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Bob Berney, Bill Pohlad Launch Apparition

Company will distribute Campion’s ”Bright Star,“ Malick’s ”Tree of Life.“

Financier Bill Pohlad and independent film veteran Bob Berney pulled the curtain back on their new distribution company, called Apparition, on Thursday, and announced an output deal with Sony Pictures for ancillary rights.


The company has been working behind the scenes for months, and has already acquired two films for distribution, "The Tree of Life," written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed "Bright Star."


“Bill and I are creating a company where the art of filmmaking is truly a priority,” said Berney in a prepared statement. “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 new banner has also formed an output relationship with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group for all domestic ancillary rights.


“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 a reputation for having those qualities, and it was his involvement that really made this happen.”


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 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 \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 and Abbie Cornish 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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