Producer-distributor Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner Dies

LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died.

A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank You. – The Pandoras.”

Last month, the Berlin Film Festival presented Baumgartner with its Berlinale Camera award, which is given to film personalities or institutions to which it feels particularly indebted and wishes to express its thanks.

Baumgartner set up Pandora with Reinhard Brundig in 1982. The Frankfurt-based company, whose name was inspired by G.W. Pabst’s “Pandora’s Box,” focused on the distribution of ambitious international arthouse movies, such as Yilmaz Gunay’s “Yol,” Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Nostalgia” and Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine.” It made its commercial breakthrough with Jane Campion’s “The Piano.”

Pandora began to acquire pics in development, and then segued into production, starting with pics like Emir Kusturica’s “Underground.”

In 1996, Pandora’s production operations moved to Cologne, and in 1998 the distribution department in Frankfurt was closed, due to tough market conditions. The library was sold to Kinowelt.

Pandora proceeded to produce or co-produce around six international films a year, and in 2002 revived its distribution business with the release of Aki Kaurismaki’s “The Man Without a Past,” which it co-produced.

Recent production credits include Ari Folman’s “The Congress” and Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive,” which both played at Cannes.

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    LONDON — Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, one of Germany’s leading producers and independent distributors, has died. A message posted Tuesday on the website of Pandora Film, the company he co-founded, said: “Today Karl ‘Baumi’ Baumgartner left us. We are unspeakable sad and deeply moved. He was our friend, partner and source of inspiration. We say Thank […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content