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Apparition restructures staff, taps Ortenberg

Bill_pohlad_boffo by Erin Maxwell

Bill Pohlad’s Apparition is shifting its center to Los Angeles and has hired Tom Ortenberg, as the year-old company restructures and is laying off workers both coasts.

Ortenberg, the former Lionsgate prexy and Weinstein Co. vet, will help map out the changes to the company and oversee the launch of Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.”

“Over the last few weeks, circumstances have forced us to rethink the direction and operations of the company, and regrettably this has resulted in layoffs impacting our staff and changes for our colleagues,” said Pohlad.  “Still, we very much believe in the mission set forth with Apparition, and welcome Tom Ortenberg’s expertise and consultation in the coming weeks and months.”

Bob Berney, who signed on with the company at its launch before the May 2009 Cannes, abruptly announced his Apparition exit just ahead of this year’s Cannes.

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – June 30, 2010 – Bill Pohlad announced today the film distribution company Apparition is in the process of restructuring, beginning with the consolidation and shifting of its operations from New York to Los Angeles. In addition, Apparition significantly reduced its work force, with a number of executives and support staff from both New York and Los Angeles receiving severance packages.

Pohlad has enlisted former Lionsgate President Tom Ortenberg as a consultant to help plan the independent distribution company’s immediate future. Ortenberg is also serving as a consultant on the marketing and distribution strategy for Terrence Malick’s highly-anticipated mystical epic, The Tree of Life. 

“Over the last few weeks, circumstances have forced us to rethink the direction and operations of the company, and regrettably this has resulted in layoffs impacting our staff and changes for our colleagues,” said Pohlad.  “Still, we very much believe in the mission set forth with Apparition, and welcome Tom Ortenberg’s expertise and consultation in the coming weeks and months. In addition, he will be a valuable asset for us on preparing to bring The Tree of Life to audiences.”

“I very much respect Bill’s thoughtful approach to Apparition, and look forward to being helpful in its success,” said Ortenberg.  “I am thrilled to work with Bill and the rest of the team on Terry Malick’s profound film The Tree of Life.”

Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life is a mystical epic starring Academy Award nominated actor Brad Pitt and two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn, and introduces Jessica Chastain.  The film tells the story of a family who must come to terms with a devastating loss.  In doing so, they discover life’s most important lessons of unselfish love and forgiveness. The film, a River Road Entertainment production, is produced by Pohlad, Sarah Green, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Grant Hill.

 

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