Over 5 years ago, I met my next Blog Feature ✍🏽🌸💕 and what I didn’t know then, that I know now, is the meaning of “Mentorship” Finding that person that lights a fire deep in your soul and learning from them is a game changer. That my friend is what I found in Cindy Cowan. Fast forward to now and after all these years of learning, she has helped catapult me out of a rut into another dimension. She is THE definition of empowerment, best creative mind out there, a Woman of Diversity, an icon in my eyes and so near & dear to my heart💯
Meet Cindy Cowan – Entrepreneur + Producer + Songwriter + Founder of Cindy Cowan Entertainment
From her recent Emmy win for the wonderful documentary Miracle on 42ndStreet to multiple nominations ranging from OscarTM, Emmy, Golden Globe, People’s Choice and the United Nations award, Cindy has founded successful media projects and companies.
In our interview you will see Cindy has definitely not been afraid to get her hands dirty or get out of her comfort zone because she knows what she is capable of!!!! 🎙🥰❤️✍🏽
She has a natural way of making things happen, uses the entrepreneurial spirit that she inherited from her family to keep pressing on and lets nothing stop her! With her years of experience, diversity and credits under her belt, I fell in love her resilience and humble heart❤️ I knew I needed to reach out to her asap (in 2017) to learn from her personally.
Example: how to be a empowered women in a mans world and rock it the way she does!!!
Gorgeous Cindy didn’t hesitate for a moment and was honored for me to interview her and she took me under her wing to share with me the history and precious moments that she had gone through over the years:
Cindy Cowan is a women of determination and drive. She began her career producing and writing for a CBS News affiliate in Miami, Florida. That’s when it all began, and she started blazing the trail in the entertainment industry.
See Link to Cindy’s Website for Full Bio: HERE
After selling her stake in IEG, Cindy started a new production company, Cindy Cowan Entertainment (CCE), and this powerful goddess has continues to blaze the producing trail to make her mark. As time has gone by, you can see there are sooooo many amazing things to celebrate that Cindy has accomplished, she’s a true force of nature, not to mention she’s making the world a better place one charity at a time💎🍾🥂🌟✨
Cindy, I know I tell you all the time and I will continue to, lol
I’m so grateful & thankful for you and admire you tremendously🌸 You’ve been such a great inspiration for me the last 5 years, while going through one of the toughest times of my life (SEPARATION THEN DIVORCE), you have inspired me to pursue multiple opportunities & endeavors that I normally would have waited on until it got less hectic! Also, I have absolutely enjoyed learning from your achievements and your personal journey (from a little girl until now) Love you 😘
📸Photos By: @itstroyjensen
Cindy Cowan: Hair, makeup and picture by Troy Jensen, with Permission from Cowan Entertainment (All other photos are the property of Cindy Cowan Entertainment)
Let’s get inspired in my epic interview with this leading lady🤩💛✨✍🏽
Entrepreneur + Producer + Songwriter + Founder of Cindy Cowan Entertainment
Featured Entrepreneur: Meet Cindy Cowan – Entrepreneur + Producer + Songwriter + Founder of Cindy Cowan Entertainment
Interviewed by: Anna Svetlik De La Rosa
Episode: # 74
MY INTERVIEW WITH CINDY COWAN
Q1: Where did you grow up and what did you want to be growing up?
CC: I grew up in Miami, Florida and yes…I was always a dreamer. I knew I was supposed to do something big, I just wasn’t sure what that would be exactly. I also knew I wanted to do something charitable…something global. I left Florida to pursue a degree in psychology. After graduating, I decided to enter the film business. What I discovered was the film business allowed me to access both worlds.
I am a part of many charities – Grassroots Soccer, which educates young people globally about HIV and ways to prevent it and Children Mending Hearts is a dynamic arts-based enrichment education program that helps empower disadvantaged youth. Since music is a huge part of my life, I sit on the board for Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments to underprivileged youths and I regularly contribute to Music for Relief, a non-profit organization comprised of musicians, music industry professionals, and fans, that are dedicated to providing aid to natural disaster survivors. Having a psychology degree didn’t hurt while navigating this industry.
Q2: When did your interest in the film industry take hold?
CC: My interest in the film industry took hold when I graduated college. After a stint working with abused and fostered children in New Orleans, I came back to Florida and got a job with a CBS TV News affiliate in Miami. We covered a lot of stories from Haitian refugees, to the Miami riots, and the Adam Walsh case.
When I decided to take a break from news, I came out to Los Angeles and learned the business of film – I was hooked. I enjoyed everything about it – from story conception to the final edit. Seeing a concept come to life on the big screen is an amazing process. I feel like I am lucky to be in an industry that I enjoy so much, an industry where I can travel, meet some of the most interesting people, and learn new things every day.
Q3. I love that you empower women all over the world. As a producer how do you stay balanced.
CC: The thing I strive for the most in my business world is balance. Once before, I had a film company that was very successful, we garnered almost every award from Emmy’s, to Golden Globes to Oscars, but I lost myself in the process. I worked tirelessly for 5 years without a single vacation, and started to believe my own self importance: If I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done. My boyfriend at the time came second to my company. The result was that I was very successful, but not very happy. Years later, I retired to become more of a girl again, I just wanted to get back in touch with my feminine side. When I came out of retirement to start my new company, it became mandatory that this go around, my personal life would be first and my business life second. I still work very hard, but weekend are my own and there has to be a time at night when I cut off. Also, I learned how delegate, which is important.
Q4: You were the co-founder of Initial Entertainment Group (IEG), could you tell me about the Oscar-nominated project ‘Traffic’ experience and bringing that story to light.
CC: TRAFFIC was an interesting film. The script had been floating around for years. When I decided to sell my company, I needed a film to raise the profile of IEG. TRAFFIC became the perfect vehicle to do that. We changed the cast that was originally attached, tweaked the budget, and the rest is history.
Q5: What is the mission for Cindy Cowan Entertainment and tell me about some of the projects you are excited about?
CC: After retiring from the business for a number of years, I decided to come back with Cindy Cowan Entertainment. Our mission is to make quality pictures that will have worldwide appeal. With budgets from $2-$20 million, we will concentrate on projects that work overseas such as: elevated horror, thrillers, action films, and biopics with established directors and A-list talent.
One of my projects is a biopic based on Michael Marcum–the first convicted murderer to ever become the warden of a prison. We see it as the new Shawshank Redemption.
Q6: Do you ever feel that you’re a woman in a man’s world running a successful production company. What do you say to that?
CC: The film business is primarily a man’s world, but there is a lot of room for women, too. Although there aren’t many of us, I greatly admire the ones who have navigated this world so far. Doors will open for you if you’re a female in this town. The trick is being able to walk through it and stay in the room. If you know your stuff, come prepared believing in what you’re doing, and are willing to put in the long hours and time, there will be plenty of opportunities to succeed. I enjoy being a female in this industry.
Q7: What are 3 things that you could offer to young filmmaker wanting to start their own journey?
- Study the marketplace and know what kind of films are being made/working.
- Know your audience and how to market your film to that demographic.
- Make sure you are passionate about whatever project you ultimately choose to get involved with. There are many obstacles to getting a film made; your passion and drive will help you see it through.
Q8: You are so talented, I recently found out that you are also a songwriter with some songs topping the charts, tell me about the importance of music in your life?
CC: I love music. If I weren’t in the film business, I would have wanted to become a music executive. Imagine a film without music – you can’t. A great score or an appropriately placed tune can make you smile, weep, or bring back a memory in a matter of minutes.
I love to listen to music in my downtime. I still go to concerts, love watching the Grammys, and frequent classic rock stations. I have huge respect for all musicians. I am the West Coast Chair of Little Kids Rock, a music based charity, which allows me to stay involved in this world. Maybe one day I’ll go back into writing songs. It would certainly be a fun thing to explore.
Q9: What is one thing that you are happy about from your childhood?
CC: I was one of the youngest world champions in American horseback riding. When I was growing up, my family had a hotel in South Florida. They always wanted my sister and I to shine on our own, away from the hotel spotlight. So they decided to sign us up for riding lessons at a very early age.
By the time I was 14, I had already won world champion titles in several competitions including equestrian, three gaited and five gaited horses. I guess this instilled my work ethic and my desire to succeed.
Q10: How do you spend your weekend?
CC: At home entertaining. I am a Southern girl at heart, which means my refrigerator is always full and my bar is always stocked. I love to have people over to watch a movie or just hang out surrounded by good conversation.
Q11: Where do you see yourself personally and professionally in the future?
CC: Personally and professionally I see myself doing exactly what I am doing now. I can honestly say that I love my life. I am in a profession that makes me happy and I am able to be involved with charities that allow me to give back…life is so good, I can’t imagine changing a thing.
Where to Follow Cindy Cowan:
More About Cindy: HERE
Cindy Cowan is an Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated producer who co-founded Initial Entertainment Group (IEG) with Graham King in 1995. It became the leading film production and foreign sales company.
From 1995 till its sale to Splendid Films in 2000, IEG had many successes including: an Emmy nomination for Rent-A-Kid, starring Leslie Nielson; Emmy, Golden Globe and People’s Choice nominations for If These Walls Could Talk, starring Cher, Sissy Spacek, Anne Heche and Demi Moore; and won a United Nations Award for Savior, starring Dennis Quaid. IEG also saw success with its production of Traffic, starring Michael Douglas and Benicio Del Toro; the film won Oscars for directing, adapted screenplay, editing, and best supporting actor. Additional projects produced by Ms. Cowan while at IEG include Very Bad Things, starring Cameron Diaz and Christian Slater; and the Robert Altman-directed Dr. T & the Women, starring Richard Gere, Helen Hunt, Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler.
Since forming her new production company, Cindy Cowan Entertainment, Cowan has produced Scorched, starring Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone, executive produced Fifty Dead Men Walking, starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess; she also produced Red Lights starring Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, and Elizabeth Olsen. Directed by Rodrigo Cortes, Red Lights was the opening night premiere at Sundance, January 2012, and was the highest selling film at that festival. Cowan also finished her first low-budget horror film aimed at the digital marketplace, titled Smiley, which hit theaters on October 12, 2012. The trailer for the film was a viral sensation on release, earning over 34 million views (in comparison, box office smash “The Avengers” has 20 million).
Recent credits include a southern crime thriller, Arkansas, starring Vince Vaughn and Liam Hemsworth as well as the Emmy-winning documentary called Miracle on 42nd Street featuring Alicia Keys, Terrence Howard and Sam Jackson, to name a few, which premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Cowan is also a recipient of the Telly Award for producing a short called,
La Ruta — a story about the perilous immigration journey into the United States.
Currently, Cowan is producing The Untitled ‘NSync Project alongside TriStar and Lance Bass about super-fans who followed ‘NSync in the 2001 Pop Odyssey tour. She has also set up Eye in the Sky with Millennium Films, written by Richard D’Ovidio (The Call). Richard D’Ovidio is also attached to write True Haunting, a true tale of paranormal horror set up at Sony Pictures. Additionally, she is working with Jeff Thomas (Wayward Pines, Blindspot) on an elevated thriller called Expiration Day, and a female-empowerment story about the girl who struck out Babe Ruth starring Abigail Breslin.
Meanwhile, Line of Control, is in development with Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury, Homefront) attached to direct, as well as an inspirational true story entitled Iron Will, written by W. Peter Iliff (Point Break, Patriot Games, Varsity Blues).
Cindy Cowan Entertainment will be undertaking more productions for television, including a historical drama called Ellis Island, a scripted series about immigration during the 1910’s with interest from Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Inside Man, Old Boy) to direct and Executive Produce. Cowan is also venturing into unscripted television with MGM, a show documenting the rebranding of Maxim Magazine to promote women’s empowerment, confidence and self acceptance; as well as a spiritual-travel show called Seekers, searching for all the modalities people around the world stay in the light in a world going dark.
In 2019, Cowan co-founded the Omni-Cultural TV Fest alongside Kiki Melendez, which is the only TV festival backed by NATPE.
When Cowan isn’t hard at work, she sits on the boards of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free instruments and lessons to underserved public schools,World Woman Foundation,which is a global community of women leaders committed to scale and accelerate the impact of one million women and girls by 2030 within long-term investments to expand skills, connections, capacity, and visibility . and Children Mending Hearts, a dynamic arts-based enrichment education program that helps empower disadvantaged youth, building empathy and global citizenry. She also regularly contributes to Music for Relief, a non-profit organization comprised of musicians, music industry professionals, and fans, that are dedicated to providing aid to natural disaster survivors; We Care Solar, a revolutionary solar system that fits in a briefcase, designed to promote safe childbirth in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting and power; and, Grassroots Soccer, a health organization that uses soccer to elevate at-risk youths in developing countries.
Her contributions lead to her receiving the 2018 Woman of The Year Award presented by Women’s Image Network, and in 2019, Cowan was the Humanitarian of the Year Award recipient from the Hollywood Women’s Film Institute.
Cindy Cowan is a graduate of Tulane University, with graduate courses towards a Master’s Degree in Psychology at Harvard. Cowan is also a major equestrian, winning the “World Champion” title more than 5 times in American Saddlebred five-gaited, and equestrian horses.
Cindy Cowan sits on the board of Little Kids Rock, Children Mending Hearts, The World Women Foundation and sits as an advisor to Grass Roots Soccer and Music for Relief.
Memories By Cindy Cowan: