Black Bear Launches International Division With John Friedberg As President

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John Friedberg is joining Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear, where he will oversee the launch of Black Bear International, a new business committed to the international sales and distribution of premium film and television. Friedberg will serve as President of Black Bear International, which has received substantial backing from Schwarzman.

In this capacity, Friedberg will spearhead the international sales and distribution of Black Bear’s robust slate of projects, aggressively secure international and territorial-specific rights to critical and commercially driven content, and opportunistically produce and package projects to bolster Black Bear International’s slate.  Friedberg joins Black Bear as a Partner, alongside Schwarzman, Michael Heimler and Keith Redmon.

“John Friedberg is one of the best international sales and distribution executives in the business,” said Schwarzman. “At a time of rapid change, John has been incredibly effective at sourcing and packaging exceptional content and ensuring his strong network of distributors gains access to the best material in market. I know he will continue to do so at the helm of Black Bear International, and our partnership perfectly complements Black Bear’s continued growth in film and television by enhancing our sales and distribution capacities.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to embark on this journey with Black Bear,” added Friedberg. “Teddy has a phenomenal track record as a producer and financier, and we are completely aligned in growing the business together, taking advantage of the unprecedented global appetite for content and building a powerhouse international business.”  

Friedberg joins Black Bear from STX Entertainment, where he served as President of International. At STX, Friedberg established the company’s international distribution business, leading their global acquisitions strategy and overseeing the direct distribution business in the UK. Friedberg is currently producing Michael Mann’s Ferrari starring Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz and Guy Ritchie’s The Interpreter starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and was instrumental in setting up Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune with Jason Statham for STX. Other credits include Greenland starring Gerard Butler, The Mauritanian with Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch and the Bad Moms franchse. Prior to STX, Friedberg served as EVP of International Sales at QED International, and worked on such films as David Ayer’s Fury starring Brad Pitt and District 9 directed by Neill Blomkamp.

Friedberg and Black Bear have worked together on various Black Bear titles, including I Care A Lot, which earned Rosamund Pike a Golden Globe for Best Actress, Comedy, and Neil Burger’s The Marsh King’s Daughter starring Daisy Ridley. Friedberg also has a close working relationship with Elevation Pictures, Black Bear’s sister company and leading Canadian distributor, which serves as STX Entertainment’s output partner.

Black Bear has been rapidly expanding from its origins as an independent film production and financing company into a multifaceted studio across film and television.  The formation of Black Bear International signals a continued growth of Black Bear overseas alongside Black Bear Global and Black Bear’s investment in direct distribution, and comes on the heels of the creation of Double Agent, a joint venture with New Regency run by Dana O’Keefe, focused exclusively on the production and financing of premium unscripted content.

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