Vice Media Acquires Pulse Films as Founders Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford Step Down

Benski will continue to work on existing Pulse projects including “Gangs of London” 

Gangs of London
Gangs of London (Sky)

On Thursday, Vice Media Group announced that the company has acquired full ownership of Pulse Films, after buying a controlling interest in 2016. Pulse Films was founded by CEOs Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford in 2005. The brand will join Vice Studios’ portfolio and be managed by Vice Studios president Kate Ward.

Benski and Clifford are stepping down after 16 years of leading the company, although Benski will continue to executive produce and co-produce Pulse projects including “Gangs of London” and Olivia Wilde’s feature “Perfect.” 

Pulse’s output includes the Sky/AMC series “Gangs of London,” Cannes Film Festival winner “American Honey,” films such as “Pig”, and “Mogul Mowgli,” music documentaries including Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and the Emmy-nominated documentary “Beastie Boys Story,” as well as the HBO Max reunion special “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.” 

Said Benski in a statement, “Leaving Pulse Films is for us a watershed moment. When we launched Pulse Films 16 years ago, our ambitious goal was to create a welcoming home for the most creative talent in front of and behind the camera, and to make elevated, indelible work for a global audience and we are so proud to have done so with the help of the most gifted team of professionals and partners imaginable.”

Clifford added, “When Thomas and I first founded Pulse, never could I have envisioned all that we would go on to create together, the stories we would tell, the relationships we would build. We’re profoundly thankful to our Pulse family who are the greatest of people, and to the Vice Media Group for believing in our incredible team. We wish Vice Media Group and the entire Pulse family the best of luck and look forward to great collaborations in the future.”

“A huge thank you to Thomas and Marisa for everything they have done over the past 16 years — along with their team they have built Pulse films into one of the world’s leading creative businesses, celebrated for their work across genres and all forms of entertainment,” said Ward. “2022 is set to be Pulse’s biggest year ever, and I look forward to working with the outstanding Pulse leadership and wider team as they continue to shape the future of visual storytelling.”

Nancy Dubuc, CEO of Vice Media Group, added, “We are grateful to Thomas and Marisa for their enormous contributions and with Kate and the world-class executive team in place, the legacy that the founders built will ensure that Pulse grows to new heights.”

Benski and Clifford plan to continue working together and are expected to announce new projects soon.

Global Creative Director of Non-Fiction Diene Petterle, Chief Operating Officer of Scripted Jamie Hall and Global President of Commercials & Entertainment Davud Karbassioun will oversee Pulse, reporting to Ward.

UK TV trade Broadcast first broke the news.