ASPIRE

Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment

 

Peter Samuelson, MA, President

peter.samuelson@aspirelab.org

 

Dr. D. Andy Rice, PhD, ASPIRE Fellow at UCLA

andyrice@ucla.edu

 

The Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment (ASPIRE) partners with universities, community organizations, scholars, and activists to advocate for sustainability and social justice through media-focused teaching and research.  ASPIRE teaches digital media production to undergraduates of all majors to enhance their lifelong capacities to undertake social issue advocacy.

Andrew Kosove

Producer Andrew Kosove is co-CEO and co-founder of Alcon Entertainment, which is one of the longest running independent film finance and production companies in the world. The Los Angeles-based wholly independent company develops, finances, produces and markets theatrical motion pictures exclusively for distribution by Warner Bros.

Kosove ironically became interested in film production while double majoring in economics and politics as a Princeton undergraduate. Although he and college friend Broderick Johnson shared a mutual interest in film and the business of entertainment, neither committed to pursuing a career as filmmakers. Johnson eventually graduated and moved to New York, where he joined a Wall Street brokerage firm. Kosove graduated a couple of years later and intended to enroll in law school when he heard about Richard Kirkland, a basketball player and gangster, and thought his story would make a good movie. Kosove enlisted Johnson and together they spent three years working with a producer on the project. The project was never made, but they ultimately moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking careers.

Soon after, the two were introduced to Federal Express Chairman and Founder Frederick W. Smith. Kosove and Johnson took the opportunity to present Smith with a 221-page proposal suggesting that an independent film company, backed by a well-capitalized individual or company, and aligned with a major studio for an exclusive distribution arrangement would, applying their reasoned methods, reap profits on copyrighted assets over a set period of time. Smith liked what he read, and Alcon Entertainment was launched in 1997.

Over the years, Alcon has financed and produced over 20 films, including both Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films starring Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively and Alexis Bledel; P.S. I Love You, the hit romantic comedy starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and directed by Richard La Gravenese; the critical favorite My Dog Skip; the hit comedy Dude, Where’s My Car? starring Ashton Kutcher; “Insomnia,” starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank and directed by Chris Nolan; and “16 Blocks,” starring Bruce Willis, among others.

In 2009, Kosove produced alongside co-CEO Broderick Johnson, Alcon’s critically acclaimed, box office hit, The Blind Side, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and earned Sandra Bullock the Oscar for Best Actress. The Blind Side has grossed more than $309 million worldwide and broke box office records by being the first film with a female lead to surpass the $200 million mark, earned in its seventh week. Alcon followed up the success of The Blind Side with the hit action thriller “The Book of Eli,” directed by Albert and Allen Hughes and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis. The film grossed more than $157 million in worldwide box office. It was Denzel Washington’s second biggest opening ever.

The Company most recently released Joyful Noise, a music driven comedy starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, which was preceded by the hit family film, Dolphin Tale, starring Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson. Alcon’s next film is Prisoners, a thriller starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, which will be released in September of 2013. Alcon is also working with Ridley Scott on developing a follow up to the iconic science fiction thriller Blade Runner, to which they acquired all-inclusive franchise rights. The filmmakers have not yet revealed whether the theatrical project will be a prequel or sequel to the renowned original. Scott will direct.

Kosove is an accomplished marathon runner and ironman distance triathlete. He lives in Los Angeles and is married to producer Kira Davis, they have two children.