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ICM Partners Brings In Cinetic Media’s Bart Walker As Partner

By | Thursday November 1, 2012 @ 3:12pm PDT

ICM Partners has made its first new partner hire since the agency was restructured as a partnership, bringing in top literary rep Bart Walker to boost ICM’s motion picture department. Veteran Walker comes from management/film financing and sales company Cinetic Media. Making the move to ICM Partners with Walker is his longtime colleague, Cinetic manager Christine Bazdekis. Their hefty client roster includes Sofia Coppola, John Turturro, Lisa Cholodenko, Tomas Alfredson, Jim Jarmusch, Lee Daniels, Tamara Jenkins, Mira Nair, Sally Potter, Thomas Vinterberg, Boaz Yakin, Luca Guadagnino, Dee Rees, Julian Schnabel, Zoe Cassavetes, Stacy Cochran, Maryam Keshavarz and Carter Smith. The majority of the clients are expected to join the duo at ICM, including Coppola, Turturro and Cholodenko.

This marks a return to the agency side for Walker, who began his career at ICM in the 1980s working in business affairs under the late Sam Cohn in New York. He eventually became head of the NY motion picture department before leaving for CAA in 2004. In 2007 he teamed with John Sloss at Cenetic, where the pair collaborated on deals for movies like Daniels’ Precious, Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right and Exit Through The Gift Shop. He and Bazdekis will join the New York office in the coming days. Read More »

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Emilio Estevez’s ‘The Way’ Finds Distribution

Mike Fleming

When Emilio Estevez launched The Way at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, reaction was encouraging for the film he directed and which stars his father, Martin Sheen, as a grieving dad who walks The Camino de Santiago to honor his dead son. The movie’s good, but it is also the kind of well-intentioned picture that often slips through the cracks. Estevez has found a way to  escape the straight-to-DVD fate that befalls many such films. He and Elixir Films’ David Alexanian have partnered with John Sloss and Bart Walker’s Producers Distribution Agency and Trevor Drinkwater’s ARC Entertainment to open the film exclusively in AMC Theaters in 15 markets on Oct. 7 for its first week, before broadening to 15 markets the following week and then expanding to 500 screens across the country.

The release will be overseen by a team of distribution vets that includes Dennis Rice, Richard Abramowitz and Cynthia Swartz. Appropriate for a film about a road trip, Estevez and Sheen will conduct a bus tour for eight weeks prior to the film’s wide release to drum up awareness. They’ll be gassing up the bus for a late August start.

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CANNES: Oscilloscope Acquires ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’

Mike Fleming

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American distribution rights to We Need to Talk About Kevin, the Lynne Ramsay-directed pic that was a competition film at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Oscilloscope will release the film in the winter, with an awards campaign.

The acquisition was made from Luc Roeg’s Independent Film Company. The film got mixed reaction at the festival, not surprising considering its subject matter. Basically, it is a thriller revolving around parents (John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton) who have to grapple the with ramifications of a heinous act committed by their evil 15-year-old son (Ezra Miller). Oscilloscope head Adam Yauch called the film “the most intense thriller I’ve seen since Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.” Deal was brokered by Cinetic’s Bart Walker and John Sloss. Ramsay wrote the script with Rory Stewart Kinnear from the Lionel Shriver novel.

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