EXCLUSIVE: Garth Davis, the Australian filmmaker whose work includes Lion with Dev Patel and Mary Magdalene starring Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, is joining forces with See-Saw Films producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech) on a new production venture.
Under the moniker I Am That, the 50-50 partnership will develop feature film and TV projects for Davis to direct and produce alongside Canning and Sherman.
The company has hired Aussie filmmaker Samantha Lang as Head of Development, starting immediately out of its Sydney base. Lang is president of the Australian Directors Guild and has written, directed and produced work including feature film The Well, which was in competition in Cannes in 1997.
The partnership follows UK-Australia powerhouse See-Saw producing both the six-time Oscar-nominated Lion and Mary Magdalene, and also series Top of the Lake, on which Davis directed episodes alongside Jane Campion, scoring them an Emmy nomination.
Davis is represented by UTA (in all areas other than commercials) and the deal was struck between the agency and Simon Gillis and Hakan Kousetta of See-Saw.
“I Am That stems from my long-standing relationship with both Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who have been incredibly supportive of me in my filmmaking journey and are wonderful partners,” said Davis. “I also feel very lucky to have the talented Samantha Lang by our side in this new chapter, helping us unearth compelling stories for film and television. Bec Smith and Keya Khayatian of UTA continue to be an indispensable part of my team.”
See-Saw Films’ joint managing directors Canning and Sherman added, “Working with Garth is joyous and creatively exhilarating. He is that rare director who has an auteur’s eye, can build complete worlds, and is at home in the intimate creation of character and performance. We’re thrilled to be building a company around his vision. We are also so pleased to have found Samantha Lang to drive the creative acquisition and development of projects across film and television. Her creative talents and intelligence are second to none, and our tastes are all deeply aligned.”
“It is thrilling to be part of such a promising new venture. I am delighted to be working alongside the brilliant and deeply sensitive Garth Davis, and in the company of Emile Sherman and Iain Canning,” said Lang. “This is a wonderful opportunity to broaden my horizons and collaborate on large scale international film and TV projects, with three creatives whose work I admire.”
See-Saw’s upcoming work includes Campion’s feature The Power of the Dog for Netflix, Francis Lee’s Ammonite starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, Andrew Haigh’s TV series The North Water with Jack O’Connell and Colin Farrell, and John Madden’s Operation Mincemeat with Colin Firth.
Davis is repped for commercials by Reset Content in the USA, Exit Films in Australia, and Academy Films in the UK. His attorney is Craig Emmanuel at Paul Hastings.