ddLouverture Films, the production company founded by actor Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes, is moving into television as well as animation, gaming and installation works. With two new principal partners in situ, the expansion has enlisted a host of creatives, including directors Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Lucrecia Martel.
Co-founded by Glover and Barnes in 2005 — alongside long-time partners Susan Rockefeller and the Bertha Foundation’s Tony Tabatznik — the company has brought on board Sawsan Asfari and Jeffrey Clark as principal partners. Variety understands that the new partners will allow Louverture to access more funding resources.
In addition, producer Karin Chien, who on Sunday delivered a rousing Sundance Institute Producing Fellows’ keynote, is becoming a partner and executive VP. Meanwhile, Barnes has been promoted to president while Glover remains CEO and co-founder.
Louverture, named after Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, has built its reputation on international and arthouse films and a strong theatrical documentary slate. Recent credits include Camilla Nielsson’s “President,” and the co-productions of Tatiana Huezo’s “Prayers for the Stolen,” Weerasethakul’s “Memoria” and the forthcoming “Eami” by Paz Encina.
Asfari is a seasoned executive producer, with a history of producing and co-producing acclaimed films via U.K. production company Cocoon Films (formerly Cactus World Films), which she co-founded in 2007. Though originally focused solely on West Asia, also known as the Middle East, her vision at Cocoon has since expanded to include a multitude of subjects and countries. Her credits include Annemarie Jacir’s “Wajib” and “When I Saw You”; Hany Abu-Assad’s “The Idol”; and Victor Kossakovsky’s “Aquarela.”
Clark, a California native, is the original founder and program director of the Nevada City Film Festival, and also owns Northern California arthouse outfit, the Onyx Theatre.
With growing resources and personnel, Louverture is also diversifying its slate and moving into other media, including series, installation works, animation and interactive gaming projects. The company has said it’s “intent on maintaining its reputation for historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value and artistic integrity.”
Glover said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Sawsan Asfari and Jeffrey Clark to Louverture as Principal Partners. Their creative engagement and industry acumen brilliantly complements the great work partners Susan Rockefeller and Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation have enabled us to realize, and will now enhance our capacity to expand into other formats.”
Barnes added: “It’s been such a pleasure developing our slate and producing with Karin Chien. She merits not only this position of Executive Vice-President, but also inclusion as a Partner in the company she is helping to build. She’s brought energy and passion, a keen discerning intelligence to Louverture and a committed, shared vision and ethic with all the partners, which we believe will continue to move the needle in this industry.”
In addition to Weerasethakul and Martel, Louverture’s new projects include works with RaMell Ross, The Ummah Chroma, Tala Hadid, Victor Kossakovsky, Athina Rachel Tsangari, William Kentridge, Granik, Wang Bing, Greg Pak, Vera Brunner-Sung and showrunner Amy Jephta.
Many of the artists have an existing relationship with Louverture, with some of their films showcased last year at a retrospective curated by Film at Lincoln Center. The slate included Göran Hugo Olsson’s “The Black Power Mixtape”; Ross’s “Hale County This Morning, This Evening”; Yance Ford’s “Strong Island”; Weerasethakul’s 2010 Palme d’Or winner “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”; Martel’s “Zama” and Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Bamako.”
(Pictured: Jeffrey Clark, Karen Chien, Sawsan Asfari)