Michael Barker
David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Sony Pictures Classics

Michael
Barker

Co-Founder / Co-President

Along with co-president/co-founder Tom Bernard, he is a legend in the film industry, having launched SPC in 1992. Over a long career that began at UA in 1980 and then continued at Orion Classics, which he co-founded with Bernard, his films have received an astonishing 163 Oscar noms, including several for best picture (“Whiplash,” “Amour”), Woody Allen’s biggest commercial hit (“Midnight in Paris”) and the highest grossing foreign film in North America (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”).

In his first year in business, Barker helped guide Emma Thompson to a best actress win for “Howards End,” and since then his track record has been the envy of every studio head — a total of 37 wins (including 2015’s “Son of Saul” for best foreign language film, a best actress Oscar for Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine,” and the same prize for Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”).

Last Oscar season, he championed Isabelle Huppert for her role as a sexual assault victim in Paul Verhoeven’s harrowing “Elle,” and trumpeted “Toni Erdmann” as a best picture candidate. Barker’s success is even more impressive given the short life span of many companies and executives in the specialty film space, and his original business model has proved to be an enduring vision: a diverse slate of indies that also make money.

Career

  • Sony Pictures Classics
  • MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
  • WHIPLASH

Education

  • University of Texas - Austin (TX, USA)

Philanthropy

News from Variety

Tom Bernard and Michael Barker of Sony Pictures Classics Join Women in Film Honorees

Tom Bernard and Michael Barker of Sony Pictures Classics Join Women in Film Honorees

A trio of men will join Women in Film's Crystal + Lucy Award honorees this year as Sony Classics' Tom Bernard and Michael Barker have been announced to receive the Beacon Award, while Dan Rather is to get the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award on June 13. The Beacon Award is a new addition to WIF's prizes.WIF's Crystal Award will be presented to Elizabeth Banks, while the Lucy trophy will be bestowed on Tracee Ellis Ross. Zoey Deutch has been announced...

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