Diverse Voices in Hollywood 5.27.21

05/27/2021 07:00 PM - 05/28/2021 06:32 PM

*Please note that the event time listed is Eastern Daylight Time*

Franklin jin Rho ’96, TV writer and producer, Milan Chakraborty ’00, head of film at Marginal MediaWorks, and Chitra Sampath ’06, creator and executive producer at Netflix, will discuss diversity in the arts and entertainment industry and the focus on amplifying voices of underrepresented artists and creators. This discussion will be moderated by Professor Francis Tanglao Aguas.

This event is in partnership with the William & Mary Global Film Festival, W&M APIM Alumni, the Asian Centennial at William & Mary, and W&M Alumni Professional Networks.



Franklin jin Rho '96
TV writer / producer

Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Franklin jin Rho was most recently a creator in the Rideback TV Incubator during which he developed (in conjunction with Rideback and MRC) The Beautiful South, a drama centered around an interracial couple adjusting to their new lives in Appalachia. Franklin most recently staffed as an executive story editor on Pachinko, an Apple TV+ limited series based on the bestselling novel by Min Jin Lee. The child of Catholic Korean immigrants, Franklin found refuge from that double dose of guilt via a steady diet of the X-Men, auteur-driven arthouse films, and Ultimate Frisbee. A graduate of William & Mary and the American Film Institute, Franklin’s previous writing credits include The Exorcistand Swamp Thing. As an assistant, Franklin worked on a number of shows including Queen of the SouthThe Assets, and Seven Seconds. Prior to getting his break into television, Franklin was a Film Independent Project Involve directing fellow and CAPE New Writers Fellow. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking, coaching Ultimate frisbee, and playing video games with his daughter.

Milan Chakraborty '00
Head of Film at Marginal MediaWorks

Milan Chakraborty is the Head of Film at Marginal Mediaworks, where he oversees all of the company's efforts in independent, studio and streaming film.  He is a 15 year veteran of the film industry. Milan is a 2000 graduate of W&M and majored in Accounting. After becoming a CPA and an internal auditor, Milan began his career in entertainment at Warner Bros Pictures and New Line Cinema in production finance and accounting where he reviewed budgets from $5-$200M films, and was active globally on the production teams for "Batman Begins" (London); "Dukes of Hazzard" (Baton Rouge, LA); "V for Vendetta" (Berlin); and "History of Violence" (Toronto).  Following Warner Bros, Milan began independently producing and co-financing and since 2008 has produced over 15 features including "My Friend Dahmer," released in November 2017 and “Certified Fresh” by Rotten Tomatoes.  He was also an Executive Producer for Sam Levinson's breakout film, "Assassination Nation," which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; on "Plus One" starring Maya Erskine which won the Audience Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Fest; and "The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain," which won both Audience and Jury Awards at the 2019 Austin Film Festival.  Most recently Milan Executive Produced "The Dark & the Wicked," a genre thriller written and directed by Bryan Bertino ("The Strangers"). 

Marginal MediaWorks is a cross-platform content studio with projects across feature film, series, animation, interactive and audio.  At Marginal, Milan oversees a fast-growing slate of over two dozen feature films in various stages of development and production, with projects across major studios and streamers.  The company was founded in 2018 by Sanjay M Sharma with a focus on genre and popular storytelling from under-represented voices or outsider perspectives.


Chitra Sampath '06
Creator and Executive Producer at Netflix

Chitra Sampath is a Tamil Indian Appalachian American whose writing and producing credits include Truth Be ToldGood Behavior and Southland. She’s an NAACP Image Award nominee and an alumna of the Showrunner’s Training program, Film Independent’s Directing Lab, Fox Writers Intensive and NBC’s Writers on the Verge. As a first generation American, Chitra is drawn to stories of complicated family, femininity, identity, survival and loss. She currently resides on unceded Tongva land in Los Angeles and has television pilots in development at Netflix, Amazon and FX.


Professor Francis Tanglao Aguas

The creative work of Professor Aguas explores the drama in American diversity and the beauty in world theatre traditions steeped in indigenous cultures and folklore. He has been awarded the Don Carlos Palanca Award in Literature, the Philippines most prestigious literary prize for When the Purple SettlesHe collaborated with William & Mary faculty and students to create Ramayana La'ar (Virginia Gazette's Best Play of 2007) and Sitayana: Journey of Womanhood (2013.) As a solo performer, Professor Aguas has performed in the US, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines. His solo work includes The Sarimanok Travels and The Imelda Marcos of the Philippines International Dictator Training Lecture Series. In 2020, Professor Aguas founded Aguas Arts Ink, an arts production company with a view to diversifying imaginations and creative landscapes. As a university administrator, Professor Aguas is the founding director emeritus of Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies at William & Mary and was program director of Africana Studies from 2012 to 2016. He is currently the Coordinator of the Global Studies programs.


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