Pollack inks with UTA for helming gigs

CAA vs. AMG scuffle left director agent-less

NEW YORK — UTA has signed director Sydney Pollack and will steer his directing career in concert with Artists Management Group.

Pollack, who won an Oscar for “Out of Africa,” had been agent-less since leaving CAA when that agency developed a policy of not sharing clients with AMG. Pollack enlisted in the management company to join his old friend Michael Ovitz, and reluctantly left the CAA fold even though he was content there. AMG, which has several clients at UTA, including Barry Levinson and Ted Demme, invited UTA to meet with Pollack.

“We got to know Sydney over the past year-and-a-half, and found him to be not just a terrific director but a great guy,” said UTA partner John Lesher. Though Pollack has directed such hits as “Tootsie” and “The Firm,” he hasn’t been behind the camera since helming the Harrison Ford-starrer “Random Hearts,” which was released two years ago.

Aside from starring in the Stanley Kubrick-directed “Eyes Wide Shut,” Pollack has been preoccupied as a producer. His Mirage Enterprises partnership with Anthony Minghella has led to such plum projects as “Cold Mountain,” the MGM/Miramax adaptation to be directed by Minghella, with Tom Cruise poised to star, and such actresses as Renee Zellweger and Julia Roberts orbiting the female lead.

Pollack and Minghella also are producing “Assumption,” the Intermedia/DreamWorks film to be directed by Walter Salles and starring Benicio Del Toro and Juliette Binoche.

UTA’s mission will be to find Pollack a project to get him behind the camera again.

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