United TalentI can’t believe UTA is making yet another big hire in the past six months. (Are Berkus and Zimmer and Sures et al printing money in the basement of their Beverly Hills offices?) Rena Ronson is highly regarded in indie film finance circles (in fact, people were really surprised when she and Cassian Elwes, who together ran WMA’s formidable independent division, were not asked to stay after the Endeavor takeover). This could give a big boost to UTA’s film finance and foreign sales business which have been run by motion picture lit partner Rich Klubeck who himself has been doing double duty repping many of the agency’s big name filmmakers and corporate clients. It’s interesting that UTA would bring on a high profile indie person like Ronson during a time when the business is getting tougher and tougher every day. (Look at what just happened to Miramax which used to be the industry’s flagship specialty division). But UTA insiders tell me that this area is a big priority for the agency which has always championed independent filmmaking, and especially now as it get harder to get films financed. I hear that Ronson’s first move for the agency will be traveling to the Abu Dhabi Circle Conference that begins today where she will represent her new agency to the international film community.