Talent manager and former agent David Unger is giving a formal launch in Cannes to his global talent management, branding, and content production company, Artist International Group, which has already been operating quietly for a year.
The new firm’s clients include actors Michelle Yeoh (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Anil Kapoor (“Slumdog Millionaire”), Tom Welling (“Smallville”), Patrick Bruel (“A Bag of Marbles”), Hanee Lee (“Extreme Job”), Mallika Sherawat (“Time Raiders”), Elsa Zylberstein (“I’ve Loved You So Long”), Siwon Choi (“Dragon Blade”) and Saïd Taghmaoui (“Wonder Woman”), as well as writers and directors Amanda Sthers (“Madame”), Tony Kaye (“American History X”), Francesco Carrozzini (“Franca: Chaos and Creation”) and Academy Award-winner Roger Avary (“Pulp Fiction”), among others.
AIG client Gong Li (“Memoirs of a Geisha”) will this week receive the annual Women in Motion award from luxury goods firm Kering and the Cannes Film Festival. She will receive the award at an event in Cannes on Sunday.
AIG is based in Los Angeles. Satellite offices in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong are constituted as local joint ventures or partnerships.
Unger, who has previously been with ICM, Resolution Entertainment and Three Six Zero, sees AIG as having three overlapping areas of activity: representation, production, and advice for media players and high-net-worth individuals.
“We aim to be a bridge between international and Hollywood, sourcing content, representing investors and financiers,” Unger told Variety.
He said that the impact of the streaming companies, while still in their infancy, has been huge, with a democratizing impact that favors international exchanges of talent and projects, such as those being facilitated by his company. “Metrics that show the growing importance of international include the recent performance of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and the fact that Netflix now has more subscribers outside North America than in it,” said Unger. “Asia matters.”
AIG also formally launches at a moment when traditional Hollywood agencies are under fire from craft guilds and are finding themselves increasing restricted. “Management is a more intimate, less transactional relationship with clients than an agency business. Management companies are becoming more prominent these days,” Unger said.
“The three parts of our business are like a flywheel, where the motion of one part helps the others continue to spin,” he said.