Picturehouse CEO Bob Berney is a leading figure in the world of global film distribution, known for his strong relationships with filmmakers, theater circuits and industry executives, his keen eye for content, and his extraordinary marketing acumen. He has been instrumental in the acquisition, marketing and distribution of some of the most acclaimed and successful independent films of the last two decades, including Manchester by the Sea, Memento, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Passion of the Christ, Pan’s Labyrinth and Drive. The smart, challenging and entertaining movies he has helped shepherd to the screen since 2000 have amassed more than $1 billion in domestic box office, won multiple Academy Awards® and made an enduring impact on the cultural landscape.
Based in Los Angeles, Picturehouse is an independent motion picture marketing and distribution company that brings the work of unique filmmakers to a diverse audience. The company, led by Berney and his wife Jeanne, a seasoned entertainment marketing professional, acquires, markets and theatrically distributes films from the U.S. and around the world. Picturehouse’s latest release is Fatima, a historical drama directed by award-winning filmmaker Marco Pontecorvo, featuring an internationally acclaimed cast including Joaquim de Almeida, Goran Višnjić, Stephanie Gil, Lúcia Moniz, Sônia Braga and Harvey Keitel.
Picturehouse was initially formed in 2005 by Time Warner subsidiaries HBO and New Line Cinema. With Berney at its helm, the full-service marketing and distribution company in short order released a diverse array of award-winning films including Sergei Bodrov’s Mongol, Patricia Rozema’s Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion and Seth Gordon’s The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Other releases included director Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, which won three Oscars® after receiving six nominations, and La Vie En Rose, for which Marion Cotillard received the Best Actress Oscar.
In addition to his work with Picturehouse, Berney co-founded and operated four of the most successful independent film distribution and marketing companies: FilmDistrict, Apparition, Newmarket Films and IFC Films. Under his leadership these companies helped films such as Insidious, Soul Surfer, Drive, Bright Star, The Young Victoria, The Runaways and Y Tu Mama Tambien achieve financial success, while the staggering worldwide grosses of The Passion of the Christ and My Big Fat Greek Wedding obliterated indie box-office records. Films Berney helped distribute and market also earned numerous critical accolades and awards, including two Oscar nominations for Best Actress (Charlize Theron for Monster and Keisha Castle-Hughes for Whale Rider) and one win (Theron).
In 2013 the Berneys took ownership of Picturehouse and relaunched the esteemed label as an independent theatrical distributor. That same year they released Nimród Antal’s Metallica Through the Never, a Grammy Award® nominee for Best Music Film. In 2015 Bob Berney became the head of marketing and distribution for Amazon Studios, where he built and oversaw the company’s theatrical distribution arm, leaving Picturehouse in Jeanne’s capable hands until his return in 2019.
While at Amazon he oversaw the release of more than 50 films including double Academy Award winner Manchester by the Sea (the first Oscar nominee for Best Picture released by a streaming platform), The Big Sick (Oscar nominee, Best Original Screenplay), Cold War (nominated for three Oscar, including Best Director) and The Salesman (Oscar winner, Best Foreign Language Film).
Berney studied film history and production at the University of Texas at Austin. Before graduating with a B.A. in communications he was a manager and projectionist for AMC Theatres. Berney continued working for the theater chain until he left to renovate the Inwood Theatre in Dallas, which he and his partners reopened as a popular arthouse venue in 1984. After gaining first-hand knowledge of the business, he served as a distribution executive for companies including Triton Pictures (A Brief History of Time) and Orion Classics (Prisoner of the Mountains). Later, operating as an independent distribution and marketing consultant, Berney was responsible for the release of Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough film, Memento, and Todd Solondz’s critically acclaimed dramedy Happiness.
Berney is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Executive Branch), the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the European Film Academy.
Picturehouse COO Jeanne R. Berney is a marketing veteran with extensive experience in all aspects of the entertainment industry, from major independent film companies and leading marketing agencies to non-profits. She has overseen successful marketing, advertising, publicity and promotional campaigns for numerous motion picture releases, brands and film festivals.
Based in Los Angeles, Picturehouse is an independent motion picture marketing and distribution company that brings the work of unique filmmakers to a diverse audience. The company, led by Jeanne and her husband, CEO Bob Berney, acquires, markets and theatrically distributes films from the U.S. and around the world. Picturehouse’s latest release is Fatima, a historical drama directed by award-winning filmmaker Marco Pontecorvo, featuring an internationally acclaimed cast including Joaquim de Almeida, Goran Višnjić, Stephanie Gil, Lúcia Moniz, Sônia Braga and Harvey Keitel.
Prior to Picturehouse, Berney served as a marketing executive at entertainment companies including Miramax Films, Savoy Pictures, Rysher Entertainment and FilmDistrict. At FilmDistrict she was responsible for the marketing and publicity campaigns for films including director James Wan’s Insidious, Soul Surfer, Guillermo del Toro’s Don’t be Afraid of the Dark and Nicolas Refn’s Drive.
Berney also ran the Film and Digital Entertainment Group at Rogers & Cowan, where over eight years she spearheaded national publicity campaigns for films including My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Monster (for which Charlize Theron won a Best Actress Oscar), Whale Rider, Christopher Nolan’s Memento and Alfonso Cuaron’s Y tu Mamá También. She also represented major corporate brands such as SKYY Vodka, Microsoft (for the launch of their Windows Media Player) and exhibition trade convention CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest). She and her team won numerous awards, including two prestigious Key Art Awards, for 2011’s Drive and The Rum Diary.
Berney also spent seven years as Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where she was responsible for marketing all of the organization’s year-round programing including the acclaimed New York Film Festival.
Berney is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the European Film Academy. She serves on the boards of the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and American Friends of TIFF, a non-profit organization that supports the activities of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Dr. Anita Cal
Anita Cal is a writer, filmmaker, producer, and educator, specializing in independent productions. After beginning her career as a print reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Cal returned to graduate school to study screenwriting, where she won Women In Film’s Best Screenplay award and landed her first development deal with Showtime for her film KINFOLKS. For two seasons, she was a writer for Tyler Perry’s TBS series HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS.
In 2015 Cal published her first historical novel, EIGHTH WONDER, based on the story of Thomas Bethune, a slave virtuoso born blind and feeble who began playing Mozart at the age of three. She is currently developing new television projects. Cal holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University; an M.A. in Screenwriting from California State University, Northridge; and a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Washington.
In January 2021, Kenny Christmas was named General Counsel for MRC, a diversified global entertainment company with divisions including Television, Live & Alternative, Film, and Non-Fiction, as well as joint ventures in data and publishing. In the newly established role, Christmas oversees all corporate affairs for the leading independent entertainment company and its expansive partnerships and investments. Christmas works closely with the company’s business affairs teams across the content divisions and with the corporate team involved in mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Christmas is an entertainment industry veteran with a long career spanning positions at well-known studios, production companies, and law firms. Christmas most recently served as Of Counsel at boutique entertainment law firm Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. Previously he served as Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs at MarVista Entertainment, a global independent studio that creates, acquires and distributes more than 60 movies a year. He also worked at Lionsgate Television as Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs in the company’s fast-growing television division. He held various other positions throughout his career including serving as a business and legal consultant at The Tyra Banks Company, outside legal counsel for A&E Networks, working with Vincent D’Onofrio in a production company, as General Counsel/Head of Business Affairs at Edmonds Entertainment and at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, et. al, a leading talent firm in Beverly Hills. He started his career at O’Melveny & Meyers representing major studios, networks, production companies, entertainment lenders and bond companies in complex, cutting-edge transactions. A graduate of Yale Law School and Stanford University, the San Jose native has two children and lives in Los Angeles.
Tom Connelly is a scholar of television, film, and digital media. He is the author of CINEMA OF CONFINEMENT (Northwestern University Press, 2019) and CAPTURING DIGITAL MEDIA: PERFECTION AND IMPERFECTION IN CONTEMPORARY FILM AND TELEVISION (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019). Both books draw upon psychoanalytic concepts to investigate current developments in cinema and television. In addition to his scholarly work, Connelly is a musician and filmmaker. He grew up in New York’s tri-state area and played drums and guitar in several underground bands in the 1990s. His short film, NO DEPOSIT NO RETURN, screened at a number of film festivals. He also writes prose and screenplays and has independently published two novels, THE POSTCARD, and THE BELLS, which focus on his hometown in the Hudson Valley. Connelly holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University, an M.A. in English from the University of Vermont, and a B.F.A. in Film from Long Island University.
George Dewey is an industry leader in digital marketing and President of Maximum Effort Productions, Ryan Reynolds’ production company. Dewey spent 16 years at McCann-Erickson, where he rose from a copywriting internship to Executive Creative Director, responsible for accounts including Verizon, Weight Watchers, and the U.S. Army. After taking on senior communications and digital roles at SpaceX and Moxie, Dewey became Head of Digital Marketing at 20th Century Fox, where he created digital campaigns for films such as LOGAN, DEADPOOL, HIDDEN FIGURES, and THE MARTIAN. He was then President of Digital at Annapurna Pictures before moving to Maximum Effort in 2018. Dewey earned an M.B.A. with a concentration in Management from NYU Stern and also holds a B.A. in English from Georgetown University.
Nathalie Du Bois
Nathalie Du Bois is an in-demand consultant, inspirational public speaker and spokesperson on entrepreneurship, copyright and building impactful relationships to create sustainable careers in the entertainment industry. Her clients include Universities (Imperial College, BIMM, University of Westminster); prominent law firms (Dentons); and trade organizations (PRS, ASCAP and the Songwriting Academy). For over 2 decades, Ms. Du Bois has contracted with media and entertainment clients both in the U.S. and abroad. Under her leadership, she restructured her clients’ entire domestic operation resulting in a cost savings of over $1.7M. She also successfully negotiated and collected over $2.0M in unpaid performance royalties on behalf of her clients. Whilst serving as the leading party in copyright infringement cases, Ms. Du Bois has also secured multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of her clients.
Ms. Du Bois was also responsible for co-founding and building Kid Gloves Music where she negotiated the first one-stop contracts with studios for Independent artists and the licensing of commercial music. She placed over one thousand pieces of music in nearly every network show on television including American Horror Story, the Good Wife and CSI and in various film projects including Get on Up, Dallas, Blood Diamond, Dallas Buyers Club and Bridget Jones Diary, to name a few.
Since 1999, Ms. Du Bois has maintained preferred vendor relationships with every major studio (including Comcast, NBC/Universal, CBS, Disney, Paramount, and Warner Bros), ensuring her clients are given first-look access of their music for any commercial television or film project.
Ms. Du Bois is sought after in across every sector of the corporate and IP industry for her longstanding relationships and ability to negotiate deals on behalf of her clients. She has successfully led negotiations and settlements on behalf of her clients on matters concerning Corporate, Business Acquisitions, IP and Music.
Mia is originally from New Orleans and has been a writer for the mobile gaming industry since 2014. She has an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from LSU and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from UCLA.
David Georgeff handles frontline sample clearance for Warner Chappell Music as Director of Sample Clearance & Creative Services, with 20 years of sample negotiation experience. He is also an Interscope recording artist, producer and songwriter, having founded and played bass for punk band Wax. He is also a member of the songwriting team Sign of the Fox and served as Music Consultant for the film “Jackass Number Two.”
Jane Goldenring is a film and TV producer with over 30 years of experience. She started out producing documentaries for Turner Broadcasting, then worked as an executive for 12 years at Walt Disney Pictures, supervising over 40 films including THE ROCKETEER, WHITE FANG, and PHENOMENON. She has produced numerous TV movies for Disney Channel, Lifetime, Hallmark, and Freeform and has developed pilots for Warner Bros., A&E, SyFy, and Fox TV. Recently, she set up the fantasy YA project THE GRIMM LEGACY for Disney+, and she has several films in development.
Goldenring is co-head of the Independent Film Committee of the Producers Guild of America, a member of the Television Academy, and a former board member of Women In Film. She has taught for several years at USC Cinematic Arts and is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Before coming to Los Angeles, she worked for 5 years as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Chris Dodd.
Bonnie Greenberg has been at the forefront of entertainment integrating music and film for over two decades. She has been integrally involved with over 80 films, from independent projects such as HAIRSPRAY and MENACE II SOCIETY to major blockbusters including MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING and SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE.
She has produced or executive produced numerous gold and platinum soundtrack albums and received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Album for her work on THE BEST MAN. In 2015, she co-produced and was the executive music producer of the documentary THE HUNTING GROUND, addressing sexual assault on college campuses. Most recently, she was executive music producer for the Academy Award nominated documentary, RBG. Greenberg is an adjunct professor at the MEIM graduate program at Carnegie Mellon. She is a member of the Recording, Television and Motion Picture Academies and one of the founding members of the Guild of Music Supervisors. She holds a J.D. in Entertainment Law from Southwestern Law School, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch College, and a B.A. from the University of Denver.
Sam Gurry is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, curator, and educator living in Los Angeles. They view animation as a seductive series of images, each as an opportunity to reimagine our own social understandings of the interpersonal. By utilizing assemblage materials and imagined realities, their work showcases tactility at its core, both of the matter and of the spirit. Their award-winning films have been in the official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Slamdance, Ann Arbor, and the Ottawa International Animation Festival amongst others. They perform as one-half of expanded cinema duo Saint Victoria’s Incorruptible Body providing guitar and vocals. Sam holds an MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in Animation from the University of the Arts.
Karen Hermelin has over 20 years of experience as a Hollywood marketing professional and is currently Executive Vice President of Marketing, Research, and Strategy for Paramount Pictures. Over the course of her career as a marketing executive at several of the major studios and as a Managing Director of MarketCast, an entertainment research and strategy group, she has been a key player in marketing hundreds of feature films, from independent pictures to some of the most commercially successful films of all time, including recent projects A QUIET PLACE, THE BIG SHORT, INTERSTELLAR and the TERMINATOR, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and TRANSFORMERS franchises, in addition to helping design the launch strategies for the SPIDER-MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR franchises. Hermelin is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BFA in Drama from NYU Tisch.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Johnson
Rebecca Lee Johnson is a scholar, practitioner and songwriter who works at the intersection of academia and industry. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2020. She additionally holds a B.A. in Communication from USC (with a double minor in Music Recording and Advertising). Her research focuses on popular music, the media/cultural industries, promotional culture, and cultural work in the digital age, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between culture, creativity and commerce. As an educator Johnson has taught subjects across communication, cultural and media studies, and media economics at USC and Woodbury University. As an artist/songwriter, she has released music on independent labels in the U.S. and Japan. Prior to her Ph.D. work she interned at various companies including Interscope Records, Deutsch Agency, AAM Promo and Blue Coast Records. A native New Yorker, she has been based in Los Angeles for over a decade.
Dr. Sam Kolodezh
Sam Kolodezh's received his PhD in Drama from the University of California, Irvine in 2019. He has taught theater history, communication, and writing at UCI, UCSD, CSUN, and various other local southern California institutions. He has authored or co-authored several chapters and articles on Shakespeare, adaptation, and intermedial theatre. His research interests include character studies, temporality, global adaptation, performance philosophy, and intermediality. In particular, his research focuses on the boundaries between character and subjectivity in contemporary and historical media. Alongside his pedagogical and scholarly work, Sam is also an associate producer with Transversal Theater Company and has worked on theatre productions around the world.
Archana Kumar is a self-taught Software Engineer who works at Netflix Animation Studio. She was born in Bangalore, India and grew up at the same time the Internet did. After high school, she moved to Australia and studied Media and Communication at the University of Melbourne and did a foundation course in Film and TV at the Victorian College of the Arts. She later moved to New York and graduated from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch.
As a software engineer, she has built user interfaces at various companies across a range of industries. She has also worked as a Creative Technologist as part of a PR firm’s experiential design team creating and implementing digital and physical experiences for global companies like Samsung, Unilever, and others. Her interests are networked communication, user interfaces, and the intersection of culture and technology.
Dr. Marina Litvinksy
Marina Litvinsky is a professor, researcher and activist. She has a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Marina’s research focuses on community activism to resist the changes of gentrification and how residents’ consumption of media, or lack thereof, might help or hinder that. She has worked with and conducted research in various Los Angeles communities to better understand the residents’ perspectives of gentrification and its social and cultural effects. Prior to her Ph.D. work, Marina worked in communication for human rights organizations in Los Angeles, New York and Germany. Originally from Ukraine, she has traveled independently to over 40 countries.
Michelle Marks is a highly accomplished and innovative global entertainment marketing executive with a successful history of achievement within the Motion Picture and Television Industries. She serves as brand ambassador and team leader, constantly striving to find innovative ways to produce engaging content for audiences on all platforms. Michelle has proven success in maximizing content exposure, driving revenue growth, and consistently achieving award-winning results. Global campaigns include content from a variety of genres, which has deeply impacted and permeated pop culture, including: Bohemian Rhapsody, Deadpool, Hidden Figures, The Greatest Showman, Alien, Kingsman, and Logan. Developed inventive campaigns opening some of the biggest franchise films of all time, including: Ghostbusters, X-Men, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes, and Avatar.
She is currently an Adjunct Professor for the USC SCA Peter Stark MFA program and is CMO of Highest Marks, Inc., a creative and content distribution consultancy dedicated to identifying and maximizing platforms for pop cultural brands and political campaigns.
She has a BS in Television, Radio and Film Management from the Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Kristin Mirek has been playing in the digital media space since it was a “thing” - working with traditional entertainment platforms, ISPs, websites, start-ups - you name it, she probably did it. She has a few platinum records, met Mr. Moviefone, built several multi-million follower social and YouTube channels, won some industry awards, and even helped bring SpongeBob SquarePants to Broadway. Through it all, she has built incredible teams who excelled at the fundamentals, telling more engaging stories on behalf of brands and businesses in the process. Now Kristin works as a consultant and advisor, helping brands get the most out of their social media and content channels. Prior to hanging out her own shingle, Kristin served as Nickelodeon’s Senior Vice President of social media and digital video strategy, where she was instrumental in sustaining Nick’s run as the #1 kids’ television network and building brand relevance for a new generation.
Currently residing in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles with her husband and daughter, she is also an alumna of UCLA and proud Double Bruin (’91 & ’04), holding an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA in History with a Business Emphasis.
Pat Quinn of Quinn Media Management creates compelling strategic partnerships for U.S. and international companies that open doors to profitable new revenue streams in Hollywood. Her company specializes in routes to market, acquisitions, programming and business development.
Pat is an international format expert and represents the creators of international television series. She led the Big Mountain Productions team, setting up “Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS. She was also instrumental in Wild Rover Productions’ summer run of “Take the Money and Run” on ABC.
Quinn Media Management is a Los Angeles-based media consultancy. Current and recent clients include: the Numbers (movie financial analysts), the Canadian Media Producers Association, Enterprise Ireland, Tile Films,Wild Rover Productions, Big Mountain Productions, Northern Ireland Screen, TV2 (Norway), TV3 (Ireland) and Grace Blue (executive search).
Pat’s extensive industry experience in Hollywood included senior positions at ICM, Metropolitan Talent Agency, Paradigm Agency and Warner Bros. Television.
Pat is an Adjunct Professor in Film and Television Producing at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts/Chapman University and teaches Television Economics at Carnegie Mellon’s MEIM program. She serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Film, which promotes community, advocacy and entrepreneurship.