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10 Producers to Watch: Robert Ogden Barnum

Barnum has spent the past decade bridging finance and independent film, having worked with the likes of Benaroya Pictures and Annapurna Pictures. But it’s in recent years that he’s fully come into his own, partnering with Cassian Elwes last year to create e2b Capital, and boasting a slate that includes Kevin Costner starrer “Black and White,” Peter Bogdanovich’s “She’s Funny That Way” and Paul Bettany’s “Shelter.”
Barnum first turned heads as a producer of J.C. Chandor’s “Margin Call,” and partnered with the director again for last year’s “All Is Lost.” Yet per-  haps the most audacious project of his career is one that’s just starting to kick into gear: the long-
mooted biopic “Miles Ahead.”
“I’ve been doing this long enough that I’d seen the Miles Davis project a couple of times,” Barnum says. “I’d read the script, and it’s a great script, but you know all the reasons for saying no. And then you sit down with Don Cheadle, and he tells you about the timelessness of Miles Davis and why this is important, and by the end of the meeting I’m telling Don, ‘I’m getting this made for you come hell or high water!’ And then you walk out and go, ‘all right, shit, how am I gonna do that?’
“I’ve noticed a pattern in my career of being drawn to these projects that are more difficult to execute, and in trying to be the bridge between financiers and the creative needs. There are a lot of financiers in town who are interested in the dialogue that leads to creative solutions.”   — Andrew Barker

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