Twenty years ago this December, former Orion Classics co-presidents Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom launched Sony Pictures Classics, instantly setting a new gold standard for the distribution of independent and foreign-language cinema in America. Their inaugural release, Howards End, grossed more than $25 million at the U.S. box office and earned nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. In the two decades since, the hits have kept on coming, including three additional Best Picture nominees (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Capote and An Education), 10 winners of the Foreign Language Film Oscar, and eight New York Film Festival opening nights, including this year’s Carnage. On the occasion of their 20th anniversary, we salute the Sony Classics team with a look back at their remarkable career, including film clips and an in-depth conversation with Barker and Bernard moderated by NYFF selection committee chairman Richard Peña.
The conversation will be followed by a screening of Howard's End (James Ivory, 1992, 140m).