EXCLUSIVE: STX’s former President of International John Friedberg is joining Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear to spearhead the company’s international sales and distribution business, we can reveal.
Friedberg, who we revealed yesterday is leaving STX after a seven year stint, will be President of Black Bear International, which we’re told has had substantial backing from Schwarzman.
Friedberg will spearhead the slate, looking to secure international and territorial-specific rights to critical and commercially driven content, also look to produce and package projects to bolster the lineup.
He joins The Imitation Game and I Care A Lot outfit 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.”
For STX, for whom he will remain a consultant, Friedberg is currently a producer on Michael Mann’s Ferrari starring Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz and Guy Ritchie’s The Interpreter starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He also helped set up Guy Ritchie’s Operation Fortune with Jason Statham for the studio. Other credits include Greenland starring Gerard Butler, The Mauritanian with Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch and the Bad Moms franchse. Prior to STX, he 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, and Neil Burger’s The Marsh King’s Daughter starring Daisy Ridley.
Black Bear’s international division 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.