BREAKING: Micah Green, a stalwart agent in the independent film space who with Roeg Sutherland heads CAA Film Finance And Sales Group, will leave the agency before Cannes. After guiding other entrepreneurs into the independent film space, he will become one himself, forming a new venture backed by Dan Friedkin, the Texas-based entrepreneur who bankrolls the production/financier Imperative Entertainment. The unnamed venture will invest capital in the independent film space in single picture transactions and further-reaching film initiatives, sources said.
Friedkin’s Imperative is run on the film side by Bradley Thomas and on the television side by Tim Kring, and it has quickly established itself in the taste maker space in the past year with several bold deals that included: paying $5 million and hiring Eric Roth to adapt the David Grann book Killers of the Flower Moon, buying the Christine Mangan novel Tangerine for George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse to produce with Scarlett Johansson starring; and landing Ridley Scott’s next film, the John Paul Getty III kidnap thriller All The Money in the World. Production starts in May with Sony releasing and Michelle Williams playing the kidnapped teen’s mother, Kevin Spacey playing oilman J Paul Getty and Mark Wahlberg also starring.
Sources said Green will for now continue helping his longtime agency colleagues prepare their Cannes market slate of finished films, packages and sizzle reels. But when you see him on the Croisette, Green will be there on behalf of this new venture, in which he will be a principal alongside Friedkin. Sutherland will continue to run CAA’s bustling independent film division, which the duo headed for the past decade. The department consists of half dozen agents, including Ben Kramer and Tristen Tuckfield.
Discussions have been going on intensely for weeks between Green and Friedkin, and have begun to leak out as they move close to crystallizing the new venture. The principals aren’t commenting, and they are keeping the exact nature of the venture under the cone for the moment, along with how it will liaise with Imperative. But sources said they expect the new venture to exploit Green’s skill in marrying financiers with strong filmmakers and material, a formula that has empowered a slew of moderately budgeted smart films that are more difficult to mount today than ever. Green, one of the most influential agents in the indie film space, has spent the last dozen years doing that at CAA on films that have included John Wick and Looper. He and Sutherland have helped such monied production companies as Megan Ellison’s Annapurna, Molly Smith’s Black Label Media get established, and helped establish foreign sales companies and P&A financiers over that time.
Friedkin, who took over his father’s Toyota distribution business while in his 20s, came to Hollywood several years ago after building a diverse portfolio of companies that includes ownership of the Auberge Hotel chain.
Those who know him would say that Green has been building toward such an entrepreneurial venture since he came out of USC Law School and began putting together independent films with Gotham-based attorney John Sloss. They formed Cinetic Media’s film sales business in 2000. Green left to join CAA after that, and with Sutherland, helped reshape the film financing division from an enterprise that started as a way to get made passion projects of CAA clients, and evolved into a viable film financing and sales business that has been a cornerstone in the independent film space.
The exit is amicable, said sources who added that Green will continue working closely with the agency and the filmmakers he has been servicing over the years. Now, he’ll do it as a principal of a new business.