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Picturehouse reopens doors with founder Bob Berney at the helm

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MUMBAI: Picturehouse, the full-service independent film marketing and distribution company started in 2005 and was shut down three years later is reopening its doors with founder Bob Berney at the helm.

Berney will serve as CEO and Jeanne Berney will serve as president of the re-launched company, which will continue to be based in New York.

Berney, who recently acquired the trademark and logo from Warner Bros said, "We are absolutely thrilled to be back in business under the Picturehouse banner. We worked very hard to build it into a brand known for acquiring exciting, challenging and entertaining films from the US and around the world, and helping them find their audiences."

Picturehouse‘s first new release will be ‘Metallica Through The Never‘, a film starring members of the iconic rock band and Dane DeHaan. DeHaan plays a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down. The film, written and directed by Nimród Antal is due in theaters on 9 August. One of the bestselling rock acts of all time, Metallica has sold over 105 million albums worldwide.

Berney said, "Nim and the band have made a film that really captures the spirit of Metallica and their millions of loyal fans. "It‘s an entertaining genre film with a concert inside it, a fun ride featuring an exciting young actor, Dane DeHaan . It‘s a very cool project to reboot Picturehouse with."

Metallica drummer and founding member Lars Ulrich said,: "Metallica‘s way of doing things is to jump into unexplored creative endeavours with no safety net whatsoever. Putting this movie together for the last couple of years has been a pretty wild ride, and we‘ve definitely done our share of flying without a net! Bringing Bob and Jeanne and the new Picturehouse team in at this point provides us with a much needed level of security for the distribution of the film. Their spirit of independence and desire to work outside the box is something we can relate to in every way, and this makes them both a welcome addition and a natural fit in the Metallica family."

Picturehouse will acquire, market and theatrically distribute independent films from the US and around the world. The company expects to release two or three films this year, increasing its output to four or five in 2014 and six or seven in subsequent years.

The company recently signed an exclusive, multi-year output deal with Netflix. Picturehouse films will come to Netflix exclusively in the US shortly after theatrical release.

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said, "Bob and Jeanne are legendary tastemakers and innovators who were early partners with Netflix in bringing amazing movies like ‘Pan‘s Labyrinth‘ and ‘La Vie en Rose‘ to our service. Netflix members love independent films and the Berneys have indisputably great taste."

In addition, Picturehouse has secured a first look relationship with Warner Bros. Pictures International for films to which it has international distribution rights.

Berney headed the company when it was originally formed in April 2005 as a joint venture between HBO and New Line Cinema. Under his leadership, Picturehouse acquired and released films as Guillermo del Toro ‘s ‘Pan‘s Labyrinth‘ (winner of three Academy Awards); Olivier Dahan ‘s ‘La Vie en Rose‘ (winner of two Academy Awards, including best actress for Marion Cotillard); Sergei Bodrov ‘s ‘Mongol‘ and Robert Altman ‘s ‘A Prairie Home Companion‘. When Time Warner folded the operations of New Line and Picturehouse into the Warner Bros. family, the brand continued to live on through the home entertainment and television releases of the films.
 
Berney, who has founded and operated independent film distribution and marketing companies has overseen the U.S. theatrical releases of blockbusters such as ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding‘ and ‘The Passion of the Christ‘ as well as.

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