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FilmDistrict’s Bob Berney Names Theatrical Team; Jeanne Berney Heads Marketing

FilmDistrict's Bob Berney Names Theatrical Team; Jeanne Berney Heads Marketing

Thompson on Hollywood

The shape and structure of producer Graham King and Tim Headington’s new acquisitions, distribution, production and financing company FilmDistrict, run out of L.A. by ex-Sony exec Peter Schlessel, is coming into focus.

FilmDistrict CEO Schlessel is going to supervise acquisitions for the company, while ex-Picturehouse and Apparition chief Bob Berney will run theatrical marketing and distribution out of New York, with no L.A. staff (this omits such Berney regulars as acquisitions exec Sara Rose and any L.A.-based marketing and PR execs). FilmDistrict plans to release between four and eight wide-release films in the next year.

But Berney has brought on many of his tried-and-true team. They include: wife Jeanne Berney as marketing exec vp, senior distribution vp Dan Lange, senior vp film settlement John Lange, senior vp general sales manager Bill Thompson, distribution director Ryan Markowitz, distribution operations director Nicki Petrone, national exhibitor relations director Deborah Johnson, senior vp business affairs Valerie Bruce, senior vp marketing Kirk Iwanowski and field publicity and promotions director Oleg Dubson. New to working with the Berneys is senior publicity vp Liz Berger, ex of 42 West and Miramax.

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Michael P. Henning

I asked Bob Berney what he was doing pulling in, on the front drive of Hotel Palomar in Dallas Texas? He said "Looking for the next big thing."
I said, "We're it!"…."Hempsters: Plant the Seed."
"With Woody Harrelson, Willie, Myrle Haggard & Ralph Nader, as the major draw and Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind, The Late Great Gatewood Galbraith and Beautiful Julia Butterfly Hill keeping it all together.?! Com-on; it's a no-brainier! With the Hemp Movement in tow and free concessions donated for advertisement and sold for full profit to split with the venue 50-50, Cinema Libre' pumpin' out the DVD's and New Video rippin' into the i-tunes global market, all along selling Hemp T-shirts Hemp hats, with the novelty of Hemp beer, wine and Hemp vodka at all the Theaters….it's becoming apparent that "Hempsters" is indeed a "living film" and yes the "Next Big Thing" pushing the limit on what is the new cult classic. Now all they have to do is find us. Seeing is believing. So next up? The Kentucky Theater in Lexington KY Jan. 3rd 2013, just after the world has come to an end. Here's to New Beginnings & the Next Big Thing…..The Hempilation Celebration with Hemp Seed Oil over the pop-corn. It's better the butter! Hey Bob, Michael P. Henning @ 214-560-8580. Say hello to John Lange for me.

Julia Chasman

It is interesting that so many executives are named to run a film division which, seemingly, will not MAKE any of its own films. If they are thinking of making some, I wonder whether there will be an executive in charge of production — or one with some production experience, at least? If this sounds like a good idea, there are quite a few of us who would be thrilled to hook up with a new buyer! Join forces, I mean, not hook up….


These losers wouldn’t last a day on my farm. Shame on King and Schlessel for letting nepotism rule the roost. Wouldn’t happen in my hen house!

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