Legal expert shines behind the scenes at Lionsgate.
Naysan Mahmoudi ’96 plays an integral, behind-the-scenes role at entertainment and media firm Lionsgate. As executive director of business and legal affairs in Legal Clearances, he leads the team that ensures the company’s products and giveaways are legally compliant with the requirements in contracts, agreements and federal mandates.
It’s a different world from civil litigation, the field where Mahmoudi first worked after graduating from San Fernando Valley College of Law in 2001.
“I quickly realized I absolutely did not want to handle people’s problems,” he says.
Mahmoudi served an internship at Lionsgate in 2002, during the firm’s infancy. Looking to expand his breadth of knowledge, he went on to E! Entertainment Television in 2005, where he worked in TV production rights and clearances.
In 2011, he returned to Lionsgate, and has worked on major movies such as La La Land, The Hunger Games and Twilight.
In many ways, Redlands helped him to refine his career path. Mahmoudi originally planned on studying kinesiology at Santa Monica College, but after charting out four years of course requirements, realized it wasn’t the right fit. He eventually transferred to the University of Redlands, along with a close friend and his girlfriend (now wife), Catherine Choate Mahmoudi ’96.
“When I was getting ready to transfer to the University of Redlands, I was flipping through the catalog, and when I got to the section about government, the page in the book brightened,” he recalls.
At Redlands, he joined the Kappa Sigma Sigma fraternity and pursued studies in government.
He found his professors, including Art Svenson and Gordon Lloyd, engaging and encouraging. Svenson’s Constitutional Law course especially sparked his interest, and Mahmoudi ultimately chose law school, which he found to be an “intense, rigorous workout of reading, writing, analysis and critical thinking.”
Mahmoudi now lives in Santa Monica with his wife and sons Kian, Mason and Camden.
—Catherine Garcia ’06