VP of Development, Diversity Division
LaVern Whitt has been named Vice President of Development, Diversity Division at Cinema Libre Studio to focus on building a division that develops and produces content for Film, TV and Streaming platforms. She brings a longstanding track record of strategic networking and project leadership resulting in successful content development and production across multiple media platforms to include music, film, and television for commercial, corporate and government entities.
A native of Baltimore Maryland, LaVern attended Morgan State University and moved to Los Angeles, California to start her career in music, television and film production. Exercising her strength at relationship building, she was instrumental in getting actress Jada Pinkett-Smith started in the industry. She also worked with players such as Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Jamie Foxx, and many others. In 2005, she founded Journey Entertainment, an independent production company specializing in film, television, music and management. Her clients included: Def Jam, Sony, Essence Magazine, Sister 2 Sister Magazine, Chaka Khan, Ray Lewis, GlassRock Entertainment and more.
LaVern has a passion for the art of storytelling. She believes in using every element to bring a vision to the screen. As a seasoned professional, her career has spanned from the typical Hollywood entry level roles to developmental opportunities such as participating in a production training program created by actor Will Smith while working on the film “Hitch”. That opportunity emerged from her work at Overbrook Entertainment, where she worked in various roles over four years on the show “All of Us”. The experience she gained prepared her with the skills to take on the challenge of producing projects independently from conception to post production, including planning, obtaining budgets, investor relations, developing, writing, shooting, editing, music scoring, sound effects, titling along with marketing, advertising, and distribution.
More recently, she completed a director shadowing program that allowed her the opportunity to shadow the director’s on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” including the infamous Debbie Allen. She also completed a director shadow opportunity on FOX’s hit drama “Empire”, working directly with director Paul McCrane.
As an independent filmmaker, current projects include the recent completion of a short film titled “Prey”, which she executive produced, co- wrote and directed. She has sold 2 scripted drama’s to NBC Universal and continues to create and pitch scripted shows, romantic comedies, docu-series, sit-coms, documentaries, feature films and digital content for streaming services.
Cinema Libre Studios is committed to the goal of bridging the gap for marginalized groups in the media industry. By helping to make the reach of inclusion more accessible, the diversity division will develop projects from diverse creators.
In her position as Vice President of Development, Diversity Division, LaVern’s focus is to feature a lineup of film, television and digital projects from diverse creators who are a colorful coalition of African American, LBGTQ, Asian, Latino, and multi-generational individuals of varying abilities. She states: “All consumers want to see themselves reflected in media. Expanding the opportunities for diverse storytellers to be heard, will help to expand the intercultural landscape and ensure that all perspectives are heard”.