×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood’s New Leaders: Agents and Managers

Each year Variety’s New Leaders feature profiles the most prominent up-and-comers in the entertainment business. To determine this year’s worthies, Variety looked across disciplines, from television, digital, music and film, to law and finance, as well as content creators. They were proposed by their bosses and peers who have worked with them and seen their rise. All are age 40 or under, and Variety has measured them by the progress of their career trajectories: do they take calculated risks? How fast have they risen in their companies? Are they innovative and employ solutions to problems that are creative? As part of the salute to the qualities that keep the town humming, filmmaker/producer Travis Knight, who founded Laika Studios and is finishing up the anticipated “Bumblebee” for Paramount, as well as Variety‘s 10 Assistants to Watch along with the New Leaders will be recognized Oct. 17, at the Jeremy Hotel rooftop in West Hollywood.

Diana Glazer

Co-Head, Theatrical Dept., ICM Partners, 34

The youngest female department head in company history, Glazer has aggressively expanded ICM’s theater footprint and crossed clients over into film and television. Shepherded the collaboration
between Spike Lee and Antoinette Nwandu, with Lee directing-producing the filming of
the Steppenwolf production of her play “Pass Over” for Amazon Prime. Facilitated Theresa Rebeck’s
film deal for “355,” a spy thriller starring Jessica Chastain, Marion Cotillard, Lupita Nyong’o
and Penelope Cruz. Also represents writer-director Cory Finley, Broadway director Rachel Chavkin, Tony winner Justin Peck and writer Sarah Delappe. “I prioritize building trust as an agent and manager. That
trust is a privilege and comes with a responsibility that I honor through advocacy, candor and care.”

Bobby Kenner

Alternative Television Agent, CAA, 34

Kenner reps BBC Worldwide Prods., All3Media, Smokehouse, among others. Helped lead CAA’s move into documentary series, repping Oscar winners T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay and Ezra Edelman. Brokered deals for Team Downey’s “Age of AI” YouTube series and Lightbox/Scott Rudin’s “Diagnosis” for Netflix. Signed and reps producers including Will Packer, Jermaine Dupri, Queen Latifah/Flavor Unit. Has packaged several franchise series. “It’s never been a more challenging or exciting time to work in the non-scripted TV business. New buyers and mergers keep us on our toes as sellers and the amazing work being done in the premium documentary space invites the highest caliber filmmakers and producers to our side of the business.”

Jessica Kovacevic

Talent agent, WME, 35

Kovacevic helped Jessica Biel land a starring and executive producing role in USA’s “The Sinner,” for which she received both Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for actress in a drama. She also recently helped close a deal for Biel to star and executive produce the highly anticipated series “Limetown” for Facebook Watch, based on the original podcast. In addition, Kovacevic renegotiated Dominic West’s final two seasons of Showtime’s hit series “The Affair,” and negotiated Amber Heard’s “Aquaman” deal. She also works with Rebel Wilson, Dakota Fanning and Sienna Miller, in addition to counting KiKi Layne, Jodie Comer and Haley Bennett among her new clients. “Genuine belief in a client’s ability fosters an understanding of not just who they are, but who they want to be. That’s the key to helping craft a great career,” she says.

Nate Matteson

Manager, Grandview, 35

Specializes in transitioning filmmakers from independent, documentary, and short format into long-form. Guided director Hiro Murai from music videos into television, where he scored two Emmy noms this year for his work on “Atlanta,” and is also helping Murai put together a slate of projects through his new FX first-look deal. Represents filmmakers David Bruckner (“The Ritual”), Craig Macneill (“Lizzie”), and writers Ibra Ake (“Atlanta”) Sonny Lee (“Singularity”), Imran Zaidi (“Where I End”) and Ashley Lyle & Bart Nickerson (“Narcos”). “With the increasingly condensing media landscape and our current cultural anxieties, protecting artists and storytellers feels more important than ever. I’m grateful that I get to do that every day.”

Jeff Portnoy, John Zaozirny

Literary Managers, Bellevue Prods., 39

Focused on discovering/breaking a diverse roster of writers and directors, with clients including Elyse Hollander, whose “Blonde Ambition” is set at Universal with Michael De Luca/Bellevue producing; writers Roxanne Paredes (AMC’s “Mr. Robot”); Pornsak Pichetshote (sold comic book “Infidel” in a bidding war to TriStar); Jimmy Mosqueda (ABC’s “Schooled”); Marque Franklin-Williams (Amazon’s “Just Add Magic”); Maryam Myika Day (her “Mountain High” stars Kat Graham as Motown singer-songwriter Tammi Terrell); Suzanne Keilly (the first woman to write a “Leprechaun” film); and Savion Einstein (sold a spec to Sony Screen Gems with Elizabeth Banks’ Brownstone Entertainment producing). Paramount Players will release “Eli” in January. Says Portnoy, “I love helping writers realize their visions on the page, introducing them to the town and watching their careers blossom.” Adds Zaozirny, “It’s really all about trusting your instincts and signing clients that you believe in.”

Danie Streisand

Talent agent, UTA, 34

The agent represents an impressive roster (Emily Mortimer, Cynthia Nixon, Diane Lane, among many), and has an unerring eye for spotting/cultivating emerging talent. Signed Timothée Chalamet when he still in high school, and helped guide his turbo-charged career (Oscar nom for “Call Me by Your Name,” “Lady Bird,” “Beautiful Boy,” “The King”). Streisand closed the deal for Thomasin McKenzie (“Leave No Trace”) to co-star in Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit.” Reps Mackenzie Davis, the lead in Spielberg/Amblin’s “The Turning,” set for a February release, and Julia Garner (“Ozark” and “Maniac”). “While attention to detail is essential, it’s even more important to keep your focus on the big picture. That’s often when the most exciting work gets done,” she says.

More TV

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • annapurna logo

    Annapurna TV Taps Amazon's Patrick Chu as Senior VP, Promotes Ali Krug

    Annapurna TV has brought on Patrick Chu as the division’s new senior VP. Prior to that, he had served as an executive for Amazon in drama, production, and development, where he oversaw small-screen adaptations of “Hanna” and “The Hunt.” He will develop and produce new TV projects, focusing on drama, at his new role at [...]

  • Emmys: Why The TV Academy Finally

    Why the TV Academy Finally Ended Emmys DVD Madness, and Who Might Benefit the Most

    Three years ago, Netflix overwhelmed Television Academy members by sending out a 20-pound shipment of DVD screeners. It was an exercise in excess, as insiders suggested that the streamer spent as much as $4 million to produce and ship the multiple boxes. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos hated the idea of sending out these [...]

  • MANIFEST -- "Crosswinds" Episode 110 --

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of Jan. 7, 2019: 'Manifest' Winter Premiere Doubles

    “Manifest” returned from its first winter hiatus by doubling in adults 18-49 in the delayed viewing numbers. For the week of Jan. 7, “Manifest” went from a 1.1 rating in Live+Same Day to a 2.2 in Live+3. In total viewers, the show added 4.4 million viewers for 10.3 million total, an increase of 76%. NFL [...]

  • curt menefee tv take podcast

    Listen: Curt Menefee on 'Fox NFL Sunday,' Colin Kaepernick and Rising Football Ratings

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety‘s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Curt Menefee, host of “Fox NFL Sunday,” the long-running pre-game show being inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April. Menefee has a pretty packed week. Mondays are his weekend, he says, discussing the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content