Los Angeles has a new film czar, after Tom Sherak died last last month following a battle with cancer. The Los Angeles Times reports that L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti named entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren as the city’s new film czar,
“Like Sherak, Ziffren brings deep connections in Hollywood and a skill for consensus building, which will be an important quality if he is to succeed in convincing skeptical lawmakers in Sacramento that the state needs to do more to help an industry concentrated in Southern California,” the story reports.
Ziffren’s firm of Ziffren Brittenham represents clients including Oprah Winfrey, the piece notes. Ziffren has served as outside counsel to the NFL in negotiating contracts and worked as a mediator during the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, the story adds.
Ziffren’s first client in Hollywood was the late actor Steve McQueen, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which adds that Ziffren negotiated the current TV contract for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that keeps the Primetime Emmy Awards rotating among ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.
Ziffren will continue the work started by Sherak in seeking to keep film and television production from leaving Los Angeles.