Vacchiano will be based in the company’s Los Angeles office and report to Jim Meenaghan, partner and head of motion picture business affairs and co-head of UTA Independent Film Group.
“Sarah has a unique knowledge and skill set in the film industry across the constantly changing deal structures of studios, streamers and her specific experiences in the independent film space,” stated Meenaghan, announcing Vacchiano’s hiring. “Our friends at FilmNation could not have been more supportive of her move, and we are thrilled to welcome Sarah to our L.A. team.”
The veteran executive joins UTA after serving as vice president of business and legal affairs at FilmNation Entertainment in New York, where she negotiated production, finance and development deals for the company’s slate of feature film and podcast productions. Last year, Variety exclusively reported that the executive negotiated the deal for “Birds of Prey” filmmaker Cathy Yan’s upcoming film, “The Freshening.”
“My time at FilmNation was bookended by two incredibly special UTA Independent Film Group collaborations — ‘The Big Sick’ and ‘Promising Young Woman’ — with several extraordinary UTA projects in between,” added Vacchiano. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work more closely with the agents, executives and talent I’ve developed relationships with along the way.”
Vacchiano began her legal career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she handled entertainment litigation and white collar defense matters. She has also served as an adjunct professor of entertainment law at Duke Law School, her alma mater, and she is a frequent guest lecturer for Duke University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and NYU Stern School of Business.