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Lisa Nishimura        

Vice President, Independent Films and Documentary Features, Netflix

Lisa Nishimura serves as Vice President, Original Documentary and Comedy Programming at Netflix. In her role, she is responsible for building and overseeing the slate of original documentary films and series as well as stand-up comedy specials, available to Netflix’s 87 million viewers around the world. She launched Netflix’s original documentary programming initiative in 2013, which has since launched 19 documentary features, five documentary series, and two documentary shorts.

The body of work under her tenure represents a wide range of substantive and globally-minded content – from Ava DuVernay’s 13TH, chronicling the history of racial inequity and mass incarceration in the United States; Werner Herzog’s Into The Inferno, a global journey exploring some of the world’s most mythical volcanoes; The Ivory Game, an urgent undercover investigation of the dark and sinister underbelly of ivory trafficking; Amanda Knox, a look at the notorious case that made headlines around the world; Audrie & Daisy, an examination of two teen assault cases tried in the new public square of shame of social media; as well as four Oscar-nominated documentaries, What Happened Miss Simone?, Liz Garbus’ personal and unflinching look at one of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists; Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, a powerful portrait of the Ukrainian revolution from those who lived through it; The Square, an electrifying fly-on-the-wall chronicle of the Egyptian revolution and the stunningly visceral work of investigative journalism, Virunga. Netflix documentary series include the critically acclaimed multi-Emmy Award winning series Making A Murderer, IDA-winning Last Chance U and Emmy-nominated Chef’s Table, now in its third season.

Nishimura launched the original stand-up comedy initiative in 2013. The recent and upcoming slate of comedy specials also includes an expansive array of diverse voices and comedic styles including Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Ali Wong, Amy Schumer, Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Carr, Bo Burnham, Dana Carvey, Michael Che, Bill Burr, Emmy Award-nominated John Mulaney, Chris Tucker, Jeff Foxworthy & Larry the Cable Guy, Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Gabriel Iglesias, Emmy Award-winning Patton Oswalt and many more.

Nishimura joined Netflix in 2007 as Vice President, Independent Content Acquisition – at the time, a newly created role focusing on the acquisition of independent cinema from around the world. As part of her responsibilities, she licensed content from more than 350 global partners focusing on providing distribution for the best independent, foreign and documentary feature films as well as other programming.

Prior to joining Netflix, she served as General Manager at Chris Blackwell’s Palm Pictures, where she oversaw the production, acquisition and distribution of more than 75 independent, foreign and documentary feature films including You’re Going to Miss Me When I’m Gone (dir. Margaret Brown), Dig! (dir. Ondi Timoner), Gunner Palace (dir. Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein), and The Directors Label Series featuring Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Chris Cunningham, Jonathan Glazer, Mark Romanek & Anton Corbijn among many others.

In November 2017, she was one of five leading women in business honored by Girls, Inc. In November 2018, she was honored by New York Women in Film & Television. In 2020, Time magazine identified her as one of the 100 most influential people of the year.


Lisa Nishimura Is on the 2020 TIME 100 List | TIME
A week before my show Salt Fat Acid Heat premiered, I wrote an email to Lisa Nishimura with the subject line, “I love you my long-lost angel sister patron saint.
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