Liza Burnett Fefferman

In her communications role, Fefferman is known for leadership in creative thinking, the way she executes announcements and her success in demonstrating why MTVE brands matter. Outside of this work, Fefferman has been able to fulfill a lifelong passion—starting a documentary film unit. MTV Documentary Films already has received two Oscar nominations and an Emmy. Fefferman also has been instrumental in launching MTVE’s First-Time Directors’ program for BIPOC and women directors. As part of this initiative, 50 original movies will be produced that give rise to multicultural narratives and voices. Fefferman says she is grateful to have “always felt respected, listened to and valued as an integral member of the leadership team.” As for allies, she cites Chris McCarthy, global president & CEO of MTVE, who “deeply values the communications function as an essential part of our business and strategy.”

Do you have an example of male allyship that made a difference to you?
I am grateful to several allies—both women and men—who have provided support, counsel and encouragement throughout my career—from my first boss Dan Klores to Peter and Sam Goldwyn Jr. to Tom Quinn. I have always felt respected, listened to and valued as an integral member of the leadership team/organization. From day one working with Chris McCarthy, Global President and CEO, MTV Entertainment Group, he’s always introduced me as his partner. Chris deeply values the Communications function as an essential part of our business and strategy. Further, he has cultivated an entrepreneurial spirit and has encouraged and enabled me alongside Nina L. Diaz, President of Content and Chief Creative Officer and the indomitable Sheila Nevins—to launch MTV Documentary Films which, in less than three years, has garnered several accolades including two Oscar® nominations, a Peabody Award, two Emmy nominations and an Emmy win. I’m also fortunate to work closely with our COO Keyes Hill-Edgar who has a great appreciation for what we do and has been a constant champion for my team and for me personally.

What one female empowerment book do you think every woman should read?
Sheila Nevins’ “You Don’t Look Your Age”. I am fortunate to both know and work with Sheila for a number of years including these past two, building MTV Documentary Films. Prior to joining MTV Documentary Films, Sheila is credited with having created the genre as head of HBO Documentary Films for three decades. Not only is she a genius with a gifted eye for storytelling – she’s downright hilarious and one of the wittiest, sharpest people I’ve ever met. Her candor and perspective – from being a woman breaking barriers in the film industry to motherhood to ageism – is perfectly captured in her short story collection and relevant to anyone trying to do it all well!

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