EXCLUSIVE: After bringing Searchlight Pictures its strongest limited opening since 2019 Oscar winner Jojo Rabbit with the acclaimed musical comedy Theater Camp, Topic Studios has announced an expansion of its creative ranks with the appointment of Jasmine Daghighian to the newly created role of Vice President of Film.
Daghighian comes to Topic from 500 Blows, the production company of Frankie Shaw and Zach Strauss fka Our Lady Productions, and in her new position will help build out the studio’s slate on the film side, shepherding projects from development through completion. She’ll be based out of the company’s NYC headquarters, reporting to Executive Vice President, Film and Documentary, Ryan Heller.
Topic’s hiring of Daghighian follows its appointment of Jennifer Westin to the role of Senior Vice President, Physical Production. An executive formerly overseeing production management for the Original Independent Film division at Netflix, Westin now oversees production for Topic Studios’ growing slate across feature film, television, podcasts, documentary features and premium nonfiction series. Rounding out Topic’s scripted film team is Remy Love, who was recently promoted to Manager, Film and also reports to Heller.
Daghighian’s introduction to Topic Studios also comes at a big moment for First Look Media’s independent studio, which as previously mentioned, scored one of the biggest limited openings of the year with Theater Camp, a Sundance breakout directed by Nick Lieberman and Molly Gordon that scored $301,220 while playing on just a handful of screens in its first three days. Up next for release by Topic is another acclaimed Sundance title — the romantic dramedy Shortcomings, marking the directorial debut of actor Randall Park. That film, starring Justin H. Min, Sherry Cola and Ally Maki, is out via Sony Pictures Classics on August 4th. Topic also just landed six Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, for its HBO surfing docuseries 100 Foot Wave, which nabbed its first statuette for cinematography last year.
Said Heller of Topic Studios’ VP hire, “Jasmine’s taste and passion for great movies is matched only by her talents, effectiveness and reputation. We could not be happier for her to join us and know she is going to be an essential part of the team.”
Added Daghighian, “I am thrilled to join Topic Studios, a company that so deliberately prioritizes artists and has a proven track record of championing the most compelling projects, with the best in independent film. I’m so grateful to Ryan and the entire company for welcoming me into this ambitious and exciting team.”
During her time as Head of Production and Development at 500 Blows, Daghighian looked to develop series adaptations of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and Judy Blume’s Wifey for Showtime and HBO respectively, also working on the upcoming titles Is This Legal? (Amazon) and I Heard It Was Tough (Netflix). She previously served as Director of Development at Imperative Entertainment, where she worked on projects including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winners The Square and Triangle of Sadness, Mindy Kaling and Nisha Ganatra’s Late Night, and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, which hits theaters this fall following a Cannes bow. Other notable projects with which she’s been involved include A24’s Timothée Chalamet starrer Hot Summer Nights, Luke Gilford’s indie drama National Anthem, which premiered to critical acclaim at SXSW 2023, Clay Tweel’s Out of Omaha and The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash.
Among other upcoming projects from Topic Studios is the pop music melodrama Mother Mary, starring Anne Hathaway and Michaela Coel, which David Lowery is directing for A24.