Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will name entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren as the city’s new film czar, according to an individual with knowledge of the mayor’s plans. Ziffren succeeds former AMPAS president Tom Sherak, who died last month.
Garcetti appointed Sherak as the city’s first film czar after he was elected last year. He hoped the beloved former executive could bring more production back to Los Angeles, as countless movie and TV productions have decamped for states and countries with more lucrative tax incentives.
“The entertainment industry generates more than 500,000 local jobs. Protecting and expanding it is an absolute necessity,” Garcetti said at the time.
Though Ziffren hails from a different part of the entertainment industry than Sherak, he brings an equal amount of experience and respect. He co-founded the Ziffern Brittenham law firm, one of the most powerful entertainment firms in the country with clients such as Ben Affleck, Judd Apatow, Emma Stone and Ice Cube. Ziffren is also the chairman of the entertainment and media law program at UCLA.
The film czar position is part-time, and office employees like deputy czar Rajiv Dalal and adviser Bob Pisano will continue in their roles.