EXCLUSIVE: Christine D’Souza Gelb, one of the stars of Endeavor Content’s film finance and packaging team, is leaving the firm after eight years, for personal reasons and to plot a course change.
She surprised colleagues with an internal note describing her reasons for wanting to take a break. She won’t be an agent anymore, but will resurface later this year in another manifestation in the industry. She leaves amicably and certainly plans to have a relationship with the company going forward. While there has been displacement at all agencies because of the pandemic, D’Souza Gelb’s move has nothing to do with that. A passionate advocate for the independent films that Endeavor Content packaged and sold, she has been a standout and a fixture at the festivals and markets.
“This has been a difficult and personal decision for me to make, but with the backdrop of what’s happening in our world, I have gained a new perspective that has led me to hit pause before deciding on the next chapter of my career in this business,” she said in a statement to Deadline. “I have been continually inspired by the people, the passion and ingenuity across Endeavor, and am grateful to Graham, Chris and all of the colleagues and clients I have had the privilege to work with along the way. I look forward to working with everyone in the future in whatever capacity that may be.”
Said Endeavor Content co-presidents Chris Rice and Graham Taylor: “Christine is like family to us and we support her personal decision. It has been incredibly rewarding to watch Christine grow over the years into a killer sales agent, beloved colleague and fierce advocate for artists. We will miss her, and look forward to collaborating in the future.”
D’Souza Gelb’s bright spots include the sales of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Ari Aster’s Midsommar, Kenneth Lonergan’s Oscar winning Manchester by the Sea, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, and Robert Eggers’ The Witch. She also recently was responsible for arranging the financing and sales of two Sundance breakouts: Radha Blank’s 40-Year-Old Version and David Bruckner’s The Night House. She also worked with such talent as Dev Patel, Dave Franco, Lisa Joy, Lin Manuel Miranda, Lena Waithe and Tessa Thompson.
The University of Arizona grad also consults for several high-end producers and financiers, including K Period (Manchester by the Sea) and QC Entertainment (BlacKkKlansman, Get Out).
D’Souza Gelb joined WME as an agent in 2012. Prior to WME, she was the VP of Preferred Content and previously an international sales agent at Katapult Films.
Here is the email she sent to colleagues:
I am writing to let you all know that I have decided to leave the company. I plan to take a step back, spend time with my family, and figure out my next exciting step in the film business. I wish the timing were better and I could walk into your office or see you in the hallway, but given the state of the world, I have to address it this way.
Within a 3 week period last July, I unexpectedly lost my father and welcomed my first born child. I experienced immense feelings of both joy and loss at the same time. Strangely, the timing of Coronavirus has awoken something inside of me. I’ve realized that I’m ready for change and to start my second act in life. I want to be present with my husband and my 9 month old and I am going to take this moment to figure out what I want to do next. I look forward to working with many of you again, in whatever capacity that may be.
I have been so fortunate to spend the last 8 years of my career here, growing alongside so many of you and it’s been a whirlwind. I am constantly inspired by the people, the passion, and the ingenuity of this company. I cherish my relationship with so many of you, along with the clients and companies we have built together, the films we have sold, and most importantly the fucking fun we have had. Ultimately this is a personal decision and an incredibly difficult one for me to make.
I have forged incredible relationships and I am sad to lose you as my day-to-day partners. I’m deeply grateful for everything you guys have done for me.
I will be in touch over the next few weeks as I transition my business and wrap up my chapter at Endeavor Content and as a partner of yours at WME. May 22nd I’m out. Love you all.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.