Otter Media, the joint venture between AT&T Inc and The Chernin Group, has partnered with Reese Witherspoon to form a new multimedia company, Hello Sunshine, aimed at telling female-driven stories.
Witherspoon’s involvement in Hello Sunshine will come via her production company Pacific Standard, which counts films “Wild,” “Gone Girl,” and the upcoming HBO series “Big Little Lies” among its credits. As a subsidiary of Hello Sunshine, Pacific Standard will continue to make TV shows and films, but now will also branch out to include shorter-run digital content tailored for social media.
The new company could give AT&T an early stake hold in a marketplace currently light on content made both for and by women. A study by USC-Annenberg found that female characters made up only 28.7 percent of all speaking roles in film, while women accounted for just 15 percent of directors.
Witherspoon launched Pacific Standard with her producing partner Bruna Papandrea in 2012 as a means to get more women both behind and in front of the camera in more prominent roles. Papandrea recently left to start her own venture.