Michael Latt, a film marketing consultant who worked closely with Ryan Coogler and Common on a series of social justice campaigns, was shot and killed at his home on Monday night, the LAPD has confirmed.
Latt, 33, was the founder and CEO of Lead With Love, a social impact marketing agency. In addition to Coogler and Common, he worked with Ava DuVernay, Barry Jenkins, and studios like Warner Bros. and Netflix on events and political initiatives that married art and activism.
According to the LAPD, he was shot in the 900 block of Alandele Avenue around 6 p.m. on Monday. He was taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Police arrested Jameelah Elena Michl, 36, who lived in her car. Prosecutors charged her with murder and burglary on Wednesday. She is being held on $3 million bail. Police have not disclosed a motive.
Latt is the son of Michelle Satter, the founding senior director of artist programs at the Sundance Institute. Satter has worked with Sundance since 1981, overseeing the labs that have nurtured countless independent filmmakers.
Satter paid tribute to her son on Twitter on Wednesday, saying he had “devoted his career to supporting artists, championing organizations that raised up artists of color, & leveraged storytelling for enduring change.”
Franklin Leonard, the founder of the Black List, also mourned Latt’s passing on Twitter.
“I cannot even begin to express what we’ve lost with Michael Latt’s murder,” he wrote. “He was the absolute best of us. Rest in Power, my friend.”
Shortly after graduating from Chapman University, Latt did digital marketing on “Fruitvale Station,” the 2013 film that dramatized the killing of Oscar Grant at the hands of the police in Oakland. In a 2019 Forbes profile, Latt said that marked a turning point in his career.
“Working on Ryan Coogler’s ‘Fruitvale Station’ opened my eyes up to how prevalent and insidious White supremacy is in our country and also showed me the potent power of storytelling to change hearts and minds,” he said.
He went on to market films like “The Birth of a Nation,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” He also worked for Imagine Justice, a non-profit founded by Common, which advocates for prison reform.
He also served as a communications consultant for DuVernay’s ARRAY Now, and was marketing director for Blackout for Human Rights, a network of entertainment professionals founded by Coogler to speak out against killings by police.
Latt’s family expressed their grief in a post on his Instagram account.
“Our family, Michael’s extraordinary friends and colleagues are shattered by the profound grief of losing our Michael,” they wrote. “Michael will never be forgotten and we can all carry on his legacy of love, compassion and fierce dedication to positive and lasting change.”