Film biz vet named partner; Christina Bazdekis also joins N.Y. office

ICM Partners is beefing up its film lit ranks, naming Cinetic Media’s Bart Walker as a partner in the percentery.

Walker returns to the Gotham office of the agency where he worked in the 1980s and ’90s with his longtime colleague, Christina Bazdekis, a manager at Cinetic. Through Cinetic, the pair have managed a clutch of notable hyphenates including Sofia Coppola, John Turturro, Lisa Cholodenko, Jim Jarmusch, Lee Daniels, Tamara Jenkins, Mira Nair, Sally Potter, Boaz Yakin, Dee Rees, Julian Schnabel and Zoe Cassavetes. Most of Walker and Bazdekis’ existing clients are expected to make the move with them to ICM, but specifics are still being sorted out.

Walker becomes the 28th partner in the percentery that has undergone a major overhaul this year in the wake of the management buyout completed last May. Walker’s hire adds an infusion of film clients to ICM, a sector where it has lagged its rivals. It also comes on the heels of the new ICM regime formally ending its relationship with longtime leader Jeff Berg (Daily Variety, Oct. 29).

“Bringing Bart and Christina to the agency is an important step in growing our partnership and strengthening our motion picture department,” the ICM Partners said in a statement. “Bart and Christina are known for their ability to identify and cultivate the careers of artists and their expertise in the financing and packaging of films. They are fantastic additions not only to our motion picture department but also to our New York office.”

Walker has been a partner with John Sloss in Cinetic Media since 2007. In recent years, Walker has helped shepherd such films as “Precious,” “The Kids Are Alright” and docu “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

Walker began his career in biz affairs at ICM in the 1980s. After a stint outside the agency biz, he worked for ICM from 1991 to 2004, rising to head its Gotham film department. He spent three years at CAA before joining Sloss at Cinetic. In 2010, Walker and Sloss co-founded Producers Distribution Agency, a company focused on developing alternative theatrical distribution models for indie pics.

Walker said he was impressed by the changes underway at ICM.

“ICM is where I learned how to represent artists and has always stood for a deep and genuine commitment to creative people,” he said. “I believe that the partnership has fused this great legacy with an exciting management philosophy and entrepreneurial energy that will produce the best results for our clients. At the same time, I salute John and the passionate people of Cinetic. I have no doubt they will continue to do great work that enriches our culture.”

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