Diane Weyermann, Participant Media

"Participant Media has given me the opportunity to combine my love for non-fiction with my commitment to inspire social change around critical issues of our time."
January 1, 2011

Participant Media’s EVP of documentary production was dubbed the “Sundance Queen of Documentaries” by the New York Times in early 2010 for her involvement with four docs debuting at the film festival: Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for “Superman,” Alex Gibney’s Casino Jack and the United States of Money, 3D nature doc Cane Toads: The Conquest and Lucy Walker’s Countdown to Zero. Weyermann could also earn the royal title for the fact that she has cultivated award-winning and critically-acclaimed documentaries at Participant Media since joining in 2005, beginning with Guggenheim’s 2006 Academy Award winning film An Inconvenient Truth. Presented by Al Gore, the doc brought the topic of climate change to the masses, with a worldwide gross of almost $50 million. Participant’s doc slate under Weyermann – who works very closely with each filmmaker – also includes Brett Morge’s Chicago 10, Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc., which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary, and Errol Morris’ Standard Operating Procedure. Even prior to joining the social action film company, Weyermann contributed greatly to the documentary genre as the director of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, where she launched the Sundance Documentary Fund and two annual doc film labs.

What would you consider to be some of your top accomplishments?

Participant Media has given me the opportunity to combine my love for non-fiction with my commitment to inspire social change around critical issues of our time. An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., and most recently Waiting for “Superman” are powerful films that have raised awareness and generated significant conversation on climate change, what we eat, and the state of U.S. public education. I feel privileged to be part of the Participant team.

What’s ahead for you in 2011?

We have a couple of films in the final stages of production – one with Jessica Yu and Elise Pearlstein on water quality and scarcity, and the other with Lori Silverbush and Kristy Jacobson on hunger in America. We also have in development a new project with Errol Morris on pandemics; a film focused on peace in the Middle East, and a documentary about Bill Cosby.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.