PIONEERS

Megan Ellison

Megan Ellison TIME 100
Illustration by Michael Hoeweler for TIME

Hollywood's powerful wunderkind

The Italian Renaissance flourished because patrons like the Medici family sponsored artists and valued their craft. Today the film industry has been blessed with a modern version of the Medicis — a single benefactor who has the utmost respect for cinema: Megan Ellison.

I first met Megan on the set of Lawless in 2011 and quickly discovered her love of cinema. Her Annapurna Pictures produces daringly original films driven by visionaries, including Zero Dark Thirty, True Grit, The Master, American Hustle and Her. They have earned a total of 35 Academy Award nominations, and she is the first female producer to earn two Best Picture nominations in the same year. Oh, and she’s only 28.

Megan is not only changing the direction our industry is going in, she’s also enriching our culture. Where would we be without Lorenzo the Magnificent supporting Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo? I’m glad that we’ll never have to know.

Chastain is an Academy Award–nominated actress

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