Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom will have greater fi-nancial resources to acquire and co-finance films on a worldwide basis under their new deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
On Thursday, Sony confirmed it signed a long-term pact with the SPC trio, which has distributed such Oscar-winning films as “Indochine,” “Belle Epoque,” “Burnt by the Sun,” “Anne Frank Remembered” and “Howards End” (Daily Variety, Jan. 27).
During their 14-year tenure running SPC and their predecessor company, Orion Classics, the troika received 43 Oscar nominations for their releases, including 17 for best foreign-language films.
“Michael, Tom and Marcie have a sophisticated, highly literate and eclectic perspective that enables them to attract prestigious and innovative filmmakers from around the world,” SPE president and chief operating officer John Calley said. “We are proud that they will remain an integral part of the Sony family for many years to come.”
Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group president Ken Lemberger said SPE has decided to utilize the Clas-sics team in a “more expanded fashion. We plan to increase the amount of money they have available for acquisi-tions, allowing them to pursue films on a worldwide basis, not just in North America.”
Nevertheless, Sony does not plan to turn its specialized film unit into another “Miramax that spends incredibly large amounts of money on independent films,” Lemberger said.
Instead, SPC plans to continue its philosophy of spending moderately to acquire and co-finance specialized films, Barker said.
Last week, SPC picked up three films at the Sundance Film Festival — Finn Taylor’s “Dream With the Fishes,” Errol Morris’ “Fast, Cheap and Out of Control” and Cedric Klapisch’s “When the Cat’s Away.”