Carnegie Mellon University

Lakshmi Iyengar, Executive Vice President and Head of Production and Development, Minor Realm

Widening the Lens

When Lakshmi Iyengar (CFA 2009, HNZ 2009) succeeds in her role developing film and TV products, we all benefit from the fresh, compelling stories she brings to the screen.

Her new boss, Dev Patel, had a breakout role in the groundbreaking 2007 film “Slumdog Millionaire,” which told a uniquely Indian story through an unconventional storytelling approach and proved both could succeed wildly with audiences. Dev hired Lakshmi as an executive, supporter, incubator and champion to find and foster projects with the same spirit for his new production company, Minor Realm.

“We have a sincere curiosity for people who are coming from unique backgrounds and experiences,” Lakshmi says. “We hope to elevate and bring the lens closer to stories that we haven't had a chance to see yet.”

Lakshmi formerly worked at Universal Pictures, Focus Features and, most recently, Sony Pictures before joining Minor Realm. She’s always known that she wanted to work in film, but her creative roots are in dance.

She has spent many years studying and performing South India’s classical form of dance, Bharatanatyam. Lakshmi and her mother are; co-artistic directors of the Rangoli Dance Company where Lakshmi continues to produce productions and perform.

“Dance is a lifelong journey,” Lakshmi says. “It’s not something you master or feel complete with and I think that philosophy has really helped me in this business."

"Dance and film are both mediums of expression. Even in the most corporate settings, I will always look at film as an art form that requires patience, endurance and passion.”