I asked Roman Kopelevich, chief of sales for Ehud Bleiberg’s company to send me information on the company which stands out as a U.S. based company which produces and sells quality films both in U.S. and in Israel.
Producer Ehud Bleiberg launched Beverly Hills-based production and international sales company Bleiberg Entertainment in September 2005 after 12 years as Chairman & CEO of another international production, distribution and sales company he co-founded in 1993. At that time when he and his partner arrived in L.A. from Israel, the film community was curious to know how the “new Israelis” would fit in. Others had come and gone, leaving their distinctive marks (scars?) and it was a new generation. Bleiberg had managed advertising agencies, foreign news entities, and was a business developer before devoting his career to the entertainment industry. Before arriving in the U.S., he also produced feature films in Israel. His film “Himmo: King of Jerusalem” (1988) was highly acclaimed abroad and was an official selection in the Toronto, Chicago, and Edinburgh Film Festivals. His next film, “The Appointed” (1990), enjoyed even more success as an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. This was followed by the hit film “Tel Aviv Stories” (1992) which was one of the year’s most successful films in Israel and throughout Europe.
The company operates on a proven business plan with respect to the production, acquisition, financing and distribution of filmed entertainment to the worldwide marketplace with a slate of projects geared toward the theatrical, DVD and TV markets and mixing specialty fare such as Precious Life (premiered Toronto and sold to HBO) or his production, multi award winning The Band’s Visit with more commercial genre fare. Precious Life was the subject of a fascinating article by L.A. Times’ Patrick Goldstein entitled Middle East Politics Seen Through A Personal Lens.
The company develops, funds and produces a diverse array of feature films and is currently in various stages of production on a number of high-profile projects including Danny Lerner’s sophomore project, the action thriller Kirot starring Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Hitman), which premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.
Bleiberg recently produced the drama Adam Resurrected, helmed by legendary screenwriter and director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Affliction), starring Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, and subsequently screened in Toronto, AFI and the Berlinale.
Bleiberg also produced The Band’s Visit, a co-production with July August Productions, which won over 35 awards at festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, Tokyo IFF, Karlovy Vary, Zurich, Munich and Copenhagen. The film also won 8 Israel Film Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay; as well as Best Actor and Best Discovery at the European Film Academy Awards. Sony Pictures Classics released domestically. It was eliminated from consideration for the Best Foreign Language Picture of the Academy on a technicality and many think it would have won the Oscar.
With vast knowledge and experience in the global film industry, Bleiberg presents the ideal source for packaging films creatively and strategically in today’s dynamic international marketplace, tailoring to the particular needs of each project by bringing in co-production partners, equity investment from distributors, tax-driven funds, subsidies and other sources of financing.
Compound B is Bleiberg Entertainment’s alternate division, focusing on cutting-edge action, horror and sci-fi films, with regards to both production and acquisitions. The label’s first production, Dance of the Dead directed by Gregg Bishop, was a huge success and was released by Lionsgate and Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Underground. Compound B has two new productions coming up: the recently completed Necromentia, director Pearry Teo follow-up to The Gene Generation (which Compound B also sold internationally); and Freeway Killer, the true story of serial murderer William Bonin, featuring Michael Rooker, which was released by Image Entertainment.
Bleiberg Entertainment also focuses on the acquisition of film rights for distribution into the domestic and international marketplace as well as the financing and production of motion pictures, whereby the company retains the international film rights for sale and distribution through its own channels, and enters into distribution agreements for the sale of remaining rights to established domestic sales entities.
Maintaining reasonably-sized slates enables the company to service each title with the careful marketing and sales attention it merits, while strengthening existing relationships and cultivating new ones with filmmakers across the globe.
Bleiberg has a strong library of over 70 films with marquee stars that includes:He Was a Quiet Man starring Christian Slater, Elisha Cuthbert and William H. Macy; Costa Rican Summer with Pamela Anderson; Pedro, Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black’s follow-up to Milk; from executive producer Neil LaBute The Vicious Kind; Red starring Brian Cox and Tom Sizemore; Sci-fi actioner The Gene Generation with Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway; Sundance award-winner Stephanie Daley starring Tilda Swinton, Amber Tamblyn and Timothy Hutton; Prince of Jutland, starring Christian Bale, Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren and Kate Beckinsale; Made in Romania with Jennifer Tilly and Elizabeth Hurley; Heckler, a documentary by Jamie Kennedy; Day on Fire with Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis and Martin Donovan; recent cult hit The Other Side; The Soft Kill starring Carrie-Anne Moss; the true-life serial killer movie Dahmer starring Jeremy Renner and Bruce Davison; the comedy Rainbow directed by and starring Bob Hoskins and Dan Aykroyd; Snide and Prejudice starring Angus MacFadyen and Mena Suvari; Parting Shots, a comedy starring Ben Kingsley, John Cleese and Bob Hoskins; Play Dead starring Chris Klein and Fred Durst; the adventure comedy Erik the Viking, starring Tim Robbins, directed by Monty Python alum Terry Jones; Rampage starring Clifton Collins Jr., Brittany Daniel and Lake Bell; and the comedy The Manor, with Peter O’Toole and Greta Scacchi.
In addition to producing quality feature films, Bleiberg served four terms (2003-2006) on International Film & Television Alliance (IFTA’s) Board of Directors, as well as two years (2007-2008) as Chairman of Export Alliance for the association.