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Docs in the Box?
Documentary filmmaker Billy Corben and his Miami-based production company, Rakontur, have signed with Black Box Management. Corben’s documentaries tend to be set in the world of sports, Miami or both, including the ESPN 30 for 30 episodes “Broke,” “The U” and its follow-up; Cocaine Cowboys; Dawg Fight; Screwball; and Magic City Hustle. He is now directing a doc about pro wrestling icon “Macho Man” Randy Savage for A&E. These features were all produced by Rakontur, which Corben runs alongside producing partner Alfred Spellman, whom he met in school in South Florida.
“Billy Corben is one of the most iconic documentarians working today,” Black Box partners Mike Dill and Lowell Shapiro said in a joint statement. “His work, which explores the people and places that populate his beloved hometown of Miami, are some of the most diverse and underrepresented and jaw-dropping films and television being produced. As a South Florida-based filmmaker, Billy continues to explore the diverse and underrepresented voices of the region. As the premium documentary business continues to expand, we are excited about the many opportunities that exist today for a filmmaker like Billy and his producing partner, Alfred.”
Corben joins Black Box’s roster of documentarians, which include Oscar nominee Feras Fayyad (Last Men in Aleppo), Luke Korem (Showtime’s Action), Nathan Drill and Jeff Lee Petry (Viceland’s The Wrestlers), Steve Maing (Hulu’s Crime + Punishment), Levan Tsikrushvili (True Stories: Avicii), Salima Koroma (Bad Rap), Amy Scott (Hal) and Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish), whose narrative feature The Friend premieres at Toronto next month.
Nurse Lily is now in charge
Verve has signed director Lily Mariye, who is currently directing multiple episodes of season two of AMC’s The Terror: Infamy. She has personal connections to the Japanese American internment camp-set season: her mother’s family was interned at Tule Lake, where her grandfather died because of poor medical care. This season alone, Mariye also has helmed episodes of ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder and Stumptown, NBC’s Council of Dads and CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles. Last year she received a DGA nomination for directing an episode of Amazon’s kids show Just Add Magic and was honored with L.A.-based theater troupe East West Players’ Visionary Award.
Mariye is recognizable to audiences as Nurse Lily on NBC’s ER, where she was one of just six characters to appear on each of its 15 seasons. After that run, the stage and screen actress released her 2012 feature directorial debut, Model Minority, which she also penned and for which she won more than 11 film festival awards across the U.S. and U.K.
She continues to represented by attorneys Nina Shaw and Loan Dang at Del Shaw.
Gersh has signed visual effects artist-turned-director Greg Jonkajtys. As a VFX artist for Industrial Light & Magic over the past decade, he’s worked on both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises while moonlighting at the helm of commercials and short films. Most recently, he directed Netflix’s upcoming four-part animated limited series The Liberator, based on Alex Kershaw’s account of the U.S. Army 157th Infantry Regiment’s near-continuous 500-day combat from the 1943 Sicily invasion to the 1945 Dachau liberation during World War II. Jonkajtys continues to be be managed by Jeremy Loethen at Traverse Media.
CAA Sports has extended its global partnership with marketing management company Polaris Sports, led by CEO Luis Correia. The relationship dates back to 2008 and the two firms have since jointly represented commercial rights for individuals including Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, James Rodriguez, Bernardo Silva, Dele Alli and Renato Sanches, and recently jointly signed teenage phenom Joao Felix and Vinicius Junior worldwide.
“In our business, partnerships are rarely as smooth, seamless and mutually beneficial as the one we’ve shared with Luis and the team at Polaris Sport for more than a decade,” CAA Sports co-head Michael Levine said in a statement. “We have worked well together for so long that it feels as if Polaris is part of our extended CAA family. We look forward to continuing to innovate together on behalf of our long-standing clients within the sport of global football.”
The partnership has helped make Ronaldo and Mourinho the world’s most marketed athlete and soccer coach, respectively. The former’s plethora of global pacts include Nike, American Tourister, Clear, DAZN, Altice, MTG, Sixpad, Dubai Holding and Crunch Fitness, expanding his CR7 business into fashion, beauty and furnishings, and brokering his Facebook Watch drama exec producing arrangement; while the latter’s include American Express, Yahoo!, Jaguar, Heineken, MasterCard, British Telecom, adidas and Hublot, plus the coach’s book deal with Hachette’s U.K.-based imprint Headline.
“For over a dozen years, our strategic alliance with CAA Sports has been very successful, which makes this partnership renewal so special and relevant,” Correia said in a statement. “We have developed deep personal and business relationships throughout this period, which have enabled us to create and develop fantastic opportunities for our clients.”
Meanwhile sister business CAA Icon, which provides strategic venue management consultation, has signed on to serve as presenting sponsor of the VenuesNow Conference, which will take place Sept. 10-11 at the Conrad in New York City.
Others on the dotted line
Jill Fritzo PR has signed three sisters:
Aimee Laurence, who recurred throughout Hulu’s The Path and will next be seen in Warner Bros. and Amazon’s The Goldfinch adaptation.
Jete Laurence, who starred this year in Pet Sematary and Amazon’s Sneaky Pete.
National Talent LA has hired Ralph Cooper Jr. as an agent. He previously has worked as a theatrical, commercial and voiceover agent at CESD, Capital Talent and AVO, and also as interim director of corporate development at PBS/NPR affiliate KVCR. The UC Santa Barbara film studies graduate began his career as a planning and development coordinator at Universal Studios.
Emagine Content has signed 19-year-old filmmaker Ethan Paisley (Point 453) in literary. He continues to be repped by Cohen & Gardner.
Kathleen Schultz & Associates has signed actress Chantelle Albers (VOD horror The 6th Friend) in commercials. She continues to be repped by Carrie Macy Talent.
Elsewhere in Rep World:
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