LOS ANGELES—The entertainment industry magazine Variety has featured two Armenian-Americans in its annual list of “Hollywood New Leaders: Agents and Managers,” whom they honored during an event on Wednesday at the Jeremy Hotel rooftop on Wednesday.
Included in the list is Aram Tertzakian, 35, who along with his co-founders at XYZ Films Nate Bolotin and Nick Spicer were also part of Variety’s “Hollywood New Leaders in Film” list. Also making the list was Antranig Balian, 37, a co-founder and partner at Mortal Media.
“XYZ specializes in creative financing structures, utilizing international co-productions to maximize soft money, North American backstop deals, SVOD pre-sales, crowd-funding and combinations of traditional debt and equity. The result? Fifty films produced and executive produced since 2008 and more than 200 feature films licensed since 2009,” wrote Variety in its profile of Tertzakian, Bolotin and Spicer.
“The trio have produced seven Netflix Originals in the past two years, licensed 21 films to major studios for production and distribution; they also launched ‘The Raid’ franchise. In 2016, XYZ moved into distribution, branding the global release of ‘Under the Shadow’ and horror anthology “Holidays,” and partnered with Vertical Entertainment to utilize its global digital platform deals. This year, their pic ‘I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore’ won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. They had six films accepted at Toronto, including Zoe Saldana starrer ‘I Kill Giants’ and ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99,’ starring Vince Vaughn,” added Variety.
“We’ve always had full control over the company and our own careers. When people say passion makes movies happen, they really mean commitment. Passion ebbs and flows. Making movies is arduous and you need commitment to go the distance,” they told Variety.
“Balian’s path into showbiz was not a straight one. He started out as a deputy district attorney, then got his MBA from USC, concentrating on entertainment, eventually moving into management posts. Balian has helped his deep roster of unscripted series stars and digital talents grow their brands, as he did with ‘Jersey Shore’ star Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, who’s got a house-flipping show on FYI Network, which he executive produced, and Richard Rawlings, star of Discovery Channel’s ‘Fast N’ Loud,’ who has a fourth series set to debut, ‘Garage Rehab,’ and has several national brand endorsements,” wrote Variety in its profile of Balian.
“My mom is my focus group — if she hasn’t heard of you then you aren’t as famous as you think you are,” Balian told Variety about his method for signing new clients.
Every year, Variety’s “New Leaders” feature profiles the most prominent up-and-comer in the entertainment industry who are all 40-years old or under.
“To determine this year’s worthies, Variety looked for go-getters across disciplines, from television, digital, music and film, to law and finance, as well as content creators. They were proposed by their bosses and peers who have worked with them and seen their rise,” wrote Variety to explain the process by which the individuals are selected.
“The people on the list have helped build the brilliant careers of their clients, shepherded hit television shows and successful movies, created small-screen series, films and animated shows, launched digital platforms, fostered hit music, counseled top dealmakers and financed them, and are some of the leading lights in the wildly expanding digital delivery and content world,” added Variety.