Meet the key players

Nu Image @ 20

Avi Lerner
(Chairman and co-founder)
Nu Image’s hard-driving negotiator has produced hundreds of movies, mostly in the action realm. Born in Israel, he managed Tel Aviv’s first drive-in before diving into homevideo distribution in 1979. Exec-produced “King Solomon’s Mines” in 1984 and relocated to South Africa, where he founded Nu Metro Entertainment Group. Moved to Hollywood in 1992 with partners Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short and Danny Lerner and established Nu Image with a focus on straight-to-video product. Launched theatrical production arm, Millennium Films, in 1996.

Popular on Variety

Trevor Short
CFO and co-founder
Short oversees legal and finance operations for the company. Born in Zimbabwe, he worked in mergers and acquisitions in South Africa before moving into movie financing there. He advised the government on film incentive legislation, and in 1989 became chief executive of Lerner’s Nu Metro Entertainment Group. Moved with Lerner to L.A. after they sold Nu Metro.


Mark Gill
President Millennium Films
The former Miramax and Warner Independent exec became president of Nu Image’s theatrical division in July 2011, after the Film Department, the indie film company he led and co-founded, shuttered due to financial problems. The exec, who had a hand in “March of the Penguins,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “In the Bedroom” earlier in his career, is charged with upgrading the company’s theatrical slate. He has already brought more order to the famously chaotic operation, and persuaded his thrifty bosses to upgrade their Wilshire Boulevard offices.

Boaz Davidson
Head of development and creative affairs
Davidson, a Tel Aviv native, joined Nu Image in 1992, writing and directing films while overseeing the company’s productions. He oversaw the production of “Going Bananas” and “Delta Force” at Cannon Films before joining Nu Image, where he has overseen the production of “The Expendables,” “Rambo IV” and “The Iceman” for its Millennium Films banner.


John Thompson
Head of production
Thompson worked in the Italian film industry in the 1980s and ’90s before taking charge of Millennium productions in 1998. At Millennium, he has produced or co-produced “Prozac Nation,” “The Mechanic,” “The Expendables” and “The Big Wedding.”



John Fremes
President of international
Fremes oversees international sales and distribution in the wake of co-founder Danny Dimbort’s exit. He joined Nu Image in January, having previously served as president of worldwide distribution for Essential Entertainment and stints at Element Films Intl. and Fusion Intl. Sales Corp.

Nu Image @ 20
Lessons of indie war survivors | Duo disdain prestige without discipline | Gill leads Millenium’s upgraded pic slate | Meet the key players | Lerner: ‘The Grey Zone’ is my favorite mistake | Sharp shots happen on their own backlots
GALLERY: Top 10 worldwide Grossers

More Film

  • Herself

    Amazon Studios Buys Phyllida Lloyd's 'Herself' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has nabbed North American rights to Phyllida Lloyd’s “Herself,” an Irish drama about a woman who builds her dream house after escaping an abusive marriage, Variety has learned.  The streaming service is planning a theatrical release for later this year. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it enjoyed a warm [...]

  • Blast Beat

    'Blast Beat': Film Review

    Back home in Bogota, teen brothers Carly and Mateo — played by siblings (and Disney Channel veterans) Mateo and Moisés Arias — are metal-blasting, skateboard-riding punks, and reluctant partners in crime. Carly, the sensible one, can’t prevent Mateo from dynamiting a dollhouse. But he’ll swoop in, hair flapping like a vampire’s cape, to rescue his [...]

  • Rebecca Hall appears in The Night

    Rebecca Hall's 'The Night House' Sells to Searchlight Out of Sundance

    Searchlight Pictures is closing in on the worldwide distribution rights to “The Night House,” a supernatural thriller that premiered to strong reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, insiders close to the deal said. Directed by David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall, the deal is reportedly valued at roughly $12 million. It marks the first [...]

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell in

    'Downhill': Film Review

    Pete (Will Ferrell) and Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are a prosperous American couple who’ve taken their two sons on a ski vacation to the Alps. Are they having fun yet? That’s a question that hovers over the movie, as the family members hit the slopes and make pilgrimages to the alpine-lodge restaurant, or retire to their [...]

  • Joe Keery appears in Spree by

    'Spree': Film Review

    It didn’t seem like there was a large portion of the movie-going population who felt that Todd Phillips’ “Joker” was too subtle, in either its commentary on the modern era of those who are involuntarily celibate, or its homage-like appropriation of classic Martin Scorsese movies. But maybe writer-director-producer Eugene Kotlyarenko has other information, since that’s [...]

  • Dream Horse Review

    'Dream Horse': Film Review

    Louise Osmond’s 2015 Sundance audience winner “Dark Horse” was one of those documentaries that played like a crowdpleasing fiction, its real-life tale of underdog triumph had such a conventionally satisfying narrative arc. And indeed, the new “Dream Horse” proves that same material is indeed ready-made for dramatization. Euros Lyn’s feature springs few true surprises within [...]

  • Annie Clark and Carrie Brownstein appear

    'The Nowhere Inn': Film Review

    Bill Benz’s high-concept rock mockumentary opens with a white limo speeding through the desert. The driver (Ezra Buzzington) has never heard of his passenger, the cult sensation Annie Clark, better known by her stage name St. Vincent. “I’m not for everybody,” she shrugs. The driver is unsatisfied. “Don’t worry,” he glowers. “We’ll find out who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content