• Zurich

Game Changer Award


The Game Changer Award pays tribute to excellency in the film business with a focus on leaders that not only cherish change in the industry but also stand for the DNA of what cinema has stood for since it’s invention.

Winner 2022: Michael Barker & Tom Bernard

This year, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Co-Founders and Co-Presidents of Sony Pictures Classics, will be honoured with the award as part of the 18th Zurich Film Festival.

“In addition to helping the successful launch of many important movies the Zurich Film Festival has always been a great place to meet, engage, and exchange ideas with filmmakers, distributors, and exhibitors. This award puts the focus on 30 years of Sony Pictures Classics movies and the talented filmmakers who made them. In our opinion, they are the real game changers and we share this award with them. Thank you Zurich Film Festival for the honor.” said Michael Barker and Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics.

Barker and Bernard's Sony Pictures Classics aims to distribute thought-provoking, high-quality feature films and documentaries and promote the signature style of talented filmmakers. The Zurich Film Festival honours the two American studio bosses this year for their services to film culture. The two founded Sony Pictures Classics exactly 30 years ago, and popularised auteur filmmakers such as Asghar Farhadi, Wim Wenders and Pedro Almodóvar. They have won more than 40 Academy Awards and championed diversity in cinema long before the topic became fashionable.

Winner 2021: Pamela Abdy

Pamela Abdy, MGM’s Motion Picture Group President was honoured with the Game Changer Award during the Zurich Summit industry conference at the 17th Zurich Film Festival.

"I am honored to be given this award by the Zurich Film Festival, and want to extend my deep appreciation to Christian, Reta and their entire organization. I consider it a genuine privilege to stand alongside the legendary filmmakers who have been a part of the MGM family for the last century, and I am grateful to welcome so many incredible storytellers – both new and established – to join us as we endeavor to make great films at MGM in the years ahead." affirmed Pamela Abdy, MGM’s Motion Picture Group President.

Prior to Abdy’s role at MGM she has championed original ideas and authorship, working with great filmmakers including QUEEN & SLIM director Melina Matsoukas and writer Lena Waithe, A MILLION LITTLE PIECES director Sam Taylor-Johnson. Furthermore, she has worked with Academy Award®-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu on BABEL, BIRDMAN, and THE REVENANT. She was also responsible for Adam McKay’s Academy Award®-winning THE BIG SHORT and Martin Scorsese’s SHUTTER ISLAND – while serving at Paramount Pictures, Bluegrass Films, New Regency and Makeready.

The Zurich Summit welcomed MGM's Pamela Abdy and Michael de Luca for a conversation with CAA Media Finance co-head Roeg Sutherland to discuss how they have weathered the pandemic, the changing role of the studios in the current landscape, and what they see as the future of MGM, driven by their ongoing commitment to the theatrical experience.

© Titinem Ans, © Josef Brunner, © Fabienne Wild