by Eugene Hernandez
The William Morris Agency announced yesterday that it is creating a new
division to handle its independent film business. According to Variety,
the new arm will be named WMA Independent and will be headed by Cassian
Elwes. While the Hollywood trade called the changes "cosmetic", It
reported that WMA will focus on both repping films for distribution
and packaging projects for production, as well as raising financing
from international distributors.
"I want the WMA Independent name to become synonymous with independent
film," Cassian Elwes told Variety, offering that the division will
have its own logo and maintain a level of autonomy within the agency.
Joining WMA Independent as Vice President is Rena Ronson, formerly of
Lakeshore International, while Luc Roeg will handle the division's
European activities. Variety reported yesterday that the unit is
representing two films at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival, Morgan
J. Freeman's "Desert Blue" and Sebastian Gutierrez' "Judas Kiss."
William Morris packaged "Hurly Burly", the new Tony Drazan ("Zebrahead")
film which was recently picked up by Fine Line, and it also put together
and is repping Alan Rudolph's new project, "Breakfast of Champions."