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FilmDistrict's Bob Berney Names Theatrical Team; Jeanne Berney Heads Marketing

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 12, 2010 at 8:01AM

The shape and structure of producer Graham King and Tim Headington's new acquisitions, distribution, production and financing company FilmDistrict, run out of L.A. by ex-Sony exec Peter Schlessel, is coming into focus.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The shape and structure of producer Graham King and Tim Headington's new acquisitions, distribution, production and financing company FilmDistrict, run out of L.A. by ex-Sony exec Peter Schlessel, is coming into focus.

FilmDistrict CEO Schlessel is going to supervise acquisitions for the company, while ex-Picturehouse and Apparition chief Bob Berney will run theatrical marketing and distribution out of New York, with no L.A. staff (this omits such Berney regulars as acquisitions exec Sara Rose and any L.A.-based marketing and PR execs). FilmDistrict plans to release between four and eight wide-release films in the next year.

But Berney has brought on many of his tried-and-true team. They include: wife Jeanne Berney as marketing exec vp, senior distribution vp Dan Lange, senior vp film settlement John Lange, senior vp general sales manager Bill Thompson, distribution director Ryan Markowitz, distribution operations director Nicki Petrone, national exhibitor relations director Deborah Johnson, senior vp business affairs Valerie Bruce, senior vp marketing Kirk Iwanowski and field publicity and promotions director Oleg Dubson. New to working with the Berneys is senior publicity vp Liz Berger, ex of 42 West and Miramax.

This article is related to: Independents, Indies


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.