Avi Lerner, Nu Image

December 4, 2011 · Posted in Keynote Speaker 

Avi Lerner
Co-Chairman and Founder
Nu Image, Inc.

Avi Lerner, Co-Chairman and founder of Nu Image, Inc., Millennium Films and all related companies, is one of the most experienced, prolific and successful independent filmmakers of our time. Recently labeled The Most Unlikely Movie Mogul by The Hollywood Reporter, Lerner has produced over 350 films since his career began.

Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Lerner began as manager of Israel’s first drive-in cinema. He now regularly attends Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, and Millennium Films’ multiple productions to produce five to eight per year with such stars as Robert De Niro, Kathryn Heigl, Sylvester Stallone, Amanda Seyfried, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Robin Williams.

Lerner anticipated the explosion of home video rental in l979, which led to his pioneering the largest specialized video distribution company in Israel, and becoming a partner in the largest theatrical distribution company in the country.

In 1984, he executive produced the remake of King Solomon’s Mines, its sequel Alan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold. He then sold his Israeli company and relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he founded the Nu Metro Entertainment Group. The company interests included: owned and operated theaters; a video distribution division representing top studios and independent companies; and a production arm that made over 60 features distributed worldwide by major studios. Lerner eventually sold Nu Metro to join MGM United Artists while still producing feature films.

In 1992 he moved to Los Angeles and opened Nu Image, Inc. Finding success producing and distributing for home entertainment, the Nu Image brand continued to expand. In 1996 Millennium Films was formed and began producing features, while Nu Image continued to cater to the lucrative international home-video market. Between the two divisions, over XXX films have been produced since 1992.

Under the Millennium Films label, Lerner has produced numerous titles that include: the $274 box office hit Expendables, starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Mickey Roarke; Rambo IV also directed and featuring Stallone; Righteous Kill with legendary actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro; 16 Blocks featuring Bruce Willis and Mos Def; and The Mechanic with Jason Statham and Donald Sutherland.

On the horizon for Lerner is Expendables 2, action packed, star studded and directed by Simon West. Production begins October 2011. Other films include: the dramedy Straight A’s staring Anna Paquin, Ryan Phillippe, Luke Wilson; The Big Wedding, with Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Keaton and Robin Williams; the Gerard Butler romantic comedy Playing the Field; and The Paperboy, based on the novel by Peter Dexter, starring Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Zac Efron and directed by Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels.

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