EXCLUSIVE: While talent agencies comb Sundance to find and sign new talent, ICM has signed Adepero Oduye, who turned in one of 2011 Sundance’s breakout performance as the star of the Dee Rees-directed Pariah. The Cornell University grad is nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance as Alike, a 17-year-old lesbian struggling with her identity in Brooklyn. But that accolade might pale compared to what happened last Sunday, when Meryl Streep gave Oduye a shout-out from the stage while accepting her Golden Globes Award for The Iron Lady. After auditioning for a role as an extra in the 2007 award-winning short film Pariah, Oduye was tapped by Rees to make her debut as the star of the feature, which was recently released in theaters by Focus Features. Oduye continues to be managed by Kathy Atkinson.
EXCLUSIVE: As John Lyons prepares to leave his production president post to focus on philanthropy, Focus Features top executives James Schamus and Andrew Karpen are in talks with Jeb Brody to replace him. Brody, who is currently president of production for producer/financer Vendome Pictures, is well regarded in the indie sphere. He was a producer of Sunshine Cleaning and was the executive producer of Little Miss Sunshine while he worked at Big Beach. Brody exec produced Vencome’s first two film productions, Source Code and Larry Crowne. Lyons made public his plan right after the Cannes Film Festival.
Lyons is leaving to devote more time to his pet project, the Edible Schoolyard/NYC. He is the founder and board chairman of the charity, which mixes his passion for the environment and growing food at the schools. He will oversee an expansion of the program to schools in the five New York boroughs, and he’ll also continue his work on the board of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation, which is the national program for the Edible Schoolyard initative. He’s also on the board of GrowNYC, a non-profit that promotes environmental awareness and runs the city’s Greenmarket programs.