Media Chat Series – Len Amato
President, HBO Films

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) at AUD hosted a Media Chat Series with Len Amato, president of HBO Films - for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of original HBO Films for the network.
With Amato at the helm since October 2008, HBO Films has garnered numerous awards and accolades. The 2009-2015 awards seasons produced 43 Emmy Awards and 12 Golden Globes for HBO Films overall.
Amato had an engaging and insightful conversation with MBRSC students, professors and the AUD community in attendance. He was joined by Josh Welsh and Jennifer Kushner, President and Director of Artist Development at Film Independent.
On how to become successful, Amato said “Telling a story needs to be a vocation.” He continued to explain that “it is the norm to re-write the story many times over to create an engaging one that draws the audience in and keeps them involved.”
According to Amato a film is written three times: In the script phase, when produced, and when edited. “When writing, you want to be dreaming the story that you are telling.”
“All the stories have been told; people are more looking for authenticity and truth,” he concluded.
About whether films should have a humanitarian mission, Jennifer Kushner, Director of Artist Development at Film Independent said, ”Films are empathy machines… Often when you see things visually, walls fall down.”
Amato joined HBO in March 2007 as senior vice president, HBO Films, continuing his long relationship with the network which began in 1997 in New York when he produced Charles Dutton's directorial debut Iron Jawed Angels, starring Omar Epps and Delroy Lindo, and executive produced Iron Jawed Angels, starring Academy Award winners Hilary Swank and Anjelica Huston in 2004. Amato appeared on the fourth season of the HBO series Project Greenlight.
Prior to joining HBO, Amato was president, Spring Creek Productions. Earlier, Amato was Story Editor for Robert De Niro’s newly formed Tribeca Productions in New York where he worked on such films as Michael Apted’s Thunderheart and Irwin Winkler’s Night in the City. Amato began his film career in New York as a story analyst for various independent producers and studios.
Prior to his career in the film industry, Amato was a musician and actor. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America.  Amato is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2015.