CAA unveils film finance and sales group hires

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Akshay Mehta, Sarah Schweitzman set to join agency.

CAA on Wednesday announced two new hires to the film finance and sales group led by Roeg Sutherland.

Akshay Mehta and Sarah Schweitzman have been brought in following the recent departure of group co-head Micah Green to form a new venture.

Mehta will join in the summer. He currently serves as vice-president of international sales for Good Universe, where he will remain through Cannes.

Schweitzman joins on May 15 from Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, where she has built the feature slate and worked on titles in the upcoming Monster Universe for Universal.

Schweitzman began her career at CAA. Prior to Secret Hideout, she was an executive at 21st Century Fox, and before that served at Vendôme Pictures.

Mehta joined Good Universe in 2015 and was instrumental in the worldwide sales of Tallulah, When We First Met and Kin.

He launched a partnership with video game studio Campo Santo, whose bestselling
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CAA Sets Akshay Mehta, Sarah Schweitzman As New Agents In Film Finance & Sales Group

Exclusive: Akshay Mehta and Sarah Schweitzman have been hired as agents in the CAA Film Finance & Sales Group. This comes as department head Roeg Sutherland prepares to lead the team into the Cannes Film Festival next week. Mehta, vice president of International Sales for Good Universe, will remain with that company through Cannes and facilitate the projects he has been working on. Schweitzman, who began her career at CAA, starts Monday and will be at Cannes for the…
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Universal Taps Five for Emerging Writers Fellowship

Universal Pictures has selected five winners of its annual Emerging Writers Fellowship, now in its third year and aimed at bolstering diverse talent within the studio’s workforce.

Universal Pictures President of Production Peter Cramer, who oversees the year-long fellowship program, announced Friday that Brian Buccellato, Josephine Green, Leon Hendrix, Rose McAleese and Juel Taylor had been selected. “We continue to be thrilled with the extraordinary talent and commitment of these writers, and we are proud that the program continues to serve as a vital launching pad for new voices,” said Cramer.

Universal’s Emerging Writer’s Fellowship was an idea supported by the film group’s Diversity Council, which is led by Chairman Donna Langley. It carries the endorsement of Writers Guild of America West.

Fellows from the inaugural class include Ivy Pruss, who co-wrote an episode of Own’s “Greenleaf”; Margaret Lester, who was recently hired as a
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Fox Buys ‘Low Tide’ Serial Killer Spec By ‘Ant-Man’ Scribes, For Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps

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Fox Buys ‘Low Tide’ Serial Killer Spec By ‘Ant-Man’ Scribes, For Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps
Exclusive: Fox has preemptively purchased Low Tide, a spec script by Andrew Barrer & Gabe Ferrari that Shawn Levy will produce through his 21Laps banner. The scribes made the 2010 Black List for their script Die In A Gunfight and they are the on set writers right now for Marvel’s Ant-Man. Script is an elevated thriller that follows a policewoman who has an ingenious serial killer arrive in her small beach town over the July 4th holiday weekend. She has to enter a psychologically daring and personal game of cat and mouse in order to stop him. Levy will produce and Dan Cohen will oversee with Fox exec Sarah Schweitzman.

The scribes most recently adapted Marie Lu’s best-selling Ya novel Legend for CBS Films and Sabrina The Teenage Witch for Sony. They previously worked with Fox on The Magic Castle. 21 Laps just produced Alexander And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day,
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Fox Acquires 70s-Style Thriller for 'Whiplash' Director Damien Chazelle

Fox Acquires 70s-Style Thriller for 'Whiplash' Director Damien Chazelle
20th Century Fox has acquired an untitled pitch that will be written and directed by Damien Chazelle, the breakout filmmaker whose hit drama Whiplash won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

No plot details have been released, but the story is said to be a, "high-concept and character-driven genre film inspired by the paranoid thrillers of the 1970s." Shawn Levy is on board to produce through his 21 Laps Entertainment production company. Dan Cohen and Will Rack are overseeing the project for 21 Laps, Mark Roybal and Sarah Schweitzman overseeing for 20th Century Fox.

Damien Chazelle made his feature debut with Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, and he also wrote the script for this year's thriller Grand Piano, which starred Elijah Wood. The filmmaker is expected to direct La La Land next, a musical about two artists falling for each other in L.
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David Slade Takes on The Widow

Acquired by Vendome Pictures earlier this year , The Widow has found a director in David Slade. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the 30 Days of Night and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse helmer will take on the Ray Wright ( The Crazies ) screenplay. The Widow is said to be an elevated psychological thriller that follows a young woman who befriends a lonely widow only to discover that their encounter was not a coincidence. Vendome's CEO Philippe Rousselet will produce the project along with Steve Golin and Alix Madigan of Anonymous Content. Vendome's President of Production, Guy Stodel, and Vice President of Production and Development, Sarah Schweitzman, will oversee the project on behalf of Vendome. (Photo Credit:
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Vendome Pictures Goes Crazy for Ray Wright's Spec Script The Widow

Some preliminary news on a project that may or may not end up being Dread-worthy, Ray Wright's thriller The Widow, has come in; but since Wright previously wrote/co-wrote The Crazies, Case 39, and Pulse, we figured there'll likely be some horror here.

Variety reports that Vendome Pictures has acquiring The Widow as spec script written by Ray Wright. Vendome CEO Philippe Rousselet will produce along with Steve Golin and Alix Madigan of Anonymous Content. Vendome will also finance, and Vendome's Guy Stodel and Sarah Schweitzman will oversee the project on behalf of Vendome.

Producers are seeking a director with plans to commence production this year.

The Widow follows a young woman who befriends a lonely widow, only to discover that their encounter was not a coincidence.

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