*Tyler Perry is seeking new talent with the launch of 34th Street Films, a production arm of his Atlanta-based Tyler Perry Studios that will focus on recruiting outside filmmakers to work under and expand the Perry brand.
The new operation will be headed by Matt Moore, former executive VP of production at Jinks/Cohen. Former State Street Pictures vp Poppy Hanks will join the company as vp production, and former New Line executive Amber Rasberry will serve as a creative executive. The trio will work from a Los Angeles office and report to Perry's headquarters in Atlanta.
In July, Perry signed a new three-year, first-look pact with Lionsgate Films, the studio that has released every Perry film, including his 2005 breakthrough debut feature, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." The deal requires Perry to deliver at least three films over the life of the contract.
But the explicit nature of the arrangement is to encourage Perry to broaden his audience by guiding the work of other filmmakers who bring a wider range of storytelling and casting choices. Lionsgate will retain a first-look position with 34th Street films as well.
"He's looking to work with other producers," Lionsgate president of production Mike Paseornek told the Hollywood Reporter last month. "I have producers coming out of the woodwork saying to me, 'Do you think this would be right for Tyler?' That's going to be exciting to see, with different producers, different writers, different directors and different subject matter."