President, Janet Yang Productions
An award-winning Hollywood producer with deep roots in China, Janet Yang has worked with some of the most formidable directors and actors in the world. She came to prominence through her collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun (Warner Bros). That led to a long partnership with multiple Academy Award-winner Oliver Stone—where she served as Executive Producer on the iconic and pioneering The Joy Luck Club (Disney), and as a Producer on the Golden Globe-winning The People vs. Larry Flynt (Columbia Pictures), directed by Milos Forman and starring Woody Harrelson and Ed Norton.
Among her many other credits are: Dark Matter with Meryl Streep and Chinese star Liu Ye, a Sundance award-winning film; The Weight of Water (Lions Gate) with Sean Penn and directed by Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow; Fox’s High Crimes with Morgan Freeman; HBO’s Indictment: The McMartin Trial, for which she won both the Emmy and the Golden Globe for Best Television Movie; a Chinese adaptation of the acclaimed franchise High School Musical created for Disney with partners Shanghai Media Group and Huayi Bros; and cult favorite Shanghai Calling with China Film Group.
Yang has been named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood” by the Hollywood Reporter.
Yang began her career by running the first distribution company to market Chinese films into North America, including works by celebrated directors such as Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou. She was also instrumental in the reintroduction of American cinema to the Chinese marketplace, successfully representing several studios in brokering the first sale of Hollywood movies to China after a decades-long hiatus.
Committed to fostering global understanding and prosperity, Yang has been a long-standing member of the Committee of 100; recently joined the National Committee on US-China Relations; is a board member of the 1990 Institute; is an advisory board member of the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans in Entertainment; and is an advisory board member of Asia Society Southern California (ASSC). Under the auspices of ASSC, she has been a co-chair for several years of the highly regarded US-CHINA FILM SUMMIT.
A voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Yang serves on various committees of its Producers Branch.
She has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Variety, South China Morning Post, and Harper’s Bazaar. Yang has appeared on numerous TV shows such as Good Morning America, been featured in several PBS and NPR shows, as well as interviewed on television throughout China and Asia including CCTV and Beijing TV.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Yang holds a B.A. from Brown University in Chinese studies and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. She is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Southern California.