Songs My Brothers Taught Me.” She’s currently in post-production on “Nomadland” starring Frances McDormand for Fox Searchlight.
Nguyen is the writer and director of “The Housemaid,” which was released by IFC Films in 2018, and he’ll also produce an upcoming American remake of the film currently being written by Geoffrey Fletcher. He’s also producing “Secret Sky” written by Abdi Nazemian and Micah Schraft.