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Former President

Sony Pictures Animation

"As a mentor I can help you understand the perspective of both the producer and studio buyer, how to put a project together and move it forward and how to advocate for yourself and know your true worth."

Michelle Raimo Kouyate is a producer with over two decades of experience producing and developing for film and TV.  Formerly President of Production at Sony Pictures Animation, she has the rare distinction of success in the live action and animation spheres, both as a producer and top-level executive at companies such as Nickelodeon, and Miramax Films. The films she has been involved with, which range from CHOCOLAT and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK to PUSS IN BOOTS and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 1 & 2, have grossed over $3 billion worldwide. Michelle currently has a deal with Sony Pictures Animation where she is producing a slate of movies and is running LENS: Sony Pictures Empowerment and Leadership for New Storytellers which seeks to develop filmmaking leadership from underrepresented communities in an effort to allow them to create the content that reflects their worlds and perspectives. She is deeply committed to creating space that includes more marginalized voices and viewpoints. She also serves on the board of A Place Called Home, which offers services to the youth of South Central Los Angeles.

"My mentor's name is Michelle Raimo Kouyate and from our 1st call where I admitted to being nervous and she replied “don’t be” I instantly felt that I was in good hands. She is a role model for how to “wear” your success while creating a space for others to also be successful. When I explained to her that I wanted to move from being a “corporate creative” to a creative in my own right as a writer/producer I felt that she totally supported me and would be invaluable on my journey.

On her advice I have taken classes which have already strengthened my ability to tell the stories that I want to tell with more clarity and confidence. It’s incredible what I have learned through her insights and our mutual passion for storytelling. I am amazed at how much I have grown in just 4 sessions and excited to meet myself at the end of this year. I am also grateful to her and Unlock Her Potential for giving me this awesome chance and opportunity."

— Nicole

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