First Bloom Films, founded by actor and producer Katherine Waddell and writer and director Em Johnson, have signed with management company, Emagine Content, led by CEO Ben Phelps. The co-founders of First Bloom Films recently completed production on their debut feature, Balloon Animal, which has been submitted to major festivals around the world.

With the percentage of women’s influence inside of Hollywood at an alarmingly low number, First Bloom is pushing a narrative that normalizes the female experience, and extends a chance for women of all backgrounds and ways of life to step into the exclusivity of the film industry.

The first narrative feature that First Bloom assisted in producing was Blush, co-written and directed by Johnson and produced by Waddell. The company has four additional projects currently in development.

“We are beyond excited to be signing with Emagine!” Waddell explains, “From the moment we met Ben, we knew we were like-minded individuals who had the same aspirations for this industry and high standards that we believe set us apart in our work. We look forward to our partnership and the work that will stem from it!”

Johnson shares the vision for partnering with Emagine. “First Bloom’s message is widely supported by a majority of players in the industry," she adds. "Being an indie company - it’s difficult to gain traction, find legitimacy, and get credibility. But we feel that, by collaborating with individuals who have similar goals and values, such as Ben from Emagine, we’re paving a way for people like us to disrupt the status quo and pretty soon Hollywood will take notice.”

“Katherine and Em are an incredible duo with such a progressive vision of being a film company for women, by women. Their mission is to provide more opportunities for women in the industry, both through employment on crews as well as telling new stories, which aligns with Emagine’s mission.” Phelps shares, “I’m honored to be representing First Bloom Films and excited to lead the changes they’ll make in our industry that’s in need of progressive disruption.”

Emagine Content is a full service production and management firm that aims in producing diverse stories and content and representing unique voices of artists from different backgrounds. Most recently, Emagine Content signed on to develop and produce the first “African female superhero film,” Ireti. The firm is led by Ben Phelps and Kimberly Boyd who is known for producing Into the Badlands and The Shannara Chronicles

Previously, Waddell is most known for her work as an actor and co-executive producer on acclaimed indie feature Dinner in America, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival. She also executive produced Tribeca Film Festival 2021 selection, IFC’s We Need to Do Something, a horror feature starring Vinessa Shaw. Waddell’s first major acting role came from the role as Renee in Moving Picture Party’s Pennsylvania Holy Ghosts. She also served as Associate Producer on Gasoline Films’ Six LA Love Stories, starring Alicia Witt and Matthew Lillard.

As a writer and director, Johnson has been recognized by the Student BAFTA’s, Tel Aviv, the Princess Grace Foundation, and the Student Academy Awards for her short, Aberne. For the Balloon Animal script, Johnson also won the Platinum Award at the International Independent Film Awards, was a semi-finalist at the New York International Screenplay Awards, and was a quarterfinalist at StoryPros International Screenwriting Competition.

Waddell, Johnson and First Bloom Films are also represented by Andrew Seth Cohen at Impact24 PR and Chad Russo from the Ramo Law firm.