Whether it was sobbing uncontrollably in a crowded movie theater when he thought (spoiler alert) E.T. was dead, or breaking his father’s spirit so that he could stay up and watch Hill Street Blues, Chris Salvaterra knew from a young age that he wanted to be involved in telling stories. Now, Chris is an executive and producer with over fifteen years of experience in the entertainment business.
In his first executive position, at Universal Pictures, Chris brought in the script for and oversaw production of American Pie, which was made for $11 million and went on to make over $235 million worldwide.
From there, Chris joined Casey Silver Productions, where he shepherded both Ladder 49 and Hidalgo from concept through production. He was the on-set creative producer for both films – Ladder 49, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta, and Hidalgo, starring Viggo Mortensen, were released by Disney in 2004. Each film made over $100 million worldwide.
Chris then joined Participant Productions (now Participant Media), a start-up independent financier dedicated to making socially relevant films. At Participant, Chris was charged with creating the feature division and overseeing the production of such films as Syriana (w/d: Steve Gaghan, cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon), North Country (d: Niki Caro, cast: Charlize Theron, Jeremy Renner, Woody Harrelson), Good Night and Good Luck (d: George Clooney, cast: David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, Robert Downey Jr.), Fast Food Nation (w/d: Richard Linklater, cast: Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Patricia Arquette), The Kite Runner (d: Marc Forster, w: David Benioff), and The Visitor (w/d: Tom McCarthy, cast: Richard Jenkins, Hiam Abbass). The aforementioned slate earned a total of 11 Academy Award nominations.
Chris was then approached by Paramount, where he became a senior executive in the Nickelodeon/Mtv movie division, helping to oversee such projects as The Last Airbender, School of Rock 2, and Mighty Mouse.
In July of 2010, Chris formed Katonah Pictures with partner (and longtime best friend) Dan Abrams. Katonah produced Gone, which was the first spec the company developed. The film, directed by Heitor Dhalia (the critically acclaimed Adrift) and starring Amanda Seyfried, was released by Summit in February of 2012. Company partially financed and produced 96 Minutes, a thriller starring Brittany Snow that was released by ARC Entertainment in April of 2012. Katonah also has partnered with Temple Hill Entertainment to develop the story of Roe v. Wade as a limited series for television.