Co-President and Co-Founder, Sony Pictures Classics
As Co-President and Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past year, Tom Bernard (with Michael Barker), has distributed (and quite often produced), some of the finest independent movies over the past 30 years. Previously he was an executive at United Artists (1980-1983) and went on to co-found Orion Classics (1983-1991) and Sony Pictures Classics.
Over the span of his career, Bernard’s films have received 126 Academy Award® nominations including several for Best Picture including Woody Allen’s most successful film of all time, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS; AN EDUCATION; CAPOTE for which Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award® for Best Actor; CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, recognized as the highest grossing foreign film of all time in North America; and HOWARDS END. His companies’ Academy Award® nominations resulted in 29 wins including five for Best Documentary Feature, most recently for INSIDE JOB and FOG OF WAR, and 12 for Best Foreign Language Film which include BABETTE’S FEAST, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, THE LIVES OF OTHERS, and this year’s A SEPARATION. Other notable award wins include 35 Independent Spirit Awards and 17 Golden Globe® Awards.
Bernard has collaborated with some of the world’s finest filmmakers including Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Louis Malle, and Zhang Yimou, all of whom he’s worked with on multiple occasions, as well as Robert Altman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Suzanne Bier, Ingmar Bergman, Francis Coppola, David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro, the Dardenne brothers, Jonathan Demme, R W Fassbinder, Michael Haneke, Nicole Holofcener, Akira Kurosawa, Norman Jewison, Ang Lee, Richard Linklater, David Mamet, Errol Morris, Roman Polanski, Sally Potter, Francois Truffaut, and Wim Wenders.
Over the years, Bernard has released features from American masters (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, SWEET AND LOWDOWN) and new American filmmakers (TAKE SHELTER, POLLOCK, SLACKER, WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, FROZEN RIVER); cutting edge films (KUNG FU HUSTLE, MOON, ORLANDO, RUN LOLA RUN, THE RAID: REDEMPTION); animated features (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLVILLE, PERSEPOLIS, WALTZ WITH BASHIR); feature documentaries (DOGTOWN AND THE Z BOYS, CRUMB, WINGED MIGRATION, IT MIGHT GET LOUD) and foreign films (RAN, A PROPHET, WHITE RIBBON, TALK TO HER, CENTRAL STATION, WINGS OF DESIRE).
He and his colleagues have also restored and theatrically reissued some of the great films of the past including THE PASSENGER, THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI CONTINIS, MURMUR OF THE HEART, and the classic films by Indian master Satyajit Ray.
Bernard is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Sundance Advisory Board, the Tribeca Film Festival Advisory Board, the Los Angeles Film Festival Advisory Board and the Monmouth University Communication Board. Bernard was previously the co-founder of Orion Classics (1983-1991), which released Akira Kurosawa’s Oscar®-winning film Ran. Bernard also ran the first studio specialized distribution company, United Artists Classics (1981-1983) where he released films by R.W. Fassbinder (Lola, Veronika Voss) and François Truffaut (The Last Metro). Mr. Bernard has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Recent releases include HYSTERIA (Tanya Wexler), TO ROME WITH LOVE (Woody Allen), NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS (Jonathan Demme), SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN (Malik Bendjelloul), CELESTE AND JESSIE FOREVER (Lee Toland Krieger) and SMASHED (James Ponsoldt).
Upcoming releases include RUST AND BONE (Jacques Audiard), WEST OF MEMPHIS (Amy Berg), AMOUR (Michael Haneke), NO (Pablo Larrain), I’M SO EXCITED (Pedro Almodóvar) THE GATEKEEPERS (Dror Moreh), AT ANY PRICE (Ramin Bahrani), THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Robert Redford), WADJDA (Haifaa Al-Mansour), THE PATIENCE STONE (Atiq Rahimi) and FILL THE VOID (Rama Burshtein).