Danny Glover’s Louverture Films Goes to TV, Names New Partners

ddLouverture Films, the production company founded by actor Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes, is branching out into television as well as animation, games and installations. With two new lead partners on hand, the expansion has recruited a host of creatives, including directors Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Lucrecia Martel.

Co-founded by Glover and Barnes in 2005 – alongside longtime partners Susan Rockefeller and Tony Tabatznik of the Bertha Foundation – the company has recruited Sawsan Asfari and Jeffrey Clark as lead partners. Variety understands that the new partners will allow Louverture to access more funding resources.

Additionally, producer Karin Chien, who gave a keynote enticing Sundance Institute Producing Fellows on Sunday, becomes a partner and executive vice president. Meanwhile, Barnes has been promoted to chairman while Glover remains CEO and co-founder.

Louverture, named after Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, has built its reputation on international and arthouse films and a strong roster of theatrical documentaries. Recent credits include Camilla Nielsson’s ‘President’ and co-productions of Tatiana Huezo’s ‘Prayers for the Stolen’, Weerasethakul’s ‘Memoria’ and Paz Encina’s upcoming ‘Eami’.

Asfari is a seasoned executive producer, with a history of producing and co-producing acclaimed films through UK production company Cocoon Films (formerly Cactus World Films), which she co-founded in 2007. on West Asia, also known as the Middle East, his vision at Cocoon has since expanded to include a multitude of topics and countries. His credits include “Wajib” and “Quand je t’ai vu” by Annemarie Jacir; “The Idol” by Hany Abu-Assad; and “Aquarela” by Victor Kossakovsky.

Clark, a California native, is the original founder and program director of the Nevada City Film Festival, and also owns the Northern California arthouse group, the Onyx Theater.

With growing resources and staff, Louverture is also diversifying its slate and moving into other media, including series, installations, animations and interactive game projects. The company said it was “committed to maintaining its reputation for historical relevance, social purpose, commercial value and artistic integrity”.

Glover said, “We are thrilled to welcome Sawsan Asfari and Jeffrey Clark to Louverture as Feature Partners. Their creative commitment and industry acumen brilliantly complements the excellent working partners Susan Rockefeller and Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation have enabled us to achieve and will now enhance our ability to expand into other formats.

Barnes added: “It was such a pleasure developing our slate and producing with Karin Chien. She deserves not only this position of Executive Vice-President, but also her integration as a partner in the company she is helping to build. She brought energy and passion, a shrewd intelligence to Louverture as well as a committed and shared vision and ethic with all partners, who we believe will continue to push the needle in this industry.

In addition to Weerasethakul and Martel, Louverture’s new projects include work with RaMell Ross, The Ummah Chroma, Tala Hadid, Victor Kossakovsky, Athina Rachel Tsangari, William Kentridge, Granik, Wang Bing, Greg Pak, Vera Brunner-Sung and the showrunner Amy Jephtha.

Many artists have an existing relationship with Louverture, with some of their films having been shown last year at a retrospective organized by Film at Lincoln Center. The slate included “The Black Power Mixtape” by Göran Hugo Olsson; “Hale County This Morning, Tonight” by Ross; “Strong Island” by Yance Ford; Weerasethakul’s 2010 Palme d’Or winner “Uncle Boonmee who can remember his past lives”; “Zama” by Martel and “Bamako” by Abderrahmane Sissako.

(Photo: Jeffrey Clark, Karen Chien, Sawsan Asfari)

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