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Director of Film & TV
New Leaf Literary & Media, New York
“Pouya puts authors first and strives to
see that their works are adapted for
films that will actually get made.” —Peter Knapp, colleague
Hollywood may have a reputation for being dismis- sive of the authors whose work gets adapted for the big screen, but Shahbazian is an exception. After various stints in the entertainment industry,
he has solidly crossed over to the book side as head of film and
TV at New Leaf, where the writing comes first. “Knowing that
I can have an impact and help a manuscript or article or short
story find life in other mediums while remaining true to an
author’s vision is very gratifying,” he says.
Just as gratifying are the seven films that New Leaf has seen
produced in the past two and a half years under Shahbazian’s
leadership. Among them is the Divergent series, which went
from the initial deal to “an actual green light of a big-budget
studio adaptation in less than 20 months,” he says. Apparently
the Hollywood Reporter had it right in naming him to its Next
Gen 2013 “ 35 under 35” list of industry up-and-comers.
Associate Publisher & Editorial Director
Charlesbridge, Watertown, Mass.
“We global citizens have a responsi-
bility to make the world a better place,
and making books is the way I can effect change
in our society.”
With a degree in Russian language and litera- ture, and several interviews at Langley, Scott was supposed to be a spy for the CIA, but it didn’t work out. Our national security’s loss
has been a gain for children’s publishing, particularly for
independent press Charlesbridge.
One project that Scott “can’t stop talking about” is a picture
book from Juan Garcia Esquivel, whom she describes as “the
father of ‘space-age bachelor pad’ lounge music” from the 1950s
and 1960s. It is “truly a case of the right manuscript finding
the right editor, because I’m a singer in the world’s only
Esquivel tribute band!”
Scott is also on the board of the Children’s Book Council, and
she cofounded Children’s Books Boston, which provides a variety
of programming for stakeholders in children’s literature.