Bart Walker, a veteran power player on the independent film who is best known for a long tenure at ICM Partners, is joining Gersh as a partner.
Based in the agency’s New York office, Walker brings with him a long list of talent across film, TV and stage including David Byrne, Lisa Cholodenko, Sofia Coppola, Tamara Jenkins, Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Oliver Stone, Thomas Vinterberg, Mati Diop, Michel Franco, Mia Hansen-Love, Jim Jarmusch, the Kloster Brothers, Lorenzo Vigas, Benoit Delhomme, Iram Haq, Sally Potter, Richard Press and Olmo Schnabel.
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The move by the well-respected agent is the latest major shift on the agency landscape in the wake of CAA’s acquisition of ICM. “The challenge of the moment in representation is focus and advocacy that is specific to the individual clients,” Walker said in a statement announcing the news. “My clients and I are thrilled to be joining the team at Gersh. David, Bob and Leslie have created a unique environment, and the agents there have impressed me across the board with their clarity about what it means to represent artists with passion and skill. I believe this is the direction of the future.”
Gersh partners Bob Gersh, David Gersh and Leslie Siebert are equally enthused about their new hire, calling him a “brilliant agent with impeccable taste,” in a joint statement. “The list of filmmakers he represents is formidable and we anticipate amazing integration with our existing clients. He is one of this industry’s unique agents with an expertise in sourcing financing and securing distribution. With Bart in the New York office, he will bolster Gersh’s already strong presence in talent, theatre, books to film, production and branding. We have deep respect for Bart, his clients and his experience, and we are looking forward to him becoming a leader for our company.”
Walker segues to Gersh from ICM where he had been a partner since 2012. He launched his career as an entertainment attorney, working for ICM’s business affairs department and in indie film finance and distribution at Cinecom. He then segued to being an agent from 1991 through 2004, rising through the ranks to eventually serve as head of ICM’s New York motion picture department.
Walker then spent three years at CAA before partnering with John Sloss at Cinetic Media in 2007. He shepherded films like Precious, The Kids Are Alright and the doc Exit Through the Gift Shop. In 2010, Walker and Sloss co-founded Producers Distribution Agency, a firm focused on developing alternative distribution models for indie films.