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Lennart Bjorck, International Distribution Exec, Dies at 91

Lennart Bjorck Is Dead. International Distribution Exec Was 91

Lennart Bjorck Dead
Courtesy of Lars Björck

Lennart Bjorck, who worked for Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures and formed his own company, Bjorck Film Corp., representing international distributors, died March 28 in Morro Bay, Calif. He was 91.

After decades working in international film distribution for various companies, Bjorck moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he formed his own company, Bjorck Film Corp., a pioneering film company representing international distributors. He created the bridge that was needed culturally and the timing was right as the indie business was in its nascent form. He and his son and partner, Lars Bjorck, became an important part of the business in Los Angeles.

In 2001 Bjorck Film Corp. was purchased by company president Penny Karlin and VP Kelly Green, who formed Karlin-Green Media. Bjorck stayed on for a time as a consultant. At that point the company had recently been involved in projects including Michelle Pfeiffer-Sean Penn starrer “I Am Sam,” from New Line; Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”; Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Shipping News,” with Kevin Spacey and Julianne Moore; “Four Feathers,” featuring Kate Hudson; “A View From the Top,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow; and “Spy Kids” and “Scary Movie 2,” from Miramax Intl.

Bjorck left his native Sweden to work in the motion picture business in the U.S., where he became a citizen. His first job, in 1947, was as general manager for Paramount Pictures in Puerto Rico, where he married Grete Aarbol in 1950. Shortly after they moved to Chile and then to Peru where they spent the next 14 years, before leaving in 1964 for Tokyo, Japan, where Lennart worked for Columbia Pictures.

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In 1967, in Madrid, Lennart worked for Cinerama before moving his family to Paris, where he worked for Avco Embassy for six years. In 1973 Lennart moved to Stockholm for two years; there he decided to work for himself, having gained a meaningful perspective in the independent film business.

Bjorck was born in Stockholm and spoke five languages — Swedish, English, Spanish, German and French.

He is predeceased by his wife Grete and daughter Anne Marie. He is survived by two children, Lars Ole and Liselotte; four grandchildren; and one great grandchild.