THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
A Miami Beach transplant by way of Sarah Lawrence University, Kohan has begun sharing her longtime passion for film with her 3-year-old daughter, who loves Singin' in the Rain and totters around singing "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music. "It's a joy to introduce your kid to great movies," says Kohan, who lives in Beverly Hills and is married to TV writer-producer David Kohan. "It's almost like seeing a movie for the first time again."
This year the agency partner helped commercial director Dante Ariola get his feature debut, Arthur Newman, Golf Pro, off the ground with Emily Blunt and Colin Firth in the lead roles. "One of the things that year in and year out is always one of the biggest challenges and then one of the most rewarding things is introducing the world to a new director," she says.
Kohan, 43, has recently signed actress Zosia Mamet (Parenthood), actor-writer Jason Mantzoukas (The Dictator) and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory), and she's especially proud of Beginners, a very personal story written and directed by client Mike Mills and starring Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor, which has grossed $14 million worldwide through Focus Features this year.
Like many agents in the industry, Kohan has been forced to adapt to a tougher market for her talented clients. "Opportunities haven't been as plentiful or as traditional," she says. "And when we can't find them, we create them and lean on our entrepreneurial spirit as much as we can."
For Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg that meant helping them launch their company Point Gray with the independently financed 50/50, released by Summit. And client Mindy Kaling recently released the book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) to showcase her voice outside of The Office (Kohan relatives may find book-shaped packages in their Christmas stockings).
Kohan supports female writers, directors and performers for a very practical reason: "I want there to be entertainment out there for me to really enjoy," she says, noting that she introduced Bridesmaids writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo to producer Judd Apatow. "I'm excited the movie did as well as it did and that it potentially could open doors for the Mindy Kalings of the world to emerge."
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