Cincinnati native and Vice President for Creative Affairs for legendary French film studio Gaumont, Johanna Byer, is the 2018 recipient of the annual Film Cincinnati Lori Holladay Founder’s Award.

The award, created last year to mark Film Cincinnati’s 30th anniversary, goes to a person or group whose determination and passion for filmmaking serves Cincinnati with the same drive that Lori Holladay exhibited day in and day out for more than 17 years as the executive director of Film Cincinnati.

Byer, a graduate of Cincinnati Country Day, first was attracted to the movie business when her home was a location used in the filming of “Traffic” starring Michael Douglas. She graduated magna cum laude from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, concentrating on the Business of Cinematic Arts. She started her career at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, then most recently was vice president of development at Working Title Films.

In her present position at Gaumont, she is responsible for launching the new USA film division and is in charge of sourcing the company’s library of more than 1,100 movies to develop and produce English language films. One of those films, “Point Blank,” is now being shot in Cincinnati starring Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, Marcia Gay Harden and Teyonah Parris.

“This year the Founder’s Award goes to an individual whose love for our great city is no secret as she brought a production here that is putting millions of dollars into Cincinnati’s economy and creating hundreds of jobs,” said Kristen Schlotman, executive director of Film Cincinnati. “We cannot think of a better recipient than Johanna Byer, who is back home producing ‘Point Blank.’”

She will receive her award at the 2018 Film Cincinnati Backlot fundraiser on Saturday, September 8, along Mehring Way in the Queensgate neighborhood. Tickets to Backlot are available at