Jim Meenaghan will join Rena Ronson as co-head of UTA Independent Film Group. Meenaghan is a nine-year agency vet who currently heads the Motion Picture Business Affairs Group, which is overseen by UTA co-president David Kramer.
Meenaghan continues those duties but will also help Ronson expand its global film finance and marketing strategies for independent and co-financed features, and work with UTA’s Corporate Strategy Group to provide advisory, content financing structures and distribution deals.
“The partnership of Jim and Rena will be a powerful combination for our clients working in the independent market,” said Kramer. “For nearly a decade at UTA, Jim has been indispensable in driving the growth and momentum around our motion picture business. His experience and insight will be an incredible addition to a business that, over many years, Rena has established as the best in the industry.”
Meenaghan will continue to help UTA grow its business in Asia and expand the agency’s focus in the global independent animation space. Since 2016, he has worked closely with Tang Media Partners on the formation of Global Road Studios, and more recently with Australian production company Grace, and with independent animation studio 3QU Media. Prior to UTA, Meenaghan was Head of Motion Picture Business Affairs for Walden Media and Icon Films. He started his career at Disney.
“I’m really happy to take on this new role and work closely with Rena and the fantastic team she has built to further expand the focus of the Independent Film Group as the world of content financing and distribution continues to evolve. Rena is the best in the business and has been my trusted colleague and friend for a number of years, I couldn’t ask for a better partner or a better group of colleagues.”
Recent films empowered by UTA Independent include The Big Sick, I, Tonya, I Feel Pretty, Lady Bird, Hidden Figures, Call Me by Your Name and Room. Six films the UTA group put together last year got 12 Oscar noms. There were three wins, including the Bryan Fogel-directed docu Icarus.
Said Ronson: “Having worked side-by-side with Jim for nearly a decade, I’m excited for him to take on this new role and to work even more closely together to continue to grow the division for UTA and filmmakers we represent. In a global film business that continues to evolve at an incredible pace, these shifts create amazing new opportunities for our clients to create great films.”