×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sony Pictures Classics Heads Michael Barker, Tom Bernard Honored by Variety

Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard were honored as icons of the Gotham film business on Monday at a lively party hosted by Variety on the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel.

The two indie impresarios took a break from the New York Film Festival, where the company is fielding six premieres, including major screenings of such leading Oscar contenders as “Whiplash,” “Mr. Turner” and “Foxcatcher,” to be feted for their efforts to bring challenging and innovative work to the big screen.

“They personify independent cinema,” said Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller during remarks about the pair’s contributions to film. “I learn so much every time I walk away from a conversation with them.”

Barker said he wasn’t sure if he deserved to be labeled a visionary, but noted that the term applied to many of the party guests — a group that included Ethan Hawke, Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, “Foxcatcher” director Bennett Miller, Showtime Networks Chairman and CEO Matt Blank, “Kill Your Darlings” director John Krokidas, “Still Alice” producer Christine Vachon, A24 co-founders Daniel Katz and David Fenkel, and Broadway producer David Binder.

“There are a lot of visionaries in this room,” said Barker.

Bernard noted that Variety has always been required reading for him and said he remembered cutting out the first article he was ever mentioned in many years ago and putting it in a drawer.

“This is all we ever wanted to do,” said Bernard.

Monday’s party wasn’t the only time recently the two executives have been recognized for their commitment to cinema. Last week, the pair received the French Legion of Honor award for their support of French filmmakers and films, something Penske Media Corporation Vice Chairman Gerry Byrne alluded to in his remarks.

“They’re not just visionaries, they’re Legionnaires,” he said.

(Pictured: Tom Bernard, J.K. Simmons and Michael Barker at Variety’s New York: Entertainment Elite party)

More Scene

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

  • Ralph Fiennes attends a special screening

    Ralph Fiennes on Directing Rudolf Nureyev Biopic: 'It's Been a Very, Very Long Road'

    Ralph Fiennes celebrated his latest directorial outing, “The White Crow,” on Monday night in New York City. The Sony Pictures Classics film tells the story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “It’s been a very, very long road. We were mad. We were mad to take on this subject of Rudolf Nureyev. Mad. Completely mad,” Fiennes [...]

  • Taylor Swift Time 100 Performance

    Watch Taylor Swift's Time 100 Gala Performance and Speech

    Just two nights out from Taylor Swift D-day spring 2019 — i.e., Thursday’s release of a new single — Swift made an appearance Tuesday at the Time 100 event in New York, where she did not let loose with any spoiler performances of new music but did sing a few fan favorites, including “Style,” “Delicate,” and [...]

  • Katie HolmesAT&T Presents: Untold Stories Luncheon

    Katie Holmes, Kal Penn Help Decide Winner of $1 Million Filmmaker Grant

    Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million Monday [...]

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content