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Hollywood’s New Leaders: The Agents

Variety‘s Hollywood’s New Leaders profiles those to look out for in the worlds of film, TV, digital and more. For more of the New Leaders, click here.

Ali Barash, 28 (bottom row second from right)
Agent, digital media, UTA
Since transitioning from ICM’s television lit unit to UTA’s digital department in 2012, Barash has proven her golden touch for digital media. Clients include Andrew Bachelor (known as Vine’s King Bach) and YouTube phenoms JennXPenn and Toby Turner. She’s packaged several feature films starring digital talent for distribution on digital platforms, helped negotiate deals for client Just for Laughs to move its billion-views YouTube channel “Gags” to Maker Studios, and helped land the creator of “Action Movie Kid” a film deal at Fox 2000. “My goal is (to get digital talent) to stay in the ecosystem where they built their audience while still being able to make the type of money they would in film or TV.”

Ben Dey, 33 (top row second from left)
Television talent agent, CAA
Since his 2004 start at CAA as an assistant, Dey’s stature at the agency has grown. Within the past 16 months he brokered a deal for Jane Fonda in Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” and for Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.” Dey solidified his role in TV by orchestrating Felicity Huffman’s return to ABC with a starring role in “American Crime” and bringing talent to Fox, including Tom Mison (“Sleepy Hollow”) and Tom Ellis (“Lucifer”). He also signed Chloe Bennet before she became the star of ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.” While his clients include A-listers, his favorite phone calls are to newbie thesps. “I love sorting through the material, identifying what the best projects are and then figuring out how to put your clients in the best positions to get those jobs.”

Franklin Latt, 31 (top row third from left)
Talent agent, CAA
Latt began at CAA in 2008 assisting Jack Whigham and Kevin Huvane. In 2012 he was promoted to agent. Since then he’s signed Rosamund Pike, Boyd Holbrook, Peter Dinklage and Omar Sy. He also reps Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Julia Roberts, Annette Bening, Glenn Close and Viola Davis. Latt played a key role in signing “The Fault in Our Stars” star Ansel Elgort. His client Alden Ehrenreich is the lead of Warren Beatty’s upcoming film and also stars in the Coen brothers’ “Hail, Caesar!” Most recently, Latt brokered a deal for Haley Bennett as the female lead in Antoine Fuqua’s remake of “The Magnificent Seven” and added Sarah Wright (“Mena”) to his list of leading ladies. “The goal for me is to stay curious. It’s about looking at anything and everything in all platforms.”

James Farrell, 34 (bottom row second from left)
Talent agent, WME
Farrell used to be an investment banker. “It was great preparation for what I do,” he says. Translation: Farrell knows how to work hard and hustle. In less than four years he helped clients land coveted roles. Case in point: “Impossible” actor Tom Holland recently wrapped Ron Howard’s “In the Heart of the Sea” and is set to play the superhero in the next “Spider-Man.” Farrell landed newcomer Ben Hardy a key role in 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men Apocalypse” and engineered roles for Jack Reynor (“Macbeth”), Riley Keough (Starz’s “The Girlfriend Experience”) and Karl Glusman (“Nocturnal Animals”).

Eric Garfinkel, 34 (not pictured)
Feature literary agent, Gersh
Since joining Gersh in 2003 Garfinkel’s roster has grown to include rising stars as well as industry vets. Among his clients: “The Equalizer” and “The Lake” screenwriter Richard Wenk; “The Cola Wars” writer-director Robert B. Weide; and Uli Edel, director of History’s “Houdini.” Additionally, Garfinkel has brokered deals for Ian Helfer (“Year of the Pigskin”) and playwright George Brant, whose 2012 play “Grounded” is being adapted into a feature with Anne Hathaway. “Telling someone that they got the job and their life is about to change — those are the top moments of the year.”

Doug Fronk, 40 (top row fourth from right)
TV lit agent, Paradigm
Fronk is having a great year, thanks to clients Opus Moreschi, the former head writer on “The Colbert Report,” now head writer on “Late Night With Stephen Colbert”; and Paris Barclay, director/exec producer of FX’s “Bastard Executioner.” He helped develop ABC comedy “Black-ish,” now in its second season. “When I began as an assistant 10 years ago, it seemed there were just four TV buyers. Now we deal with 40-plus. … The continued expansion of TV choice is a bonus for viewers.”

Kyle Loftus, 26 (bottom row far left)
Literary agent, APA
Loftus has closed major deals for clients since his promotion to agent two years ago. Among them, Wesley Snipes’ foray into TV, three deals for writer Alexis Jolly and the packaging of “In Cold Blood” at the Weinstein Co.. “The biggest challenge ahead will be cutting through the clutter with fresh voices and original story-telling. Ensuring my clients embrace non-traditional platforms and business models as they evolve will be vital to their sustained success.”

Craig Mizrahi, 40 (bottom row far right)
Production agent, Innovative Artists
In his years at IA, Mizrahi has kept adding different types of filmmakers to the roster, expanding the business to repping 10 categories of clients. “We excel by using a proactive approach that crosses all agency departments to find and share the newest information, and to track and distinguish the next generation of writers and directors. This, along with creating and maintaining lasting relationships with potential buyers, yields the results needed to keep our clients at the forefront of their respective crafts.”

Dan Norton, 40 (top row far right)
Television literary agent, ICM Partners
His agency career started at ICM and, after a stint at William Morris Agency, Norton re-upped in 2009 following the WMA-Endeavor merger. He reps writers and showrunners of such properties as “Mr. Robot” and “Orange Is the New Black,” and made the deal for John Singleton’s upcoming “Snowfall.” “As the line between TV and film becomes less defined, and as we face new competition in a very cluttered marketplace, we must remember that great content will still rise to the top. When you believe in the content and trust your instincts, you should be able to sell anything.”

Amanda Pecora-Sutphen, 34 (not pictured)
Agent, production, APA
Pecora-Sutphen moved to APA in 2013 from Montana Artists, and helped jump-start the agency’s production division. She’s recently packaged four clients on “Black-ish” and closed high-profile deals for several costume designers, production designers and cinematographers. “With a growing number of media platforms, we’ve seen a trend where department heads of all backgrounds — television to features, high budgets to indie — seem to be fighting for the same content. Agents need to pitch smarter—and listen to their clients’ goals while matching their capabilities with opportunities.”

Amber Thompson, 28 (top row second from right)
Agent, features, WPA
Beginning in 2012, Thompson played an integral role in expanding WPA’s TV department into a separate division. Recently, she’s focused on the global film marketplace, working with overseas production entities and clients. “We’re at a crossroads as more productions travel outside the U.S. and other countries have built infrastructure to attract large productions. The result will be stronger international communities that will create and develop content for their home markets. By embracing these new filmmakers, I believe we have the potential for a richer cinematic culture.”

Tiara Camille Teruel, 29 (top row far left)
Managing partner, TWM Talent Agency
Teruel began as an executive assistant at NTA in New York and was quickly promoted during a five-year tenure. In July, she co-founded TWM in Los Angeles, where she books talent on various commercial, music video, print and film projects. “Even though this industry can sometime be very ungrateful and so many are only looking to what’s next, I believe it’s just as important to look at who’s right next to you and the relationships that are keeping you going. I’m a big believer that anything is possible.”

Ryan Tracey, 35 (top row third from right)
Head of TV production, UTA
In 2003 Tracey launched his career in the UTA mailroom, became an assistant to agent Pete Franciosa, then left for Paramount Vantage, only to return to UTA in 2007. He made up for lost time by swiftly establishing a TV production division. Tracey’s pairings include Victor Hsu with Jill Soloway to co-executive produce Amazon’s “Transparent” and d.p. Adam Arkapaw with helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga to shoot the first season of HBO’s “True Detective.” “I love coming up with strategies for clients and seeing it all through to the end.”

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