Co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics to speak at Tarleton

Special to the E-T

Co-founder and co-president of Sony Pictures Classics Michael Barker will speak on the campus of Tarleton State University as part of the Speaker Symposium Lecture Series.

The Tuesday, March 17, talk on “The Business of Film” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

“Mr. Barker is a very busy man, he is always working on several projects at once. It is not often that we are able to host someone of his calibre and I am appreciative that he is so gracious,” said Dr. Marcy Tanter, chair of the Speaker Symposium committee. “His insights will not only be of interest to film buffs, but to anyone who wants a career in the entertainment industry.”

Sony Pictures Classics celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, having distributed and often produced some of the finest independent movies of the past 30 years under Barker and co-founder Tom Bernard. Previously Barker was an executive at United Artists (1980-1983) and co-founded Orion Classics (1983-1991).

Barker’s films have received 158 Academy Award nominations, including several for Best Picture: Amour; Woody Allen’s most successful film, Midnight in Paris; An Education; Capote, for which Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the highest grossing foreign film in North America, and Howards End. Most recently, Sony Pictures Classics received the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for which Julianne Moore took the top honor in Still Alice; and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.

His companies’ Academy Award nominations resulted in 32 wins (most recently Cate Blanchett for Best Actress in Blue Jasmine), including five for Best Documentary Feature, most recently for Searching for Sugarman, 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, A Separation and Amour. Other notable honors include 36 Independent Spirit Awards and 22 Golden Globe Awards.

Barker has collaborated with some of the world’s finest filmmakers—Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Mike Leigh, 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.