Shelley H. Surpin, a longtime entertainment lawyer and partner at Surpin, Mayersohn & Coghill in Los Angeles, has died. She was 72. Her firm said Surpin died September 3 of complications following a stroke.
A champion for independent film, helped with the careers of such filmmakers as Greg Araki, Nicole Holofcener, Paul Mazur, Allison Anders, Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling, Mike Cahill and Tom Flynn, among many others.
Surpin began practicing entertainment law at Pollock, Rigrod and Bloom (later Bloom Hergott), eventually becoming partners with Andy Rigrod and founding Rigrod and Surpin.
She produced writer-director Batmanglij’s dramatic feature Sound of My Voice, a 2012 Fox Searchlight release that earned Indie Spirit Award noms for supporting actress Marling — who also co-wrote the pic — and Best First Feature. Surpin also executive produced the feature Jake Squared, which premiered at the 2013 Raindance Festival in London.
Surpin received her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, after graduating from Stanford University. A former Chair of SubScreen, the L.A. County Bar Subcommittee for Film & TV Screen Entertainment, she later served on the executive board of Stanford in Entertainment.
She is survived by her husband of almost 40 years, Steve Charnow; daughter Martine Charnow, a film editor; son-in-law Toby Miller; and a newborn grandson, Ember.
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