Gareth Wigan

CineAsia visionary of the year

Gareth Wigan has made a career of expanding Sony’s horizons — especially overseas.

The eminence gris of Hollywood’s international production community, Sony’s strategic adviser to its international division launched local production operations for Sony more than a decade ago, including ops in Germany, the U.K., Spain and Asia.

In 1997, he brought on Deborah Schindler to share the increasing load, as Sony expanded its activities into Russia and India, where it released its first Bollywood production this year, to add to its longer-standing operations in China, Mexico, Spain, France and Germany. With longtime Asian exec Barbara Robinson in Hong Kong, Sony was an early entrant into the Chinese market, and enjoyed notable hits, including “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Kung Fu Hustle.”

“Almost single-handedly, Gareth built up our international film business, making him a real pioneer in our industry. He recognized early on the power of the global market,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO and chairman Michael Lynton in April, when Wigan stepped back from day-to-day duties as Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group vice chair to take on a more supervisory role.

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