Speaker Laurie May

Speaker Laurie May


Laurie May

Founder and Co-President

Elevation Pictures Corp.

Laurie May has been in the film business for over twenty years. She is currently Co-Founder and Co-President of Elevation Pictures, a Canadian distribution company launched at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Elevation is one of the largest independent distribution companies in Canada, with titles such as The Imitation Game winning the 2014 TIFF People’s Choice Award and Academy Award for Best Screenplay, ROOM winning the 2015 TIFF People’s Choice Award and Academy Award for Best Actress, and Moonlight winning 2017 Academy Awards including Best Picture.  Elevation is also involved in production, including recent co-productions The Nest released in U.S. by IFC Films and French Exit released by Sony Pictures Classics. 

Prior to Elevation, she was Executive Vice President at Entertainment One, following the purchase of Alliance Films. Laurie had joined Alliance as Executive Vice President when they purchased Maple Pictures in August 2011, and at Alliance worked on acquisitions including Zero Dark Thirty and American Hustle.  Laurie had been Co-President and Co-Founder of Maple Pictures from April 2005 until the sale to Alliance. At Maple she was involved in releases including Academy Award winners Crash, TheHurt Locker and The Cove, and Emmy award winner Mad Men.  

Before founding Maple, Laurie was Senior Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Lionsgate from 1997-2005, where she oversaw legal for production, distribution and corporate matters including the credit facility with JP Morgan and the acquisitions of Trimark Pictures and Artisan Entertainment.  She sat on the board of directors of Lionsgate from 2005-2010. 

Laurie received her law degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, practiced corporate and entertainment law at Oslers and was an adjunct professor of Entertainment and Sports Law at Western Law School. She has acted as a mentor for WIFT and in 2010 was the recipient of the WIFT Outstanding Achievement Award for her accomplishments in the Canadian film industry. In June 2017 she became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Speaking on: Past imperfect, present tense: what’s next for Canadian Film

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