FUTURE LEADERS AGENTS
Stefano Chiappi Management email@example.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.”
Creative Arab Talent (CAT) firstname.lastname@example.org 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.”
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Zona Talent Agency email@example.com
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.
44 Screen International May 2016
Ruth Franco Management firstname.lastname@example.org 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.