Walden Media specializes in entertainment for the whole family, creating movies, books and television series that spark the imagination and delight all generations. Past award-winning films include: “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Nim’s Island,” “Charlotte’s Web” and the Sundance Audience Prize Winning documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman.’” Walden Media’s most recent theatrical release is the adaptation “The Giver” starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. Coming to theaters in 2015 is Walden Media’s next film, “Everest,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightly, Jason Clarke, and Josh Brolin.
President & CEO, Anschutz Film Group and Walden Media
Frank Smith is President and Chief Executive Officer of Anschutz Film Group (AFG) and Walden Media. Smith has been with AFG since 2003, but currently oversees all aspects of AFG’s operations (development, physical production, publishing, marketing and outreach, finance, legal and business affairs) and he also works directly with The Anschutz Corporation on strategic planning and general operational issues. During his tenure with AFG, Smith has been lead counsel overseeing large budget motion picture franchise projects, co-production finance and distribution deals with major studios, as well as structuring foreign corporations for multijurisdictional film production tax incentives. In the past, Smith has overseen business and legal affairs for AFG and Walden Media, on numerous films including the Academy Award®-winner The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, along with Journey to the Center of the Earth and the second and third Narnia films, Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Parental Guidance, and others.
Prior to joining AFG in 2003, Smith was Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at New Line Cinema/Fine Line Features, in charge of legal acquisitions of motion picture content, as well as overseeing business affairs for development, production, financing, and distribution of motion pictures.
Smith received his J.D. from New England Law and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Pepperdine University. Smith is a noted published author in the area of copyright law.
Vice President, Development and Production
Naia Cucukov oversees creative development and current projects for Walden Media. After graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media, she began her career as an assistant at CAA and Legendary Pictures. She then transitioned to Creative Executive at Bold Films and then was Director of Development at Virgin Produced, Sir Richard Branson’s production company. While at Virgin, she worked on such films as LIMITLESS, MACHINE GUN PREACHER and IMMORTALS, as well as co-producing the award winning short film DEPARTURE DATE, the first film shot and edited at 35,000 feet, and overseeing creative programming on the Virgin Produced Channel onboard Virgin airlines. Most recently for Walden Media she was the Executive in charge of Creative on THE GIVER, based on the bestselling book by Lois Lowery, and also EVEREST, based on the true story of the 1996 EVEREST disaster, which will be released in September 2015.