Forest Whitaker, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors, directors, and producers, has showcased his talents in a multitude of demanding and diverse roles. In 2007, he earned critical acclaim for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, receiving the Academy Award®, BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe for Best Actor. Forest’s intensive character work in films such as Lee Daniels’ The ButlerThe Crying GameGhost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and Bird, for which he was named Best Actor at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, have made him one of the most versatile performers of all time.

Forest has had an exciting year. He starred opposite Liam Neeson in 20th Century Fox’s Taken 3, which was released in January 2015. He will also be seen alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams in the upcoming feature film SouthPaw.

As president of Significant Productions, Forest aims to support young, talented filmmakers. In 2013, he co-produced Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut, Fruitvale Station. That film, the winner of Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, was distributed by The Weinstein Company. Significant Productions’ latest two films, Dope and Songs My Brothers Taught Me, premiered to excellent reviews at Sundance Film Festival this year and were both selected for inclusion in the 2015 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Forest made his directorial debut with Strapped in 1993, for which he won the International Critics’ Award at the Toronto Film Festival. Since then, he has directed and executive produced Waiting to ExhaleHope Floats, and First Daughter. He has produced numerous other award-winning films and documentaries and has executive produced several made-for-television movies and miniseries.

In 2012, Forest co-founded, a web-based production company that merges traditional, in-house film development with an online community to produce low-budget feature films. The platform provides a democratic, level playing field for all filmmakers, regardless of experience, to share their stories. Projects are selected and green lit based on the input of the entire community.

Forest has also ventured into music. He has a record label at Sony and has executive produced two albums, which have earned a total of fourteen Grammy nominations.

Forest was the game producer for, an interactive video game and website that allowed people to select a new flavor of Mountain Dew. He also directed the short film that opened the game. This campaign turned into the most successful launch of a soft drink in Mountain Dew’s history.

Over the past decade, Forest has devoted much of his time to his humanitarian work. He is the founder and CEO of The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation. In 2014, he started collaborating with the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict as an Advocate for Children Affected by War, a topic on which he was invited to speak before the UN Security Council in September of that year.