LONDON — Shane Smith’s Vice Media has acquired a controlling stake in U.K. production company Pulse Films, which was founded by Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford in 2005. The acquisition will bolster Vice’s programming capabilities across linear, digital and mobile.
Vice and Pulse first partnered on the film “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” which received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. This led to the forging of a strategic partnership in the U.S. between the companies the following year.
Pulse’s recent credits include documentary feature “All These Sleepless Nights,” for which Michal Marczak won best director at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Other pics include “Who Is Dayani Cristal,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Nick Cave documentary “20,000 Days on Earth,” which won a best director award at Sundance in 2014, and 2015’s “The Witch,” its co-production with Parts & Labor, which was also awarded a Sundance best director award.
Upcoming movie projects include Andrea Arnold’s “American Honey,” another co-production with Parts & Labor, which is likely to world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
Pulse’s CEO Benski said Vice was “the perfect platform to take our business to the next level.” He added: “This deal will bolster our respective commitment to create relevant, brave and popular films, TV shows and digital content. Leveraging our complementary skills, talent and resources will not only amplify our output and reach but provide us the resources and freedom to continue to grow while retaining our culture and identity.”
Among other credits, Pulse has contributed the live-action elements to EA’s video-game “Need for Speed,” and produced Arcade Fire’s first feature film “The Reflektor Tapes,” which played at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.
TV projects include “Payday” and “When Björk Met Attenborough” for Channel 4, and “Sleeping With the Family” for MTV International. Pulse also produces content and commercials for such brands as Audi, Nike, American Airlines, Red Bull, Converse and Chanel.
Pulse is headquartered in London, but has outposts in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Berlin.