Apparition is winding down 13 months after its official launch as owner Bill Pohlad laid off the final 11 employees in the Los Angeles and New York offices today .
It is understood Pohlad notified the remaining staff including marketing chief Kirk Iwanowski and publicity head Martin Marquet this morning . Eight staff were based in New York and three in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile the seemingly interminable distribution saga of Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life [pictured] continues as Pohald is in advanced talks with CAA to find a new distributor.
Pohlad produced The Tree Of Life under his River Road Entertainment label. Summit International handled pre-sales to foreign buyers.
Today’s developments follow the shock departure of Pohlad’s partner Bob Berney on the eve of Cannes last May after the executive grew tired of sluggish decision making on the acquisitions front.
In June Pohlad laid off 15 staff from the bicoastal offices and brought on Tom Ortenberg as a consultant to advise on distribution and marketing strategy for The Tree Of Life.
Speaking anonymously, a person close to the company said employees have been told it was being put on the shelf and that today’s developments did not necessarily indicate the end of Apparition. After no breakout hit at the box office and months of corporate uncertainty, many in the industry would raise an eyebrow at this assertion.
Pohlad and Berney announced the launch of Apparition in August 2009. The release slate included quality fare such as The Young Victoria, Bright Star and The Runaways, as well as The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Shortly after launching, Apparition signed an output deal an output deal with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) for all domestic ancillary rights on its slate.
Meanwhile Berney is preparing to attend Toronto several months after it emerged that he has been in talks with Graham King to launch a new distribution venture.