Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker, Tom Bernard to Receive Zurich Film Festival’s Game Changer Award

The 2022 Zurich Film Festival will honor longtime Sony Pictures Classics bosses Michael Barker and Tom Bernard with their Game Changer award, a lifetime achievement honor for film industry professionals.

Barker and Bernard co-founded SPC 30 years ago, in January 1992, together with Marcie Bloom, pioneering and popularizing the distribution of independent and international art house cinema in the U.S. Their list of hits ranges from Tom Tykwer’s 1998 breakout Run Lola Run and Ang Lee’s Chinese-language blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to Damien Chazelle’s debut Whiplash (2014) and Florian Zeller’s sleeper hit The Father from 2020.

Films released by Barker and Bernard have received 183 Academy Award Nominations, including nine best picture nominations, and won 41 Oscars.

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“Sony Pictures Classics is synonymous amongst film fans with intelligent auteur cinema,” said Zurich Film Festival artistic director Christian Jungen. “Michael and Tom have been producing and distributing sophisticated entertainment for the last 30 years. They have introduced such great European auteurs as [Pedro] Almodóvar, [Wim] Wenders and Maren Ade to the American public and given the best of American independent cinema to the world. Others have come and gone — they have remained for 30 years, successful and loyal to cinema. We want to honor this achievement with our award.”

Barker and Bernard will accept the Game Changer award in Zurich on Sunday, Sept. 25, during the festival’s industry-focused Zurich Summit.

The 18th Zurich International Film Festival runs Sept. 22 to Oct. 2.

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