The William Morris Agency has formed WMA/IFG, an international film group that will seek to both package William Morris clients in internationally focused films and to secure overseas film financing for those pics.
Veteran WMA talent agent Hylda Queally and the head of William Morris’ Independent division, Cassian Elwes, were elevated to co-heads of William Morris’ International Film Group, overseeing all international film talent packaging and financing of pics.
“I’ve lots of European clients,” said Queally, adding “and I’ve experienced, either through their disappointments or my own, that if you don’t have the help, you can’t make the international movies happen.”
To that end, WMA/IFG will seek to re-create WMA’s success in placing talent and securing financing for independent pictures for internationally produced and distribbed pics.
The most recent example, Elwes said, is “Therese Raquin.” Based on the Emile Zola novel and adapted by helmer David Leveaux, the pic is toplined by Queally client Kate Winslet, and its financing from Intermedia was secured by Elwes.
Elwes, who has been concentrating on packaging and financing indie films for the tenpercentery for six years and has been head of WMA Independent for the past two years, said of the IFG announcement: “It’s really more of the same, in some ways, for me.”
He calls WMA’s international film group a “sort of a dating service” for foreign producers, financiers and clients.
Queally stressed that the emphasis for IFG will be not just on placing WMA clients but “on collaborating with other international agencies” to get international pics made, distribbed and financed.