The Irish Film Board has announced a new association with leading US talent agency William Morris Endeavour, which will see the agency promoting Ireland as a key filming location.
The IFB has struck a deal with the LA division of WME, in which Naoise Barry, film commissioner at the IFB, will work closely with the head of the independent film sales and financing division of WME, Graham Taylor.
WME will be promoting Ireland as a location for film, TV drama and animation production, and will seek inward investment opportunities into Ireland for the audio-visual production sector.
The agency is one of the oldest and largest talent agencies in the world, with offices in Beverly Hills, Miami, New York and London.
In 2012, the agency gained notoriety among the Irish film and TV industry, after it signed up two Irish rising stars, Jack Reynor (What Richard Did) and Gerard Barrett (Pilgrim Hill).
Reynor, who won Best Actor at this month’s IFTA Awards, is currently in pre-production on the next ‘Transformers’ instalment. He signed with WME last September, following the Canadian premiere of ‘What Richard Did’.
Reynor is represented by both James Farrell; agent to actors Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Olivia Wilde (The OC) and ‘Frasier’ star Kelsey Grammar; and Brandon Liebman; who represents actors David Spade (Rules of Engagement) Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and ‘Game of Thrones’ star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Barrett, who also signed up last September, just received an offer of €55,000 in production funding from the IFB for his next feature ‘Glasslands’, and won the IFB Rising Star Award at this month’s IFTA Awards.
Barrett is represented by Chris Donnelly at WME; agent to director Martin Scorsese (The Departed), actor Eric Bana (Star Trek) and writer/producer Lynne Ramsay (We Need To talk About Kevin).
Other WME clients include Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Irish cinematographer PJ Dillon, and Irish actor Aidan Turner.
The IFB/WME deal is aimed at generating new opportunities for Irish creative talent at home and abroad.