Lisa Nishimura

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Lisa Nishimura
Born1971 or 1972 (age 51–52)[1]
EducationUniversity of California at San Diego

Lisa Nishimura is an American entertainment executive, formerly working for Netflix mainly on documentary films, stand-up comedy, and independent films. Her productions include 13th, American Factory, Chef's Table, Making a Murderer, Tiger King, and Wild Wild Country.[2][3][4]

Nishimura focuses on original, ambitious programming and unknown filmmakers.[4][5] She played a major role in expanding the range of documentaries on Netflix.[3][6] Vanity Fair called her "queen of the docu-series".[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Nishimura was born to Japanese immigrants who moved to the United States after World War II.[7] She grew up bilingual, in a "very academic" household in Silicon Valley.[3][8][9][10] Her father was a chemist who went to UC Berkeley on a Fulbright scholarship, and her mother was a classical violinist.[3][7]

She attended the University of California, San Diego.[11] She planned to go to medical school, but an internship at a record label, Windham Hill Records in Palo Alto, led her to start pursuing a career in the music industry instead.[3][10][7]


From 1998 to 2001, Nishimura was head of sales and marketing at Six Degrees Records.[12] From 2002 to 2007, she worked at Chris Blackwell's studio Palm Pictures, where she was general manager.[12][13] She also worked at Chris Blackwell's Island Records.[7]

She left Palm Pictures in 2007 to join Netflix as vice president of independent content acquisition, reporting to Ted Sarandos.[12][14] Her role was focused on acquiring content for Netflix, including digital content; 2007 was also the year that Netflix launched its streaming service, having previously focused on DVDs.[3]

In 2013, Nishimura started Netflix's original documentary and original stand-up comedy initiatives.[15] Documentary and comedy are her favorite genres. She has said that they are "similar because both are extremely observant of human conditions, cultures and the world around us"[6] and both give the viewer "immersion in another person’s experience, almost firsthand".[5]

In March 2019, Nishimura moved from being vice president of original documentary and comedy programming, reporting to Cindy Holland, to being vice president of independent film and documentary features, reporting to Scott Stuber. Stuber wrote that Nishimura "blazed a trail within Netflix" working on documentaries and comedy.[14][16]

Nishimura left Netflix in 2023 as a result of a corporate restructuring.[17]


In November 2017, she was one of five leading women in business honored by Girls, Inc.[18]

In November 2018, she was honored by New York Women in Film & Television.[19]

In 2020, Time magazine identified her as one of the 100 most influential people of the year.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Nishimura lives in Mar Vista, Los Angeles.[8] She is married and has a son.[8][20]


  1. ^ Flint, Joe (May 10, 2020). "Meet the Woman Who Made Netflix's 'Tiger King' Must-See Quarantine TV". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Lisa Nishimura: The 100 Most Influential People of 2020". Time. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Press, Joy. "This Is the Netflix Exec to Thank for Your Wild Wild Country Binge". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Weissman, Cale Guthrie (March 21, 2019). "What Lisa Nishimura's promotion means for indie films on Netflix". Fast Company. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "12 Leaders Who Are Shaping the Next Generation of Artists". Time. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Chatterjee, Anamika. "Meet the woman behind Netflix's growing influence in documentaries and comedies". Khaleej Times. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d "Our Diverse 100: Meet Lisa Nishimura, the executive finding audiences (and Oscars) for Netflix comedies and documentaries". Los Angeles Times. June 2, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "Lisa Nishimura". Magzter. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Kim, Serena (November 28, 2018). "Netflix's Lisa Nishimura is One of the Most Powerful Asian Americans in Hollywood". Character Media. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Our Women In Hollywood 2018 issue is here". NET-A-PORTER. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  11. ^ "Lisa Nishimura". Variety. December 22, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Kay, Jeremy (October 29, 2007). "Netflix hires Nishimura-Seese for new indie buying role". Screen. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  13. ^ "Biography of Lisa Nishimura for Appearances, Speaking Engagements". All American Speakers Bureau. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (March 21, 2019). "Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Moves To Film Group; Brandon Riegg Gets Comedy Oversight In Restructuring". Deadline. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  15. ^ "Lisa Nishimura #IJF21". Festival Internazionale del Giornalismo. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Low, Elaine (March 21, 2019). "Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film, Documentary Features Head". Variety. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  17. ^ Galuppo, Mia (March 31, 2023), "Exit of Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Marks End of an Era for the Streamer", Hollywood Reporter
  18. ^ Fernandez, Matt (November 16, 2017). "Warner Bros. TV Exec Calls for End to Sexual Harassment: 'Enough Is Enough'". Variety. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  19. ^ Sippell, Margeaux (November 19, 2018). "Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Burstyn to Be Honored by New York Women in Film and Television". Variety. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  20. ^ Britten, Fleur (April 7, 2019). "What she said: Netflix vice president Lisa Nishimura answers your workplace dilemma". The Sunday Times. Retrieved January 15, 2021.

External links[edit]