Founders

lynn-harris-matti-leshem.png

Weimaraner Republic Pictures (WRPCO) was founded by Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem in June 2014 as a film, television, digital and theatrical production company. 

Together, Lynn and Matti have unmatched experience in film, television, marketing, branding and entrepreneurship. Lynn is one of the most successful film executives in the entertainment industry. Over the last 20 years, she has developed and produced films that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and have been nominated for multiple awards including several Academy Awards, BAFTA and Golden Globes. Matti is a television and digital content veteran, and has spent most of his life creating media. From music videos, television and films to internet programming and branded entertainment, Matti has been at the forefront of using media to generate and disseminate breakthrough concepts for the past 20 years.

Last year, Lynn Harris produced THE 5th WAVE for Sony Pictures. Based on the Rick Yancey best-selling novel of the same name, the film stars Chloe Moretz and was directed by J Blakeson (DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED). Produced for $35M, the film grossed $105M worldwide.  Prior to founding WRPCO, Lynn was Executive Vice President, Production at Warner Bros. Pictures where she spent a decade developing and overseeing production of a diverse and highly successful slate of films including the Academy Award nominated box-office smash GRAVITY. Her slate also featured movies such as MAN OF STEEL, MAGIC MIKE, Academy Award nominated EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, CLASH OF THE TITANS, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. Lynn’s reputation as a creative-friendly executive has given her multiple opportunities to work with some of the greatest filmmakers in the world including David Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson, The Wachowski's and Alfonso Cuaron.

Prior to joining Warner Bros., Lynn produced BLADE III and THE NOTEBOOK for New Line Cinema and Executive Produced ABOUT A BOY for Universal. She also served as Executive Vice President, Production at New Line Cinema where she oversaw and was Executive Producer on such films as SEVEN, BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, LIFE AS A HOUSE and the first two movies in the Blade series.

Matti Leshem is also the founder and CEO of the Los Angeles-based brand strategy company Protagonist. The goal of Protagonist is to address the radical change in the advertising industry, in particular the decline of the 30-second commercial and the rise of digital media. In a term coined by Matti as ‘Brand Energy,’ the company creates brand-defining experiences for its partners by utilizing its broad expertise across multiplatform entertainment, technology, culture and advertising. Matti has led a number of high-profile brand experiences for Protagonist’s blue-chip partners including Pepsi, Westfield, Newscorp, Weight Watchers, MySpace, Acxiom, SoBe and Living Proof. He played a key role in developing celebrated campaigns including the ‘Pepsi Refresh Project,’ ‘Pepsi Play for a Billion,’ Mountain Dew’s ‘DEWmocracy,’ Living Proof’s first celebrity campaign with Jennifer Aniston and many more.

Prior to the formation of WRPCO, Matti sold GODS AND KINGS to Warner Bros., based on a treatment he wrote. Steven Spielberg was attached to direct this original telling of the story of Moses, with a script written by acclaimed writers Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. Matti also launched and ran Barry Diller’s WAMI-TV (USA Broadcasting), an experimental television station where he oversaw the creation of more than 40 hours of original programming each week. Other previous endeavors include Anteye.com – a community-driven, Web-based studio committed to changing the traditional development and creative process – and Diplomatic, a multi-faceted production company, where Matti served as an executive producer on ESPN’s 2 MINUTE DRILL, USA Network’s SMUSH, and the A&E documentary series ULTIMATE REALITY.

Lynn graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. She currently serves on the board of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), which raises awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues to ensure a positive impact on the national stage. Lynn also serves as a mentor to high school students through Communities in Schools and is a fundraiser for CityYear.

Matti graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a BA and holds an MFA in Film Directing from the American Film Institute (AFI). Collectively, Lynn and Matti are very active in their community, and recently served as Co-Chairs of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (AFIPO) event, honoring Hans Zimmer in July 2014, raising over $1 million.  Matti serves on the board of the AFIPO.