SFTV Announces First Presidential Fellow, Award-Winning Hollywood Producer Janet Yang

Yang will teach courses in production, development, and the business of entertainment, and will serve as a student mentor and advisor

Peggy Rajski, Oscar-winning filmmaker and dean of LMU’s School of Film and Television (SFTV), is pleased to announce the three-year appointment of renowned film producer Janet Yang as the school’s first Presidential Fellow.

An Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Hollywood producer with deep roots in China, Yang was executive producer of the groundbreaking 1993 film The Joy Luck Club, based on the novel by Amy Tan about the complex relationships between Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters. The film was the first mainstream American feature starring an all-Asian cast.

Yang first rose to prominence through her collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Empire of the Sun. She’s partnered with many of the most formidable directors in the world, including Oliver Stone, Kathryn Bigelow, Milos Foreman, and others. Among her numerous film and TV credits are The People vs. Larry Flynt, Shanghai Calling, Dark Matter, High School Musical: China, and High Crimes. Her firm Janet Yang Productions is currently developing projects with underrepresented voices, including the upcoming animated feature Over the Moon.

A tireless advocate for Asian-American voices within Hollywood and the independent film community, Yang was appointed in May 2019 to the board of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as Governor at Large after serving in a prominent role on a number of Academy committees. She was recently elected to a Board Officer position chairing the Membership and Governance Committee.

Yang’s presence strengthens SFTV’s newly created Creative Producing track, which features coursework in development and the business of entertainment. “I’m thrilled that Janet Yang has joined us,” says Rajski. “Her commitment to creative excellence and her dedication to making the industry more inclusive mirror our own values as a film school. Those values have fueled her successful career and make her an inspiring role model for our students as they learn to master filmmaking and forge their own creative and business endeavors.”

With the support of LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., Dean Rajski established the Presidential Fellow program in 2020 to bring in highly accomplished professionals in media and entertainment to teach, advise, and mentor students through unique learning opportunities.