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PROFILES BY Martin Blaney, Elisabet Cabeza, Melanie Goodfellow, Jeremy Kay, Geoffrey Macnab, Wendy Mitchell, Gabriele Niola, Liz Shackleton, Fiona Williams, Andreas Wiseman

AGENTS

Screen International meets the next generation of agents who are repping talent across multiple platforms

S

ince 2012, Screen International has been selecting its annual Future Leaders list and presenting it around Cannes Film Festival. It’s one of the most popular features we publish, shining a spotlight on the rising stars of the international film business, and each new list is always eagerly anticipated. Up until now, our Future Leaders have always been the up-and-coming names rising through the ranks in sales, acquisitions, distribution and producing. This year we decided to shake things up a bit and, for the first time, we are proud to present our first Future Leaders — Agents. Scouring the globe, we have identified 43 young agents who represent actors, writers, directors, heads of department and/or work in the financing/packaging side of the business. What unites our selection is that they all have an eye on the international opportunities for their clients, not just their local markets.

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While agents play an established role in the US and UK industries in particular, other countries are quickly catching on as the need and desire to cast internationally becomes ever more important — and as international co-productions grow in number. There is a voracious appetite for new talent out there, and you only need to look at a global smash such as Game Of Thrones to understand that today’s talented unknowns are tomorrow’s bankable stars. Producers and sales companies working in a rapidly evolving industry might need to find a hot actor or an exciting director from the Balkans, China or Brazil in a way they didn’t five years ago. As ever with Future Leaders, our Class of 2016 are the agents we believe will be (or already are) representing some of the most exciting and dynamic global-facing talent for years to come. Get to know them now. Matt Mueller, editor

May 2016 Screen International 41


FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS

Roxana Adle

UK

Independent Talent Group roxanaadle@independenttalent.com Clients include Mike Newell, Jonathan Teplitzky, Per Fly, Wayne Blair, Anurag Kashyap, Eva Husson, Orlando von Einsiedel

Roxana Adle can thank her dentist for her start in the film business. “I had just graduated and was desperate to find a job in film when my dentist told me he had a client [Duncan Heath] who was a big-deal agent. When Duncan had his next appointment I accosted him in the waiting room and basically stalked him until he gave me a job. Let’s just say the first week was interesting, but I’m still here,” she laughs. French and Farsi-speaking Adle was Heath’s assistant before establishing herself as one of the UK’s most impressive young agents in her own right. “Generally, if their name is difficult to pronounce, that’s my type,” says Adle of her impressive client list. It includes Gangs Of Wasseypur writer-director-producer Anurag Kashyap, and established Danish writer-director Per Fly, as well as emerging voices such as Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) writer-director Eva Husson, Borkur Sigthorsson, who is due to direct Icelandic crime thriller Mules, Virunga director Orlando von Einsiedel and Neither Heaven Nor Earth writer-director Clément Cogitore.

Matilda Boström

SWEDEN

Agentfirman matilda@agentfirman.com

Clients include Ronnie Sandahl, Michael Nyqvist, Matias Varela, Josephine Bornebusch, Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein

Matilda Boström studied law at Uppsala University and worked at the Writers Guild of Sweden for four years before starting at Sweden’s Agentfirman in May 2013. She is the legal adviser for the agency as well as an agent/manager. She says becoming an agent was “a stroke of luck… I landed an internship at the Writers Guild by winning a game of ‘paper, rock, scissors’ over a classmate, which led to a job as a legal adviser at the Writers Guild, which in turn led me to meet the wonderful ladies who run Agentfirman.” Those colleagues — Annika Kilden, Jenny Planthaber and Aleksandra Mandic — make a big difference to her work, as all four are based in the same room in their Stockholm office, “combining skill and sharing all clients. They get the best from each of us.” Boström says it is interesting to see the international attention now paid to Scandinavian talents — her client Michael Nyqvist has appeared in high-profile action films including Mission: Impos-

sible — Ghost Protocol and John Wick for instance. She finds Swedish actors, writers and directors “talented, hard working, well prepared, curious and open”. Boström is keen to work with all kinds of creative clients. “That’s a thing I really like about my job. Working with people of all ages as well as combining scriptwriters, directors and actors.” It is that variation of the talents and the work that she loves the most. “It’s never dull.”

Andrea Brabin

ICELAND

Eskimo/Brabin Management andrea@eskimo.is

Clients To be announced — Brabin Management launches this month

Andrea Brabin was a model for more than 11 years before starting a successful casting agency in 1998. That company bought model agency Eskimo in 2000 and operates under that banner today. Now Brabin is taking the next step with the launch of Brabin Management this month. It will be Iceland’s first agency/talent management company. Brabin has worked on the Icelandic casting for many large international features that have come to the country, including Thor: The Dark World, Noah and Oblivion. She has also collaborated with local features all the way back to 2000’s seminal 101 Reykjavik.

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Silke Bacher

GERMANY

Homebase info@agenturhomebase.de

Clients include Burhan Qurbani, Lennart Ruff, Marco Kreuzpaintner, Anna Brüggemann, Richard Kropf

“It was a conscious decision not to represent actors,” says Silke Bacher of Berlin-based Homebase, the agency that handles 17 writers, 15 directors and, most recently, two editors. “For us, the people behind the camera are the stars.” Bacher points to her experience as a film and TV producer as crucial preparation for her work as an agent. “I got a real insight into what’s important in development and how essential it is for both sides — producers and talent — to have a strong agency partner,” she explains. “In the beginning, we were known as the agency for up-and-coming German independent talent but we’ve become broader and more commercial. For example, we succeeded in placing three of our writers in the first TV series by international VoD platforms developed out of Germany.” In addition, Bacher reps the Student Oscar winner Lennart Ruff, who started work on his feature debut, The Titan, in the US this year. “It is important for me that, as a boutique agency, our focus is not on growing too much, but more about keeping close contact to each single artist,” she says. Bacher notes that one of her daily challenges is to motivate the artists during the long development process. “We all know how tough the film industry is but we mustn’t forget sensitive artists make up its backbone,” Bacher says. “They constantly need to reveal their inner souls in order to deliver their best work and my job as an agent is to provide a safe place for them to do that.”

“Casting directors that I worked with on various projects around the world started calling me to ask for Icelandic agents and I started helping them out and taking the jobs,” she says. “I’d known for a while that this service was needed in Iceland.” She plans to work mostly with young up-and-coming talents on the agency side, although as a casting expert she does of course “recommend local talent that fit each request to casting directors around the world”. Brabin says Iceland boasts “a high level of educated and experienced actors of all ages. Due to how small the country is, it’s easy to get to know people on all levels of the business, and therefore fairly easy to get experience in films. “The high level of acting education in Iceland is a great foundation and most actors have a lot of experience in the theatre as well.”

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Steven Brown

US

ICM Partners msuess@icmpartners.com

Clients include Ruth Negga, Sarah Wayne Callies, Nick Blood

A journalism graduate from Syracuse University, Steven Brown worked as a film trade reporter before his manager brother made a few useful introductions. “I met a number of talent agents who turned me on to the job, though I know my brother was already hoping I’d go into representation,” says Brown. “I started in the mailroom at WMA in 2006.” Brown casts a wide net for clients, drifting towards nurturing those who excite him. More often than not, recommendations come from “a colleague, manager, attorney or foreign representative that I’ve developed a working relationship with”. To gain a foothold with potential clients, he “reads endlessly” in order to be part of creative conversations. He also represents talent from film and TV. “Clients’ careers are multi-dimensional these days, so their agents should be as well.” Brown insists on being choosy. “I try to make decisions from the perspective of expanding the diversity and quality of my clientele, rather than gaining market share,” he says. “I love storytelling — it’s a big reason I got into the agency business, and seeing the final product of a client’s hard work energises me.”

Gianni Chiffi

ITALY

Volver Consulenze Artistiche giannivolver@gmail.com Clients include Leonardo Pazzagli, Thony, Matilda De Angelis, Simona Tabasco

A casting director originally suggested Gianni Chiffi do an internship in a talent agency and the young Italian has never looked back. Now he considers castings among the best places to scout for new talents. “Though word of mouth remains the fundamental way to get to know possible new clients,” he adds. Together with his business partner Consuelo De Andreis, Chiffi handles 40 leading Italian actors at his Rome-based agency. “Trusting your agent is the rule for a good career,” he points out. “We are a team and we have to work like one.” Chiffi has a great enthusiasm for the job and looks for talents who share the same force of will. In his view, this strength is what is needed to take on as many auditions as possible. “What I tell my actors is to always go there and try,” he says. “They need to transform themselves every time.” Chiffi loves those moments in the crowd when, after a successful premiere, everybody is clapping one of his actors, and they exchange glances. “That little moment of empathy reminds me that everything is as it should be, as I hoped it would be. They need to be on the red carpet, not me.”

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Peter Dodd

US

UTA steinl@unitedtalent.com

Clients include David Mackenzie, Frank John Hughes, Alexis Wilkinson, Kasra Farahani

Peter Dodd studied comparative religion and government at Harvard, but a long-time desire to be in entertainment informed his decision to join the university’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals troupe. He eventually found his way to the UTA training programme in 2009. Dodd has built up his stable with the help of a close group of intimates. “I have a small network of colleagues, managers and executives who I consider tastemakers. They share great material with me on a regular basis, and I take their recommendations seriously. I also watch a lot of Netflix.” Dodd likes to tell clients to keep making content. “That way the talent is the master of their own destiny and not at the whim of the system. It’s also critical to be open to new possibilities.” There is no room for cynicism or lethargy. “The biggest challenge is when an executive, buyer or producer doesn’t share the enthusiasm you share about a client,” says Dodd. “We, as agents, get invested in our clients and our ambitions are closely tied to theirs.”

Chen Jiaying, Yang Siwei

Easy Entertainment

CHINA

dumeng@easy-ent.com Clients include Chen Shu, Mark Chao, Ma Yili, Song Jia, Zhang Yuqi, Zhu Yawen, Han Yan, Han Yi, Lee Jun, Yang Qing, Qin Haiyan, Zha Muchun, Zhang Ji

Based in Beijing, Easy Entertainment is one of the first local agencies in China to handle directors and screenwriters in addition to actors. The company was launched two years ago by four young industry figures: Yang Siwei, former marketing chief at Fan Bingbing Studio; Lu Yao, former director of operations at We Pictures; Chen Jie, who has worked at both CAA and Edko Films in Beijing; and Chen Jiaying, formerly vice-president at Shiba Media Agency. With an innovative style combining elements of Western and Chinese talent management, the company has managed to build up an impressive roster in a short period of time. It includes stars Mark Chao and Zhang Yuqi, and up-and-coming director Yang Qing, who recently scored a hit with heist caper Chongqing Hot Pot. Co-founder Yang says the company has a collaborative approach, with a team of around 10 people working with each client, and encourages staff to specialise in areas such as film and TV drama production, marketing and cross-promotion. The company also focuses on market segmentation for clients. “We select only one client among each actor type or age range and help them become the most competitive within their target market,” she explains. The company also packages and co-produces film and TV projects for its clients, such as Chongqing Hot Pot and 2015 hit Go Away Mr Tumor. The next steps include setting up subsidiaries to produce and market the projects it generates for clients. Although the company has grown rapidly, Yang says there are still not enough training opportunities for new talent in China. “As a result, we’ve had to construct a system ranging from discovery of talent through to education and the building of lasting partnerships.” »

Chen Jie, Lu Yao

May 2016 Screen International 43


FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS

Alessia Fanzon

ITALY

Stefano Chiappi Management alessia@stefanochiappimanagement.com Clients include Francesca Chillemi, Giorgio Colangeli, Massimo Venier

Fascinated by the world of cinema since she was a child, talent agent Alessia Fanzon first became involved in the business through hanging out on film sets. The talents she now manages are among the most exciting young actors in Italy. “I don’t like to call them clients. They’re people,” she says. She says finding actors is straightforward: “You just hang around acting schools and theatres, looking for passion and resolution.” Putting them on the right path is at the core of her job. Working in an agency that handles close to 100 actors, screenwriters and directors, Fanzon considers knowing her talents’ peculiarities and best qualities is a key requirement of her work. “Discovering their characteristics is the best way to help them in their career.” Fanzon loves that her job allows her to work with creative, interesting people. “This is my place,” she smiles. “Years from now, I would like to be doing exactly what I’m doing at the moment but with a bag full of experience.”

Sally Fayez

EGYPT

Creative Arab Talent (CAT) sally@alkarma.com Clients include Amina Khalil, Nahed El Sebai, Saba Mubarak

Cairo-based Sally Fayez is a rarity in the Middle East, a region that is only just waking up to the concept of a talent agent. She is one of four young agents working for fledgling talent agency Creative Arab Talent (CAT), which was launched by veteran producer Amr Koura in April 2105. “I’m not sure why the talent representation business does not really exist in the region. It is quite odd; there are thousands and thousands of talents but no agencies to represent them,” she says. Fayez first met Koura while working as a producer at his company Alkarma Edutainment on shows such as Alam Simsim, the Egyptian version of Sesame Street, and horror series Doors Of Fear, headlined by Egyptian star Amr Waked. Until now she has focused mainly on Egyptian talent, with clients including emerging actor Amina Khalil as well as Nahed El Sebai, who was in Cannes in 2012 as one of the co-stars of Yousry Nasrallah’s After The Battle. This scope looks set to widen. She also represents the popular Jordanian actor Saba Mubarak and CAT is in the process of opening an office in Dubai to cast its net even wider in the region. Fayez says introducing the concept of a talent agency to the Middle East is a challenge on a number of fronts. “You have to gain the confidence and trust of both the talent and the content providers,” she reveals. “We had a lot of resistance from producers when we started. We overcame that and we now have very good and mutually beneficial relationships with most production companies. We are creating a business from scratch. We depend on our common sense and we learn from the international agencies. It is a learning process and our talent are co-operative and understanding. From every new job we learn something new.”

Anila Gajevic

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Zona Talent Agency anila@zonatalents.ba

Clients include Miraj Grbic, Goran Navojec

A former cultural journalist in Bosnia writing film and theatre reviews, Anila Gajevic knew many of the best actors in the Balkan region. “Some of them were my friends and I thought there was a lot of potential here,” she says. In 2008 Gajevic left her job to launch the Sarajevo-based Zona agency. Her intentions were simple: she was convinced there was a wealth of acting talent in the Balkans, untapped by international film-makers. “I wanted to see if there was a possibility for people abroad to see them and hire them,” she says.

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Ruth Franco

SPAIN

Ruth Franco Management info@ruthfranco.com Clients include Natalia de Molina, Lucia Jimenez, Maria Molins, Miquel Fernandez, Benito Zambrano

From molecular biology to talent management. That’s quite the move for Ruth Franco, who had realised laboratory work was not her thing soon after finishing her studies. Instead, she started exploring the contacts she had made with film and theatre people from her days working in a Madrid bar. She went on to work for various PRs before setting up her own company two years ago. Ruth Franco Management now handles a wide range of actors and directors. They include rising star Natalia de Molina, the youngest actor to have won two consecutive Goyas (for David Trueba’s Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed and for Juan Miguel del Castillo’s Food And Shelter). It is not all about awards though. “I tell my actors this is one of the toughest and yet most beautiful jobs there is,” she says. “The best thing that can happen to them is to be able to enjoy it and earn a living all through their working life.” One of the things Franco likes most about her job is to discover new talent. People get in touch with her through word of mouth, but Franco makes sure to pay close attention to new names in theatre and short films, and she watches all the clips that actors send to her office. “To gather information about the industry is essential; so is knowing who is right for which part,” she says.

Her first clients, including the well-known Miraj Grbic, were from Sarajevo but word about the agency soon spread across the region. “All the other actors, they heard something was going on in Sarajevo,” she says. Croatian actor Goran Navojec (Our Everyday Life) was an early recruit. Gabjevic also reps Serbian, Turkish, Kosovan, Romanian and Italian actors. She is always on the lookout for young talent. “I am interested in meeting new actors, like students in academies,” she says, citing Bosnian actress Maja Juric as a newcomer catching the attention of international casting directors. Gajevic focuses on giving her clients international opportunities in Europe and the US, as there are relatively few films made in the Balkans and actors need to look further afield to build their careers. One exception is Danis Tanovic’s Berlinale title Death In Sarajevo, for which much of the cast was repped by Zona.

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Radhika Gopal Tulsea

INDIA

radhika@tulsea.com

Clients include Kanu Behl, Anjali Menon, Akshat Verma, Dylan Mohan Gray, Abi Varghese

Radhika Gopal is an agent at Mumbai and Los Angeles-based Tulsea, the only management company in India focusing on writers and directors. Local producers laud the company for its work with young talents, developing their careers and ensuring they get paid and respected. After working at advertising agency Ogilvy Mumbai, Gopal met Tulsea founders Datta Dave and Chaitanya Hegde two years ago and, after hearing their plans, was keen to join the team. Due to the relationships she and her colleagues have established with studios and other platforms, the opportunities they generate for clients are unmatched in the Indian entertainment sector. “Across television, films and the evolving digital landscape, we’ve enabled several unprecedented partnerships and compensation models,” Gopal says. “India doesn’t have WGA minimums like Hollywood,” she adds. “We are in the nascent stages of creating compensation frameworks so have to partner with stakeholders across the value chain and learn together.” Gopal focuses on clients who are interested in the digital space and says she finds talent through word of mouth, recommendations and incoming material submissions: “We’re careful about the way we expand our roster, re-evaluating at regular interviews and balancing established names with promising, emerging talent.” The company has expanded to include producers, cinematographers, musicians, editors and actors. Gopal also handles actor Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films, which works with indie film-makers such as Navdeep Singh and Akshat Verma.

Laura Gonzalez

SPAIN

Calabuch laura@calabuch.com

Clients include Natalia Tena, Nerea Camacho, David Leon, David Verdaguer, Carlos Marques-Marcet

Laura Gonzalez has been interested in film for as long as she can remember. She learned the ropes of talent management at one of Spain’s leading agencies, Kuranda, responsible for the discovery of Penelope Cruz and many more. Five years ago, Gonzalez left to strike out on her own and founded Calabuch. Her list of clients includes international names such as UK-born, Spain-based actor David Leon (Vera), Xavier Lafitte (Yves Saint Laurent) and Natalia Tena (Game Of Thrones). Tena starred in the Spanish hit Long Distance and it was through her that Calabuch signed co-star David Verdaguer and director Carlos Marques-Marcet. Calabuch’s goals include opening up to the international market and nurturing associations with agencies such as the UK’s Curtis Brown. Two of Gonzalez’s actors are already working internationally: Nerea Camacho, discovered in Javier Fesser’s Camino, has just completed an eight-month shoot of Colombian series The White Slave, while Marta Milans has appeared in Shame and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby, and recently shot the pilot for ABC’s The Death Of Sofia Valdez. “The only way I can work is knowing I have my client’s full trust,” Gonzalez says. “They know they can ring me any time, that I am available to help them and that I know them well enough to help find them the right kind of job. When that happens, it’s the best reward a talent agent can hope for.” To her clients she advises hard work and to be prepared to tackle the opportunities that come their way. The secret to ensuring a successful career is to work hard: studying, be it acting or English for potential international shoots, is always better than “waiting by the phone to see if it rings”. Gonzalez also notes the importance of physical work, from investing in time at the gym to taking up yoga if less muscle and a more supple body is required. And, above all, she advises patience. “It’s a basic ingredient in an actor’s career,” she says. “That and understanding you always have to be ready. You never know when or where opportunity knocks.”

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Mark Hartogsohn Gersh Agency

US

mhartogsohn@gershla.com

Clients include Alonso Ruizpalacios, Jeppe Ronde, Jared Cowie, Andy Cox, Beata Gardeler

Literary agent Mark Hartogsohn started his career working as a script supervisor at ABC News’ Good Morning America and earned a Daytime Emmy for his contribution to the network’s 2008 presidential election coverage. After working in development for various independent film producers in New York, Hartogsohn moved to Los Angeles to join Gersh, first as an assistant in the television literary department and production department. He discovers film-makers at festivals, showcases and special screenings, and lands writers by attending pitch events and by reading material recommended to him by “tasteful managers, producers and colleagues”, as he puts it, as early as possible. Hartogsohn dedicates himself to a relatively small pool of clients to maximise his strengths, which include a passionate attention to great storytelling. “I’ve worked in most facets of media, am a news junkie and an avid reader,” he says. “The goal is to tell a great story and I work hard to support clients to create new ideas and compelling characters.” In return he likes to see dedication to the art from those he works with. “Keep creating,” he says. “Surround yourself with supportive smart people and maintain a positive attitude.”

Vanessa Henneman The Henneman Agency

NETHERLANDS

vanessa@hennemanagency.nl

Clients include David Verbeek, Johanna ter Steege, Abbey Hoes

“I fell in love with an actor,” says Vanessa Henneman of her journey to become an agent. She had studied law and film, excellent grounding for her new work, when she began to represent her boyfriend. “I said, ‘I know a little bit about contracts and I know a bit about movies. Let me do it.’” The Henneman Agency now has 150 clients, including actors, writers, directors, composers and a ballerina. There is a staff of nine, including former IFFR Cinemart co-ordinator Jacobine van der Vloed. Initially, Henneman represented only actors. One of the reasons for taking on writers and directors was to become involved in projects at an earlier stage. “It frustrated me that I was always at the end of the whole process,” she says. Now, she is beginning to package projects. The agency represents primarily Dutch-speaking talent. Last year, however, Henneman was one of the founding partners of the European Talent Network. This involves Team Players from Denmark and Spielkind from Germany, alongside The Henneman Agency. The idea is to provide a single point of contact for US film-makers looking to harness European talent. Henneman advises her clients to think about where they want to be in five years’ time. “All the decisions that come along the way, we mirror towards that focus — does it fit the masterplan?” So, if an actor wants to work abroad, the agency will pursue a different strategy than if an actor wants to concentrate on his or her own local territory; appearing in an arthouse movie that may play in Cannes or Toronto will give the talent far more exposure internationally than starring in a local blockbuster.

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FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS

Anna Hlalele

SOUTH AFRICA

Canvas CAM anna@canvascam.co.za

Clients include Thembisa Mdoda, Thuso Mbedu, Oros Mampofu, Natasha Thahane, Altovise Lawrence, Lwazi Mvusi, Arthur Zitha

After graduating from Witwatersrand University in 2013 with a degree in dramatic arts, Anna Hlalele caught the film bug following an internship at South African production company DV8. It inspired her to start her own talent agency. “I have a love for business and a love for acting, and I decided, along with my business partner Vinesh Duckworth, to merge the two,” she says. “Had I pursued acting as a career, I knew what I would want in an agent.” She is especially keen to help talents at the start of their career and is bullish on South African talents and their creative potential.

“South Africa has such a rich history — we have so many stories to tell. We are a diverse nation with scars from the past. We are currently in a complicated state but we also have such hope for the future. We are using the platforms we are presented with to tell authentic stories.” One day, she would like to see Johannesburg-based Canvas CAM open more branches across South Africa as the industry there grows. Hlalele says it feels like global attention is turning to Africa. “I am seeing opportunities to work on international productions. They come here to cast and a host of international productions are being filmed on our shores. We have the opportunity to present our films in festivals all over the world too. That said, I still feel like many haven’t fully seen what Africa has to offer in terms of talent.”

Charlie Jennings

US

CAA mdavy@caa.com

Clients include Ben Mendelsohn, Kit Harington, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophie Turner

Sophie Holden

UK

Curtis Brown sophie.holden@curtisbrown.co.uk

Clients include Harry Melling, Lara Rossi, Brian Vernel, Fionn Whitehead

Having trained as an actor Sophie Holden has a keen understanding of what makes her clients tick. “I have always loved actors, my husband is an actor, and I was intrigued to know how a successful career in acting was built,” she says. “I started working at Curtis Brown as an intern and knew the minute I started I had found my perfect job.” She began to build her own list two years ago following five years under agent Grant Parsons. “Most of my clients have come through recommendations from casting directors, producers and other clients of mine,” Holden says. “I’m a big fan of drama schools and watch as many of the graduation shows as I can.” Holden is making a name for herself by pulling off some significant coups, none more so than the buzz created by the news newcomer Fionn Whitehead will have a major role alongside Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan’s historical drama Dunkirk. It was not the first high-wire act Holden has completed. “One of the first solo deals I had to do as an agent was trying to make a major feature film and a big BBC drama work alongside each other [for a client],” she recalls. “They had identical dates and filmed in different parts of the country. It took me two months of negotiating but was well worth it in the end when we made both jobs work.” Further Holden clients include Brian Vernel, who has had a recurring role in BBC2 series The Last Kingdom, and NBC’s Crossing Lines star Lara Rossi.

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“It’s not always about the size of the role but really what an actor can do with it,” says Charlie Jennings, who likes to drill deep to help talent create meaningful work that stands out. “It’s wildly important to read everything so that, as an agent, I am able to pinpoint the less obvious role in which a client can score.” Relationships, attention to detail and a positive outlook are crucial to Jennings, a former personal assistant and Tribeca Film Festival volunteer, who trained under CAA partner Kevin Huvane. “I love discovering talent, whether it is in a film on the festival circuit, a play or on TV. I also track roles in films where an actor or actress can score. There is so much great material out there that you have to be watching everything to see new talent.” It is a job, Jennings maintains, where it is essential to keep up with the latest changes in a dynamic industry. “Agents today and tomorrow need to be able to advise their clients not only in their film and TV career but in all facets ranging from endorsements, digital, social media and whatever new platform will be around five years from now.”

Kathrin Kruschke

GERMANY

Crush Agency me@crush.de

Clients include Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht, Anna von Berg, Samir Fuchs, Lore Richter

“It has been more a case of my clients finding me rather than the other way round,” says Kathrin Kruschke, of the creation of her Berlinbased Crush Agency at the beginning of the year. “A lot of contacts function by word of mouth because my clients are great multipliers for me,” she explains. “I also go to film festivals and industry events that showcase new talents to make discoveries. “I love creating an ensemble feeling with my agency and my relationship to the clients,” adds Kruschke, whose background working in film and TV production serves her well in her new career as an agent.

“I am more interested in people than Excel tables, that’s why I want to keep the number of clients to a manageable size of around 35. My job as an agent involves a very intense working relationship with each of my clients.” She enjoys working with actors to develop their individual careers and realise their different ambitions. “Everybody has their own specific idea of where they see themselves in their film career as well as how they want to develop in the future,” she says. Kruschke encourages her clients to develop an understanding of how the film business functions and to attend industry events. She will often be at their side. “I support them wherever I can, whether it is accompanying them on the red carpet, briefing them about their relationship with the press, or having some smalltalk at the ready.”

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Jessica Torres

Florent Lamy FRANCE Elevate Artist Management florent@elevate-artistmanagement.com Clients include Chloe Pirrie, Martina Garcia, Djimon Hounsou, Sebastian Roché, Freddie Highmore

Florent Lamy launched Paris-based company Elevate Artist Management three years ago having started in the industry as a press attaché. The company now represents some 30 international actors who want to work in France or Europe. It also reps bilingual French talents with international aspirations. Lamy hit on the idea for the agency while working for French press agency Kinéma Film, which handles press for Metropolitan Export, one of the top distributors of US features in France. “I saw the US model of a talent having a press agent, talent agent and a manager,” he says. “I could see there was a lot of US and UK talents eager to work in France but the problem was that there aren’t many links between US and UK agents and those in France.” He has recently helped place French-UK actor Sebastian Roché in The Young Pope and Colombian actress Martina Garcia in the second season of Narcos. “The rise of big-budget international drama such as The Young Pope has opened a lot of opportunities for talent wanting to work internationally,” Lamy says.

Gabriel Mena US Paradigm gmena@ paradigmagency.com

Clients include Ciro Guerra, Alejandro Brugues, Emiliano Rocha Minter, Oscar Jaenada, Luis Gerardo Mendez, Lorenza Izzo

“Perseverance will allow great stories to be told. Trust in your own lunacy.” So says Gabriel Mena, the former head of a fund in Spain and a member of producerfinancier Hispafilms, who flexed his producer muscles on the likes of Sundance 2008 selection Mancora and Andy Garcia’s City Island. In 2013, Mena become an agent closely involved in representing talent from the Latin American market. His clients include Ciro Guerra, director of Colombia’s foreign-language Oscar submission Embrace Of The Serpent. He travels to the region and attends as many festivals as he can to familiarise himself with the best of the new generation of talent. “I operate with a hands-on, thoughtful approach that offers the client not only a service but a collaborator in the expansion of their business,” he says. When asked what he most enjoys about his job, he says: “Positioning myself and Paradigm at the forefront of the Hispanic market both in the US and in Latin America.” In the next five years, Mena plans to steer himself into a leadership position at Paradigm “so the company can continue to forge itself as the premier alternative agency in the industry — focused on a client-first mentality”.

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Camille McCurry

UK

United Agents cmccurry@unitedagents.co.uk

Clients include David Wnendt, Kornel Mundruczo, Paddy Breathnach, Grimur Hakonarson, Mark Herman, Hong Khaou

Law graduate Camille McCurry handles an eye-catching list of emerging European voices, including Wetlands and Look Who’s Back writer-director David Wnendt, White God writer-director Kornel Mundruczo (co-repped with Natasha Galloway), Rams writer-director Grimur Hakonarson and Lilting writer-director Hong Khaou. McCurry came to agenting via work as an assistant at US record label Astralwerks and as a legal executive for Sony. After a couple of years bedding in at United, she had the opportunity to start building a film and TV list under veteran agent Tim Corrie. “The film-makers I represent range in genre and style but what they have in common is an original vision,” she says. “I’m drawn to auteur voices, a special quality that has a universal impact. I know it when I see it.” McCurry has around 35 writers and directors on her books, clients who regularly scoop awards at Cannes, Sundance and Locarno.

Anthony Mestriner

UK

Casarotto Ramsay & Associates anthony@casarotto.co.uk

Clients include Brandon Cronenberg, Jonas Akerlund, Adam Randall, Otto Bathurst

The life of a talent agent can be a lonely place at times with agents operating in a ferociously competitive sector, but literary specialist Anthony Mestriner is someone who underlines the importance of teamwork. “I try to pitch myself as part of a bigger agency that works collaboratively,” he says. “While I have my taste and strategy in certain circumstances, I can draw on a lot of experience to help make good decisions.” Mestriner started out as assistant to Casarotto founder Jenne Casarotto and covered another agent’s maternity leave before assuming his own impressive roster. Among his most recognised clients are Swedish music videos director Jonas Akerlund, rising UK director Adam Randall (whose second film iBoy, starring Maisie Williams and Bill Milner, is in post-production) and Antiviral director Brandon Cronenberg. The London-based executive also handles a slew of prolific TV directors who have worked on hit series such as Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders, Deutschland 83 and Doctor Who. Building and sustaining careers at the top level is often the biggest challenge, explains Mestriner, who advises clients “to find their voice and be resilient”. “It can take a very long time for things to happen so it’s very easy to get frustrated or lose confidence.” The same applies to agents, he acknowledges. “The industry is growing and changing at a speed that is tough to keep up with as things become more global and film and television merge. You have to be ahead of the curve. The volume of information to process is immense when taking into account the number of projects everyone is trying to push through.”

Colin Moy

NEW ZEALAND

colinmjmoy@gmail.com

Clients To be announced in June

New Zealand insiders credit Colin Moy with being instrumental in upping the profile of Kiwi newcomer Beulah Koale. There is a lot of buzz building around Koale, who has gone from shorts and local TV movies to join Miles Teller, Haley Bennett and Amy Schumer on the US set of Thank You For Your Service. Produced by DreamWorks, the drama, which covers the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is the highly anticipated directorial debut of Oscar-nominated writer Jason Hall (American Sniper). Moy represented Koale at Red11 Management until very recently, when Moy left the company to branch out on his own. (He spoke to Screen during a three-month non-compete sabbatical.) Moy was working as an actor when the offer to become an agent came out of the blue. “I wasn’t sure being an agent was something I wanted to do and, as a result, I tentatively agreed to a three-month trial. Once it was over I felt that not only was I up for the challenge of being an agent, I was excited by it.” Having worked as an actor (Deathgasm, In My Father’s Den, Vertical Limit), Moy has an acute understanding of the peaks and troughs of a career in performing. “In New Zealand, the biggest challenge to anyone in the industry is the lack of opportunity,” he says. “It’s hard for actors to stay positive, confident and off the poverty line when the work just isn’t there. The challenge for me as an agent is to support them through these periods.” »

May 2016 Screen International 47


Alamy

FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS

Jackie Chan is repped by CAA internationally

Marnie Podos

WHY IT’S DIFFERENT IN ASIA

T

alent management in Asia is handled very differently to the world of agents in North America and Europe. Neither East nor South Asian film industries have a culture of talent agents procuring or packaging work for their clients and charging a percentage of their earnings. Instead, most national film industries have talent management companies, which have a full team working with the bigger talents, overseeing all aspects of their careers, from film, TV and endorsement deals to managing their day-to-day affairs. Generally, newer talent works for the management, rather than the other way round. East Asia’s biggest talent stables include South Korea’s IHQ, KeyEast, JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment; Japan’s Amuse, HoriPro and K Dash Group; China’s Huayi Brothers and Fundamental Management; and Media Asia’s Rich & Famous and Emperor Entertainment Group in Hong Kong. Bigger Asian names tend to have separate representation through US agencies for their international projects: CAA handles Jackie Chan; WME reps Priyanka Chopra and South Korean directors Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho; and UTA handles Li Bingbing and Mark Chao. Mainland China’s talent industry has been going through rapid changes. Increasingly, the bigger stars are leaving management stables to form their own companies, such as Fan Bingbing Studio, which is in the process of being bought out by Zhejiang Talent Television & Film.

Marie Prouzet FRANCE Talentbox m.prouzet@talentbox.fr Clients include Nabiha Akkari, Lou Chauvain, Vincent Tirel

Marie Prouzet is the newest recruit at Talentbox, the Paris-based agency created by former Studiocanal France CEO Camille Trumer in 2011, following his acquisition of talent and publicity agencies CinéArt

48 Screen International May 2016

US talent agency giant CAA launched in China in 2008, introducing the Western model, which involves handling directors and writers in addition to stars. Some smaller outfits have emerged in recent years, such as Easy Entertainment (see page 43), which also deploy this model. Despite continuing attempts to get Sino-US coproductions off the ground, English-speaking actors are still scarce in China and even big-name Chinese-speaking talent is in short supply due to the boom in local film and TV production. In South Asia, stars in the Hindi-speaking film industry historically had personal ‘secretaries’ managing their affairs and acting as gatekeepers, but as Bollywood has become more corporatised, talent management companies have also emerged in Mumbai. The most established include Percept Talent Management, GloboSport and Reshma Shetty’s Matrix. Bollywood stars also like to take control of their own careers. Bigger names such as Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar have all set up their own production companies and tend to board projects as investors and coproducers rather than just actors. In 2012, CAA also launched in Mumbai in partnership with local agency Kwan, which was founded in 2009 by former GloboSport executive Anirban Das Blah and producer Madhu Mantena. Datta Dave and Chaitanya Hegde’s Tulsea (see page 45) is one of the rare local shops that focuses on the careers of Indian writers and directors. Liz Shackleton

and Moteur!. Prouzet was studying political science when she caught the agenting bug through a chance internship at a talent agency. On completing her studies, she took the classic route of working as an assistant to a number of top French agents including Annabel Karouby, Christel Grossenbacher and MarieLaure Munich. “I worked for five agents over a period of five years. It taught me a lot. I saw a lot of different working methods and also got to work with a huge and varied range of talents,” says Prouzet. Today, she represents more than 20 young talents including rising actor Lou Chauvain — who is soon to be seen in Diasteme’s The Summer Of All My Parents

UK

United Agents mpodos@unitedagents.co.uk

Clients include Nikolaj Arcel, Rory Stewart Kinnear, Levan Akin

“I love original voices,” says literary agent Marnie Podos, who came to agenting via a PhD in English and jobs as a runner and at a production company. “I’m attracted to a variety of styles, but the bottom line for me is great storytelling that balances aesthetic credibility with commercial instincts. “As an expat [she was born in the US], I’m naturally drawn to talent that could work on both sides of the pond. I also look for clients who radiate energy in a room, it’s such a big part of the job.” The Danish film-maker and screenwriter Nikolaj Arcel, co-repped with UA’s Natasha Galloway, is one of the jewels in Podos’s crown. Arcel has been writing and directing features since 2002 and gained international attention with his 2009 script for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This was followed by the Danishlanguage A Royal Affair, which he wrote and directed; the film was nominated for the best foreign-language Oscar in 2012. The US-based Arcel has been courted by Hollywood ever since and is now shooting his Englishlanguage debut, the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, which stars Idris Elba. Also on the books is a stable of emerging writers including Lynne Ramsay’s regular collaborator Rory Stewart Kinnear; In Blood And Sand co-writer Daniel Dale; playwright Chris Urch, who is writing the untitled Alexander McQueen biopic; Ed Whitworth, whose credits include long-gestating features Reykjavik and Powell; and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, whose script The Good Nurse is creating buzz in the UK. “I like having a strong conversion rate,” says Podos. “You sell your clients most effectively when you believe in what you’re selling.”

— and web-star Vincent Tirel, a member of The Golden Moustache web collective and co-director of the web feature Les Dissociés. “I like people with a theatrical training. It gives them a solid foundation and produces actors with a strong repertoire of skills,” says Prouzet. “I’ve also got a handful of web talents, who are very popular in France. “Finding talents is relatively easy. You just need to take the time and go out and meet them. What’s really hard is that when you work with young talents, you’re often starting from zero. You’ve got to get them known and convince people to meet them and that can take time.”

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Meyash Prabhu US WME mprabhu@ wmeentertainment.com

Clients include Robert Eggers, Martin Zandvliet, F Javier Gutierrez, Timur Bekmambetov, Pippa Bianco

Meyash Prabhu believes strongly in being first out of the gate and, once out, staying attuned to standout qualities that will define potential clients. “With the level of information exchange, it’s rare that you come across a great film in a festival that nobody is talking about and the artist is unrepresented,” says Prabhu. “[To do so] requires working extra hard to listen to that podcast, or watch that proofof-concept short online that nobody has seen yet.” By going the extra mile Prabhu has come to represent the likes of The Witch director Robert Eggers, Martin Zandvliet, the Danish writer-director of Land Of Mine, and F Javier Gutierrez, whose Rings remake is due out later this year. Championing distinct voices and staying positive, tenacious and entrepreneurial through inevitable setbacks is key. “There are so many platforms the artist can express themselves through, the most important criteria becomes a uniqueness and clarity of perspective. In addition to seeing as many movies and reading as many scripts as possible, storytellers can come in the forms of a designer, playwright, blogger or podcaster.”

Anna Rozalska POLAND Match & Spark ✆ +48 600 302 202 Clients include Lukasz Zal, Monika Lenczewska

Anna Rozalska describes herself as a manager as well as an agent. She set up Poland-based company Match & Spark last autumn together with business partner Tarik Hachoud. “It’s a young generation of film-makers who have big potential to work internationally,” Rozalska says of her initial list of 20 or so clients. It includes writers, directors, production designers and cinematographers, among them Lukasz Zal, DoP on the Oscar-winning Ida, and Monika Lenczewska, DoP on Fabrice Du Welz’s Message From The King. Rozalska began to think about establishing Match & Spark last year after steadicam operator Adam Mendry approached her. At the time, she had also been helping her friend Zal go to Los Angeles and meet with US agents. “He came back and said, ‘Anna, you’ve been dealing with everything as a friend, maybe you should consider being my agent.’” Rozalska was previously in charge of the production and development department at Alvernia Studios. “After being responsible for international production, I was looking for a way to use all the contacts I’d built over the years,” she says. The aim at Match & Spark is to work with film-makers, writers and technicians who want to “grow internationally”.

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Trine Ryaa

DENMARK

All That Management trine@allthatmanagement.dk Clients include Sidse Babett Knudsen, Nicolaj Kopernikus, Carsten Bjornlund (all shared with All That CEO/founder Anette Vendelbo)

After working in theatre for more than a decade, Trine Ryaa started working with Anette Vendelbo’s Copenhagen-based All That Management with small, part-time projects in 2007. She joined the agency full time three years ago and now serves as an agent in her own right as well as assisting Vendelbo in working with top Danish clients including Borgen and The Duke Of Burgundy star Sidse Babett Knudsen. Ryaa is interested in discovering rising talents and “to be able to present a wider range of age and talent to the casters, producers and directors”. She adds: “I love to see them grow and see how they deal with the challenges given to them, casting by casting.” Watching Vendelbo closely over the years has been hugely valuable for her. Ryaa has learnt from “seeing her negotiate and watching her close important deals, taking it to the limit, but in fairness without being pushy”. Of her own skills, Ryaa notes: “I always try to see the possibilities within the person before me, without promising gold at the end of the rainbow.” But when that gold comes, that’s the best part of her job. “Calling a client to say they got the dream job, that’s the greatest part.”

Jaya Saha

INDIA

CAA Kwan jayanti@caakwan.com

Clients include Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Shraddha Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput, Mahesh Babu, Radhika Apte, Kriti Kharbanda, Deeksha Seth

Based in Mumbai, Jaya Saha is talent head at CAA Kwan, which handles actors, musicians, directors, writers and sportspeople. She is praised by local producers for her work with actors such as Kalki Koechlin, Radhika Apte and Sushant Singh Rajput, who have become stars in India’s fast-growing indie film-making sector, as well as mainstream stars including Deepika Padukone and Shraddha Kapoor. When Saha graduated from college eight years ago, professional talent management did not really exist in India. But sports management had just started to emerge and she took a job at GloboSport, one of the first professional agencies. “A friend recommended this career to me. It sounded interesting and I took the plunge,” Saha says. When Anirban Das Blah left GloboSport in 2009 to set up Kwan, she followed. Saha says she finds new talent through producers, directors, casting directors and other industry professionals and works with her clients to create a sustainable brand image. “You have to adapt to what is being consumed by the audience and be ahead of the curve.”

Andreas Schlieter

GERMANY

Gipfelsturmer Talent Agency kontakt@agentur-gipfelstuermer.de

Clients include Toini Ruhnke, Tom Bottcher, Salah Massoud, Delio Malär, Michaela Spanle

The idea of launching his own talent agency was born when Andreas Schlieter ran the in-house extras and bit-player agency for Hamburgbased production company Network Movie. “I saw how much fun it can be to work with young talents,” he says. “I love the fact the job is so diversified. As an agent, you need many skills to do a great job. You are CEO, PR agent, best friend and caring dad in one person. And it really makes me happy to see when one of my clients is successful.” One way to find new clients is to keep an eye on the talent coming out of the local acting schools. Schlieter’s work as a stills photographer for the youth wing of Hamburg’s Deutsches Schauspielhaus theatre has also served him well. Sometimes, though, it is pure chance that leads to him to a gem. “I was in the U-bahn one evening and noticed a young man with huge charisma and a really extraordinary and memorable voice,” he says. “It turned out that he’d just moved to Hamburg from Switzerland to study acting — and Delio Malär is now one of my busiest talents.” Representing 15 actors, Schlieter sees himself as “a personal manager who knows exactly what’s going on in his talents’ lives and careers”. He points out that at the beginning of an actor’s career, the talent and the agent both have to work hard at gaining recognition. “You get that through a great showreel and really good portraits,” he explains. “You have to make the casting directors curious to cast the talents without being too pushy.”

» May 2016 Screen International 49


FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS

Solco Schuit

US

WME sschuit@wmeentertainment.com Clients include Babak Anvari, Otto Bathurst, Zach Dean, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Justin Simien

Like many good agents, Solco Schuit started out in the mailroom. Once he got on his first desk, he says he never looked back and the literary agent has wasted little time assembling a stable of emerging talent. He recently signed Iranian director Babak Anvari, whose genre feature Under The Shadow was one of the most talked about films in Sundance this year. Further clients include Justin Simien, the writerdirector of Dear White People, Peaky Blinders director

Daphné Thavaud

Pedro Tourinho

Clients include Nathalie Odzierejko, Raphael Descraques, Julien Josselin, Norman Thavaud

Daphné Thavaud belongs to a new generation of agents scoping out and representing top online talent. Often referred to as ‘the YouTubers agent’ in France, Thavaud represents many of France’s top web stars, including her younger brother Norman Thavaud, whose channel Norman Fait Des Videos (Norman Makes Videos) has 7.3 million subscribers. Thavaud trained in theatre production and segued into the talent business via film and TV production. “I was always drawn to performers, so becoming a talent agent was a natural progression,” says Thavaud, who set up Vacarme four years ago. “I didn’t plan to focus on web talent but my brother’s YouTube activities were taking off so I had direct access.” It was a baptism of fire as the young agent got to grips with the emerging economic model revolving around branding and sponsorship deals on the web, which has transformed many of her clients into millionaires. Thavaud does not confine herself to the web. Further clients include emerging actor Paul Scarfoglio, who will debut on the big screen this year in David Moreau’s Seuls and Christian Duguay’s A Bag Of Marbles. In 2015, Thavaud accepted an offer from top talent agent Bertrand de Labbey to join Artmedia, one of France’s biggest agencies, and de Labbey has become an important mentor for Thavaud. “I got to the point where I needed to grow my knowledge of a profession that I’d learnt all alone. I had other offers from producers and agents but somehow they didn’t gel. Bertrand, however, is extraordinary and it was the right move,” she explains. De Labbey stepped down as head of Artmedia earlier this year to focus on its sister agency Voyez Mon Agent (VMA). In a sign of her commitment to the veteran agent, Thavaud says her client list will be integrated into VMA in the coming months.

50 Screen International May 2016

BRAZIL

NoPlanB contato@noplanb.ag

FRANCE Vacarme By Artmedia daphne.thavaud@ vacarme-by-artmedia.com

Otto Bathurst, who is now preparing to direct Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx and Eve Hewson in Robin Hood: Origins for Lionsgate, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, now writing the new take on Tomb Raider as well as Transformers 5. Schuit gladly accepts referrals to develop his roster, although he strives to apply the right kind of energy. “Sometimes it can be a challenge to stop yourself from getting in that rhythm of just responding to e-mails and returning phone calls instead of proactively strategising,” he says. A team player, he likes to spend time with colleagues and clients, whom he says “are the heart and soul of WME”. That bustling milieu appears to be the one Schuit has set his sights on for the foreseeable future: “The course Ari [Emanuel] and Patrick [Whitesell] have set this company on will put WME in a unique position in five years and I’m extremely excited to be a part of that.”

Clients include Bruno Mazzeo, Fabricio Boliveira, Chay Suede, Fabiula Nascimento, Marco Pigossi

In 2009, Pedro Tourinho was living in Los Angeles on UCLA’s entertainment studies programme when he decided to open his own talent agency in Rio de Janeiro, adopting the same business model as the US industry. In Brazil, the talent market is still very small, since most actors, film-makers and writers are solely represented by managers. “My goal is to help my clients achieve all their artistic and commercial potential, without a plan B,” says Tourinho of the philosophy — and name — of his company. “Nothing is more rewarding then developing a career strategy and a plan and to see the results.” Tourinho has always been involved in the entertainment industry, working initially in advertising and branded content, as a TV director and marketing director for networks such as Record and Globo in Brazil. Becoming a talent agent was a natural step. While a manager handles public relations and business matters, as a talent agent Tourinho see himself as someone who will bring the best opportunities to his clients and help them to make the best decisions. “A manager doesn’t do multi-platform career planning,” says Tourinho of the difference. Today NoPlanB handles 25 clients, including Bruno Mazzeo, the star of three local hit comedies. “I don’t look for clients. I prefer to let them know my work through the success and work of my clients. They end up looking for me,” he says. “I like to work with proactive clients, most of them are busy actors in the industry. I represent people such as Thiago Soares, a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London, and Nego do Borel, the Brazilian funk and pop star.” Tourinho hopes to see the Brazilian talent sector develop and expand. “We need more agencies such as NoPlanB and more players from other markets. My growth is totally linked to the development of our talent industry.”

Ali Trustman

US

CAA mdavy@caa.com

Clients include Emmy Rossum, Julianne Hough, Sofia Boutella, Zoe Saldana, James Franco

Ali Trustman’s broad education at CAA has put her in good stead when it comes to fighting for clients and developing their appeal across platforms. She started at CAA in 2009 as an assistant in the film finance and sales group, where she learned the nuts and bolts of assembling a project. “I make sure to go to as many film festivals and watch as many movies at those festivals as I can,” says Trustman, who managed to see 40 fea-

tures at Sundance this year. “I find a lot of the talent I work with from that space.” She has also had a stint in the literary department, giving Trustman what she describes as a “360-degree background” and enabling her to be creative when generating opportunities for her clients. “I also care a tremendous amount about representing women and feel a responsibility to make sure we are putting out truthful representations of women that excite actresses and audiences,” she says. “Whether that is the Joy Mangano story [Joy] or supporting the reimagining of The Mummy as a woman, I want to be in the middle of that conversation.”

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Molly Wansell

UK

42 mollywansell@42mp.com

Clients include Stacy Martin, Miles Jupp, Hera Hilmar, Coral Amiga

“Ever since I was a child my parents said I should try becoming an agent,” says 42’s Molly Wansell. After a brief stint working at an academic institution, she joined the ranks at UK agency Tavistock Wood and worked there for six years before joining the nascent 42 in late 2014. “An agent-client relationship is more co-dependent than a marriage so you need to make sure you really understand the person you want to work with — and believe they have talent of course,” she says. “All my clients are different and have different skills but if you put them all

Jonathan Weinstein

in a room together they would get on. I like to refer to them as my team.” Her clients includes UK comedy actor Miles Jupp of BBC series Rev and Radio 4 comedy show The News Quiz and rising star Stacy Martin, the model-turned-actress whose credits include Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, Brady Corbet’s The Childhood Of A Leader, Nicolas Saada’s Taj Mahal and Matteo Garrone’s Tale Of Tales. Among the emerging talents on Wansell’s roster are Icelandic actress Hera Hilmar, who stars in local box-office smash Life In A Fish Bowl and alongside Baltasar Kormakur in the directoractor’s upcoming The Oath (she also has a recurring role in Starz TV fantasy drama Da Vinci’s Demons); and Rome actress Coral Amiga, who recently wrapped thriller Kill The Czar opposite James Franco. Former Screen Star of Tomorrow Rose Wicksteed is among Wansell’s casting agent clients.

US

UTA steinl@unitedtalent.com

Clients include Nicholas Braun, Joanne Froggatt, Tony Hale, Amber Tamblyn

After graduating from Brandeis University with a degree in politics and English literature, Weinstein moved from the east coast to Los Angeles and joined the UTA agent training programme in 2007. “Since my first day, I have prided myself in doing the job the best I could, never saying no, and always trusting my instinct and taste,” says Weinstein, who made agent in 2012. Trawling though festivals such as Sundance and Toronto enables him to hear about the most in-demand actors, writers and directors. And working with a broad range of talent allows him to improve his own performance. Similarly, in these competitive times, Weinstein expects an open-mindedness from his clients once he has secured them an audition or a foot in the door. He tells them: “Only take a job for the right reasons, to make sure it’s a character he or she really wants to play and will be excited about showing up for every day on set. “I’m not the one who’s going to be living and breathing the character, and the reasons I might think the job or the character are worthwhile can be wholly different from theirs.” Once an offer comes in, the rewarding part of Weinstein’s job kicks in. “There is no greater feeling than calling a client to tell them they got the part they’ve worked so hard for and wanted so badly.”

Ashley Zhang

CHINA

CAA (Beijing) ashley.zhang@caa.com

Clients include John Woo, Pang Ho Cheung, Wu Bai, John H Lee, Lu Chuan, Wendy Li, Yuan Yuan, Yan Geling

An agent in CAA’s Beijing office, Ashley Zhang works with writers such as Yuan Yuan (Go Away Mr Tumor), emerging directors including Wu Bai (The Old Cinderella) and established film-makers including Pang Ho Cheung (Love In The Buff) and John H Lee (Operation Chromite). She also works with her CAA colleagues in the US repping international talents such as John Woo. Zhang joined CAA after studying at Beijing Film Academy and London School of Economics, first working as an assistant to Jonah Greenberg, then being promoted to agent after two years. She has become the leading agent in China working with bilingual writers, such as novelist-screenwriter Yan Geling (Coming Home) and screenwriter Wendy Li (Bridge Forever). “Many of my clients are bilingual and understand both local and Western audiences’ culture and tastes,” says Zhang. “Others are local talent who have already delivered a successful or popular movie or TV series or young film-makers with great potential. I’m also very active in helping our US clients work in China or in co-productions.” Zhang says she finds clients through recommendations of colleagues, former schoolmates and industry friends. “I also pay close attention to high-quality short films and young filmmakers whose work is shown at film festivals.” She says one of the biggest challenges of her job is bridging the US and Chinese film industries. “They’re in different phases of development, so the demands and expectations of financiers and audiences, rules of the game and business strategies are dissimilar. But my CAA colleagues in the US are as committed as my colleagues in Beijing to creating opportunities for Chis nese clients in the global marketplace.” ■

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Camilla Young UK Curtis Brown camilla.young@ curtisbrown.co.uk Clients include Brock Norman Brock, Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, Geir Henning Hopland (all co-repped with Nick Marston)

Young started out as assistant to Curtis Brown agent and Cuba Pictures CEO Nick Marston for two years, before being promoted to co-agent Marston’s stellar list and to build her own. Bronson co-writer Brock Norman Brock is among Young’s biggest names while up-andcoming writing duo Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel are two of the UK’s hottest new writing talents. The duo’s 2016 Jesse Owens biopic Race has prompted a flood of interest from Hollywood and they have projects in the works with Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie, Catherine Hardwicke and Stephen Hopkins. Another client, Norwegian director Geir Henning Hopland, has directed multiple episodes of Netflix crime drama Lilyhammer and gone on to direct the pilot and first four episodes of hit Norwegian TV series Acquitted. “I work within a great department in a fantastic agency,” says Young. “We share information, have access to exciting material and I like to introduce clients to each other so they can develop work together. “I love the fact that no day is the same and I’m constantly meeting new people. Also when you have a part to play in your client getting their dream job, it makes all the hard work worth it.” Among her career highlights so far is working on the screen-rights deal to Matt Haig ’s children’s book A Boy Called Christmas, which was sold to Studiocanal and Blueprint Pictures.

May 2016 Screen International 51


FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS

Solco Schuit

US

WME sschuit@wmeentertainment.com Clients include Babak Anvari, Otto Bathurst, Zach Dean, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Justin Simien

Like many good agents, Solco Schuit started out in the mailroom. Once he got on his first desk, he says he never looked back and the literary agent has wasted little time assembling a stable of emerging talent. He recently signed Iranian director Babak Anvari, whose genre feature Under The Shadow was one of the most talked about films in Sundance this year. Further clients include Justin Simien, the writerdirector of Dear White People, Peaky Blinders director

Daphné Thavaud

Pedro Tourinho

Clients include Nathalie Odzierejko, Raphael Descraques, Julien Josselin, Norman Thavaud

Daphné Thavaud belongs to a new generation of agents scoping out and representing top online talent. Often referred to as ‘the YouTubers agent’ in France, Thavaud represents many of France’s top web stars, including her younger brother Norman Thavaud, whose channel Norman Fait Des Videos (Norman Makes Videos) has 7.3 million subscribers. Thavaud trained in theatre production and segued into the talent business via film and TV production. “I was always drawn to performers, so becoming a talent agent was a natural progression,” says Thavaud, who set up Vacarme four years ago. “I didn’t plan to focus on web talent but my brother’s YouTube activities were taking off so I had direct access.” It was a baptism of fire as the young agent got to grips with the emerging economic model revolving around branding and sponsorship deals on the web, which has transformed many of her clients into millionaires. Thavaud does not confine herself to the web. Further clients include emerging actor Paul Scarfoglio, who will debut on the big screen this year in David Moreau’s Seuls and Christian Duguay’s A Bag Of Marbles. In 2015, Thavaud accepted an offer from top talent agent Bertrand de Labbey to join Artmedia, one of France’s biggest agencies, and de Labbey has become an important mentor for Thavaud. “I got to the point where I needed to grow my knowledge of a profession that I’d learnt all alone. I had other offers from producers and agents but somehow they didn’t gel. Bertrand, however, is extraordinary and it was the right move,” she explains. De Labbey stepped down as head of Artmedia earlier this year to focus on its sister agency Voyez Mon Agent (VMA). In a sign of her commitment to the veteran agent, Thavaud says her client list will be integrated into VMA in the coming months.

50 Screen International May 2016

BRAZIL

NoPlanB contato@noplanb.ag

FRANCE Vacarme By Artmedia daphne.thavaud@ vacarme-by-artmedia.com

Otto Bathurst, who is now preparing to direct Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx and Eve Hewson in Robin Hood: Origins for Lionsgate, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, now writing the new take on Tomb Raider as well as Transformers 5. Schuit gladly accepts referrals to develop his roster, although he strives to apply the right kind of energy. “Sometimes it can be a challenge to stop yourself from getting in that rhythm of just responding to e-mails and returning phone calls instead of proactively strategising,” he says. A team player, he likes to spend time with colleagues and clients, whom he says “are the heart and soul of WME”. That bustling milieu appears to be the one Schuit has set his sights on for the foreseeable future: “The course Ari [Emanuel] and Patrick [Whitesell] have set this company on will put WME in a unique position in five years and I’m extremely excited to be a part of that.”

Clients include Bruno Mazzeo, Fabricio Boliveira, Chay Suede, Fabiula Nascimento, Marco Pigossi

In 2009, Pedro Tourinho was living in Los Angeles on UCLA’s entertainment studies programme when he decided to open his own talent agency in Rio de Janeiro, adopting the same business model as the US industry. In Brazil, the talent market is still very small, since most actors, film-makers and writers are solely represented by managers. “My goal is to help my clients achieve all their artistic and commercial potential, without a plan B,” says Tourinho of the philosophy — and name — of his company. “Nothing is more rewarding then developing a career strategy and a plan and to see the results.” Tourinho has always been involved in the entertainment industry, working initially in advertising and branded content, as a TV director and marketing director for networks such as Record and Globo in Brazil. Becoming a talent agent was a natural step. While a manager handles public relations and business matters, as a talent agent Tourinho see himself as someone who will bring the best opportunities to his clients and help them to make the best decisions. “A manager doesn’t do multi-platform career planning,” says Tourinho of the difference. Today NoPlanB handles 25 clients, including Bruno Mazzeo, the star of three local hit comedies. “I don’t look for clients. I prefer to let them know my work through the success and work of my clients. They end up looking for me,” he says. “I like to work with proactive clients, most of them are busy actors in the industry. I represent people such as Thiago Soares, a principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London, and Nego do Borel, the Brazilian funk and pop star.” Tourinho hopes to see the Brazilian talent sector develop and expand. “We need more agencies such as NoPlanB and more players from other markets. My growth is totally linked to the development of our talent industry.”

Ali Trustman

US

CAA mdavy@caa.com

Clients include Emmy Rossum, Julianne Hough, Sofia Boutella, Zoe Saldana, James Franco

Ali Trustman’s broad education at CAA has put her in good stead when it comes to fighting for clients and developing their appeal across platforms. She started at CAA in 2009 as an assistant in the film finance and sales group, where she learned the nuts and bolts of assembling a project. “I make sure to go to as many film festivals and watch as many movies at those festivals as I can,” says Trustman, who managed to see 40 fea-

tures at Sundance this year. “I find a lot of the talent I work with from that space.” She has also had a stint in the literary department, giving Trustman what she describes as a “360-degree background” and enabling her to be creative when generating opportunities for her clients. “I also care a tremendous amount about representing women and feel a responsibility to make sure we are putting out truthful representations of women that excite actresses and audiences,” she says. “Whether that is the Joy Mangano story [Joy] or supporting the reimagining of The Mummy as a woman, I want to be in the middle of that conversation.”

www.screendaily.com


Molly Wansell

UK

42 mollywansell@42mp.com

Clients include Stacy Martin, Miles Jupp, Hera Hilmar, Coral Amiga

“Ever since I was a child my parents said I should try becoming an agent,” says 42’s Molly Wansell. After a brief stint working at an academic institution, she joined the ranks at UK agency Tavistock Wood and worked there for six years before joining the nascent 42 in late 2014. “An agent-client relationship is more co-dependent than a marriage so you need to make sure you really understand the person you want to work with — and believe they have talent of course,” she says. “All my clients are different and have different skills but if you put them all

Jonathan Weinstein

in a room together they would get on. I like to refer to them as my team.” Her clients includes UK comedy actor Miles Jupp of BBC series Rev and Radio 4 comedy show The News Quiz and rising star Stacy Martin, the model-turned-actress whose credits include Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, Brady Corbet’s The Childhood Of A Leader, Nicolas Saada’s Taj Mahal and Matteo Garrone’s Tale Of Tales. Among the emerging talents on Wansell’s roster are Icelandic actress Hera Hilmar, who stars in local box-office smash Life In A Fish Bowl and alongside Baltasar Kormakur in the directoractor’s upcoming The Oath (she also has a recurring role in Starz TV fantasy drama Da Vinci’s Demons); and Rome actress Coral Amiga, who recently wrapped thriller Kill The Czar opposite James Franco. Former Screen Star of Tomorrow Rose Wicksteed is among Wansell’s casting agent clients.

US

UTA steinl@unitedtalent.com

Clients include Nicholas Braun, Joanne Froggatt, Tony Hale, Amber Tamblyn

After graduating from Brandeis University with a degree in politics and English literature, Weinstein moved from the east coast to Los Angeles and joined the UTA agent training programme in 2007. “Since my first day, I have prided myself in doing the job the best I could, never saying no, and always trusting my instinct and taste,” says Weinstein, who made agent in 2012. Trawling though festivals such as Sundance and Toronto enables him to hear about the most in-demand actors, writers and directors. And working with a broad range of talent allows him to improve his own performance. Similarly, in these competitive times, Weinstein expects an open-mindedness from his clients once he has secured them an audition or a foot in the door. He tells them: “Only take a job for the right reasons, to make sure it’s a character he or she really wants to play and will be excited about showing up for every day on set. “I’m not the one who’s going to be living and breathing the character, and the reasons I might think the job or the character are worthwhile can be wholly different from theirs.” Once an offer comes in, the rewarding part of Weinstein’s job kicks in. “There is no greater feeling than calling a client to tell them they got the part they’ve worked so hard for and wanted so badly.”

Ashley Zhang

CHINA

CAA (Beijing) ashley.zhang@caa.com

Clients include John Woo, Pang Ho Cheung, Wu Bai, John H Lee, Lu Chuan, Wendy Li, Yuan Yuan, Yan Geling

An agent in CAA’s Beijing office, Ashley Zhang works with writers such as Yuan Yuan (Go Away Mr Tumor), emerging directors including Wu Bai (The Old Cinderella) and established film-makers including Pang Ho Cheung (Love In The Buff) and John H Lee (Operation Chromite). She also works with her CAA colleagues in the US repping international talents such as John Woo. Zhang joined CAA after studying at Beijing Film Academy and London School of Economics, first working as an assistant to Jonah Greenberg, then being promoted to agent after two years. She has become the leading agent in China working with bilingual writers, such as novelist-screenwriter Yan Geling (Coming Home) and screenwriter Wendy Li (Bridge Forever). “Many of my clients are bilingual and understand both local and Western audiences’ culture and tastes,” says Zhang. “Others are local talent who have already delivered a successful or popular movie or TV series or young film-makers with great potential. I’m also very active in helping our US clients work in China or in co-productions.” Zhang says she finds clients through recommendations of colleagues, former schoolmates and industry friends. “I also pay close attention to high-quality short films and young filmmakers whose work is shown at film festivals.” She says one of the biggest challenges of her job is bridging the US and Chinese film industries. “They’re in different phases of development, so the demands and expectations of financiers and audiences, rules of the game and business strategies are dissimilar. But my CAA colleagues in the US are as committed as my colleagues in Beijing to creating opportunities for Chis nese clients in the global marketplace.” ■

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Camilla Young UK Curtis Brown camilla.young@ curtisbrown.co.uk Clients include Brock Norman Brock, Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, Geir Henning Hopland (all co-repped with Nick Marston)

Young started out as assistant to Curtis Brown agent and Cuba Pictures CEO Nick Marston for two years, before being promoted to co-agent Marston’s stellar list and to build her own. Bronson co-writer Brock Norman Brock is among Young’s biggest names while up-andcoming writing duo Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel are two of the UK’s hottest new writing talents. The duo’s 2016 Jesse Owens biopic Race has prompted a flood of interest from Hollywood and they have projects in the works with Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie, Catherine Hardwicke and Stephen Hopkins. Another client, Norwegian director Geir Henning Hopland, has directed multiple episodes of Netflix crime drama Lilyhammer and gone on to direct the pilot and first four episodes of hit Norwegian TV series Acquitted. “I work within a great department in a fantastic agency,” says Young. “We share information, have access to exciting material and I like to introduce clients to each other so they can develop work together. “I love the fact that no day is the same and I’m constantly meeting new people. Also when you have a part to play in your client getting their dream job, it makes all the hard work worth it.” Among her career highlights so far is working on the screen-rights deal to Matt Haig ’s children’s book A Boy Called Christmas, which was sold to Studiocanal and Blueprint Pictures.

May 2016 Screen International 51

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