Paris-based Trumer has acquired talent agent Cineart, press agency Moteur! and is on the verge of signing deal for majorFrench live entertainment producer.

Former StudioCanal France CEO Camille Trumer has launched a new integrated entertainment group called Talentbox.

The umbrella group will encompass talent agency Cineart and press agency Moteur!, founded by press agent Dominique Segall, as well as a live entertainment production house specializing in stand-up, solo shows and musicals.

Trumer acquired Cineart and Moteur! just before Cannes from private investor Nicolas Sauvaige and expects to close the deal on the live entertainment company in the coming weeks.

“Up until now Cineart and Moteur! have acted as separate companies even though they belonged to the same person. There was no synergy. I want to bring all three companies together under the same roof and get them to work in an integrated way,” Trumer tells Screen.

The 50-year-old film industry veteran, who was the head of the French divisions of UIP and then Paramount Pictures between 2003- 2008, has drafted in Karen Adler, former head of production development in France at Paramount, as a founding partner and director general of Talentbox. 

Serge Hayat, co-founder of the Cinémage film investment fund and president of the Peopleforcinema film distribution portal, is an associate partner.  

At Moteur!, Trumer has just signed independent press agent Isabelle Sauvanon as a senior presse attaché alongside Segall.

The some 40 employees from all three companies are due to move into a new HQ opposite the historic Mogador Theatre in central Paris over the summer.

Trumer says the live entertainment company will continue to produce existing formats as well as develop new shows, adding that he gained experience in the live entertainment scene as CEO of Universal Pictures Video in the late 1990s.

“At that time, Universal Pictures Video controlled 80% of the humour market. It was the days when the likes of Dany Boon and Jamel Debbouze were just starting out… I was involved in a lot of their early, stand-up shows,” he says.

At present, Cineart comprises seven agents, operating out of offices off the Champs Elysées. The 500 artists on its books include writer/director Frédéric Beigbeder, currently shooting Love Lasts for Three Years for EuropaCorp; upcoming actress Lola Creton, who has been racking up rave reviews for her performance in Mia Hansen-Løve’s Un Amour de Jeunesse, and established names such as Gérard Lavin, Julie Depardieu, Emilie Dequenne and Italian actresses Asia Argento and Valeria Golino.

“We want to offer a new range of services and take a more hands-on approach. Rather than simply wait for producers and projects to come to us, we plan to create packages using the talent on the Cineart books and present these to studios and producers,” he adds.   

Under French law, talent agents are barred from producing audiovisual works, either for cinema or television, but Trumer says that even if the company cannot produce a proactive approach is essential.

“It is in our interest to see that our talents’ films get made.  We will be looking for finance and speaking to distributors. We’re not planning to produce ourselves, we can’t, but we want to help the producers and directors working with us to find finance,” he says.  “Karen is perfect for that. Through her work at Paramount, she has an excellent understanding of where to source finance, whether it be from the Belgian tax shelter or a German regional fund.”

Trumer is also hoping to increase the group’s international reach beyond France and is due to meet with a number of key agencies in Los Angeles and Europe over the summer.

“There’s more and more demand for French actors internationally. Some 20 years ago, the return on a studio picture came 60% from the United States and 40% from the international box office. Today, it’s the reverse.  The international market has developed enormously. The studios are keener to recruit international cast, especially if it will help a picture penetrate an international market better, and we want to tap into that,” he says.

“We recently got young, French, Bilingual actress Jemima West a role in Neil Jordan’s The Borgias in a deal brokered with William Morris, for example, and we’d like to do more of that,” he adds.

Trumer says the creation of Talentbox marks a return to independence for him after nearly two decades spent working for big entertainment conglomerates, ranging from UGC in the 1990s, where he headed up UGC Film Distribution in France as well as its subsidiaries in Spain and Belgium, to most recently StudioCanal and MK2.

“I started out as a founder of radio station in the 1980s before moving into the corporate world,” he says, referring to a popular music station Oui FM, which was later bought by Polygram and then Virgin. “This move marks a sort of return to my independent roots.”