Exec head of books, literary properties

Amy Schiffman has been named vice president of books and literary properties at the Gersh Agency.

She will assume her post in Gersh’s Los Angeles offices in the coming weeks, taking over the job left open when Ron Bernstein departed for ICM earlier in the month.

“We’re really excited about working with Amy,” said Richard Arlook, head of Gersh’s motion picture literary department. “After 10 years at William Morris, she has great knowledge of the book business, great contacts and a reputation for being a wonderful person.”

Schiffman’s mandate is to rep literary properties to the movies. As part of the Gersh team, she will play an integral role in the motion picture and television literary and talent departments.

“It’s marvelous,” said Columbia Pictures chair Amy Pascal. “Amy’s one of the smartest people in the business. They’re incredibly lucky to have her.”

A veteran agent who worked at William Morris for 10 years, Schiffman has been running her own management company over the past year, repping literary properties, screenwriters and writer-directors.

“I think Gersh is a wonderful place, a gold mine in fact,” Schiffman said. “Some people are not aware how much great talent they represent. They have always had a fantastic literary department, so it’s a great platform for me. They want to grow in the literary area, so they asked me to be part of that plan.”

During her tenure at WMA, Schiffman repped the sale of the Lorenzo Carcaterra novel “Sleepers” to Polygram Filmed Entertainment (the film rights sold for more than $2 million).

Schiffman also sold “Primal Fear” to Gary Lucchesi at Paramount; the subsequent film became a comeback vehicle for Richard Gere and launched Edward Norton’s career.

In addition, Schiffman repped “Apollo 13,” based on a book that she sold from a 56-page treatment, and Texas Monthly magazine, several of whose articles became the basis for TV movies.

(Claude Brodesser contributed to this report.)

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