Four more years for Sony Classics chiefs


Longtime Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have re-upped with the studio for four more years, Sony said Tuesday.

The pair have run the New York-based specialty division for 18 years, making a name for themselves producing and distributing a range of high-end English-language and foreign-lanugage pics. In recent months, the company released such hits as Academy Award nominee "Rachel Getting Married," Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut "Synecdoche, New York" and Laurent Cantet's Palme d'Or winner "The Class."

The company is next set to release Woody Allen's "Whatever Works" and Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces," both filmmakers with whom SPC has frequently collaborated. Also on its upcoming release slate are Lone Scherfig's Sundance hit "An Education" and the Audrey Tautou-toplined biopic "Coco Before Chanel."

Over the years, Barker and Bernard have worked closely with such filmmakers as Jonathan Demme, Nicole Holofcener and Errol Morris, among others.

SPC is expected to be a significant acquisitions player when the Festival de Cannes opens next week.

Sony chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said Barker and Bernard "have brought to audiences worldwide some of the most memorable and significant films in recent history, and we are proud to have them and their entire team at Classics as part of the Sony Pictures family.

"The diversity of our film slate is an important factor in our success and stability over the years, and Michael and Tom have been an instrumental part of that story." (partialdiff)