Sony Classics trio to get IFP honors

Awards ceremony first televised b'cast on Bravo

NEW YORK — The arthouse acquisitions troika who run Sony Pictures Classics — Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom — will receive the industry lifetime achievement award at the IFP Gotham Awards gala in September.

The IFP’s Independent Feature Film Market annually presents such a prize as well to an actor, director or producer, and this year’s kudos go to Robert Altman. But the Independent Film Project has created a new award, sponsored by the New York Times, specifically for Barker, Bernard and Bloom.

“We decided pretty early on we’d be going with a director as our lifetime candidate,” IFP exec director Michelle Byrd said. “But we felt strongly that (Barker, Bernard and Bloom) should receive a lifetime achievement award as well.”

Oscar winners

The trio, who previously ran Orion Classics, have snagged 12 Oscars out of 55 nominations, delivering to American screens such films as “Howards End,” “Mystery Train,” “Safe,” “Persuasion,” “Run Lola Run,” “All About My Mother” and “Sweet and Lowdown.”

“Sony Classics is known for being a lean operating machine,” Byrd said. “They’re willing to fight for their films and handhold an audience if they need to. And they’re still releasing films by first-time directors.”

Never before televised, the awards ceremony will be shown this year on Bravo. Kudocast will feature two new awards for emerging directors. The winners will be revealed at the event, held during IFFM, Sept. 15-22.

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