11.15.16
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

S1E5: Bruce Cohen


Bruce Cohen is an Oscar-winning film producer and president of the board of directors of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

The film Milk brought together Cohen’s passions, movie production and LGBT activism:

I had never consciously thought I would get the chance to merge them. So I understood…that doing Milk was a dream opportunity for bringing these two great loves of my life together. What was much more complicated was finding an audience

Sean Penn was the key to that strategy, and he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, as did screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. Their acceptance speeches. Cohen says, were the largest global moment for LGBT equality in the history of the world — by far. So that’s the impact that a story can have if you tell it well.

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Posted in: Culture, Design of Business | Business of Design, Film + Video, Politics + Policy


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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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