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New Distributor Kicks Off

August 7, 2009


Bright Star which premiered in Cannes is set to be released by new distribution company Apparition. Bill Pohlad and Bob Berney have announced the launch of their company earlier this week. The company is starting off with Jane Campion’s Bright Star and the Tree of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick.

The company has also formed a relationship with  Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) for all domestic ancillary rights.

“Bill and I are creating a company where the art of filmmaking is truly a priority,” says Bob Berney. “The birth of a new company that works in concert with artists while employing creative marketing strategies is a winning combination and is the essence of Apparition.”

“The goal here was to create a company that can be a real home for filmmakers. A company that has a sensitivity and passion for the work as well as an ability to bring it to the marketplace with ingenuity and creativity.” said Pohlad. “Bob already has areputation for having those qualities, and it was his involvement that really made this happen.”

“Working with filmmakers like Terrence Malick and Jane Campion right out of the gate is a great indication of the kinds of relationships that we hope this company will be built on,” said Berney. “And our relationship with Sony is the same. They are a bold company with tremendous assets and reach. But they also share our belief in championing extraordinary product.”

Also joining Apparition are Dan Lange, Bill Thompson and John Lange, in distribution; Sara Rose, in acquisitions and Jeanne R. Berney, Kirk Iwanowski and Molly Albright in marketing.

Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life is a mystical epic starring Academy Award nominated actor Brad Pitt and two-time Academy Award winner Sean Penn, and introduces Jessica Chastain. The film tells the story of a family who must come to terms with a devastating loss. In doing so, they discover life’s most important lessons of unselfish love and forgiveness. The film is co-produced by Pohlad, Sarah Green, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Grant Hill.

Written and directed by Academy Award winner Jane Campion, Bright Star is a riveting drama based on the three-year romance between 19th century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats’ untimely death at age 25. Ben Whishaw (The International, I’m Not There) and Abbie Cornish (Candy, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) star as Keats and Brawne, respectively.

The film, which premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, was produced by Jan Chapman and Caroline Hewitt, and will open September 18.

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