Gersh signs 'Winter's Bone' duo

Helmer Debra Granik, co-writer Anne Rosellini join agency

The Gersh Agency has signed independent filmmaker Debra Granik and her writing-producing partner Anne Rosellini.

At last month's Sundance Film Festival, Granik's latest film, "Winter's Bone," won the grand jury prize in the dramatic competition. She and Rosellini also received the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for their adaptation of the Daniel Woodrell novel. Rosellini produced the dark drama.

"Bone" tells the gritty story of an unflinching Ozark Mountains girl trudging through dangerous social terrain as she tracks down her missing father. Roadside Attractions picked up North American distribution rights to the film, which it plans to release this year.

Granik's previous feature, the Rosellini-produced 2004 Sundance entry "Down to the Bone," won her a dramatic directing award as well as a special jury prize for star Vera Farmiga that year.

Granik and Rosellini also are repped by manager Jon Rubinstein of Authentic Talent and Literary Management and lawyer Josh Sandler of Schreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams & Hurwitz.

Gersh was well represented at this year's Sundance fest. Agency client Lucy Walker showcased two documentaries in Park City: "Countdown to Zero," which Magnolia Pictures has picked up for theatrical release, and "Waste Land," which won the audience award for world cinema, documentary.

Brazilian director Jose Padilha (the Golden Bear-winning "Elite Squad") brought his Amazon Basin documentary "Secrets of the Tribe" to the fest. And "How I Met Your Mother" actor Josh Radnor delivered his first feature as a writer-director-star, "Happythankyoumoreplease," which won the dramatic audience award.

"Twilight" star and Gersh client Kristen Stewart toplined two indie dramas at Sundance: "Welcome to the Rileys" and rock biopic "The Runaways," which Apparition release March 19.

The multiple indie inroads come as Gersh makes its first serious moves into indie film financing and packaging, a field dominated by indie film groups at WME, CAA and UTA.

Last year, Gersh agent Jay Cohen took on management of the new indie division, which reps a $40 million fund. Cohen's recent packages include client David Schwimmer's "Trust," a feature starring Clive Owen and Catherine Keener for Nu Image/Millennium and Tracey Edmonds' "Trust in Her," for Our Stories Films.