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Brainstorm Media Appoints Michelle Shwarzstein as new CEO

Brainstorm Media, an independent film distribution mainstay founded in 1995, is very pleased to name Michelle Shwarzstein as Chief Executive Officer. Shwarzstein has spent over a decade at the company building its all-rights distribution business and leading the acquisitions and marketing of dozens of pictures. Meyer Shwarzstein, the founder of the company, will be starting a new venture focused entirely on development and production. “I couldn’t be more thrilled,” says Meyer about the transition, “I’m impressed by Michelle’s team’s vision and their passion for the business.”

Under Shwarzstein’s leadership, Brainstorm’s mission is to realize focused and creative distribution strategies for its content partners. Supporting Shwarzstein in her new position as CEO are Abbey Warner (Vice President, Marketing and Strategy), who recently joined Brainstorm Media from Gunpowder & Sky, and Alex Peters, who was recently upped to Vice President, Sales and Acquisitions.

"Creativity, honesty, and collaboration are foundational values of Brainstorm Media since its inception 28 years ago,” says Shwarzstein. “Abbey, Alex, and I are honored to build on Brainstorm’s legacy with a very exciting new slate. The films we have coming out over the next few months are emblematic of what you can expect from Brainstorm going forward: an eclectic mix of titles, all from incredible filmmakers with distinct points of view."

With Shwarzstein as CEO, Brainstorm will continue to uphold its core values of collaboration, transparency, agility, experience, and representation. Brainstorm works to spotlight diverse voices, prioritizing content that features historically marginalized creators and performers. It has long been Brainstorm’s mission to partner with filmmakers to align on strategy and marketing with a goal of achieving mutual success, sharing as much feedback and reporting as possible, and providing honesty and openness throughout the distribution process. Leveraging 28 years of expertise across all modes of distribution, ranging from theatrical to FAST and independent releases, Brainstorm has the resources and agility to react to a dynamic market and adapt swiftly without the bureaucracy of a larger company.

Later this year, Brainstorm will be releasing Irish neo-noir BARBER, starring Aidan Gillen and LIMBO, starring Simon Baker will have its North American premiere at TIFF next month and will be released in 2024.

Brainstorm Medias upcoming slate:


Directed by: Fintan Connolly

Logline: A private investigator (Aidan Gillen) exposes dark secrets and corruption after a wealthy widow’s granddaughter goes missing.


Directed by: Hannah Pearl Utt

Logline: When Cora (Megan Stalter), a struggling musician and messy millennial, goes home to Portland to win her girlfriend back, she realizes it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging.


Directed by: Ivan Sen

Logline: Jaded detective, Travis Hurley (Simon Baker), investigates a 20-year-old outback cold case murder, uncovering the pain of an Aboriginal family who have suffered ongoing neglect and racism at the hands of the justice system.


Directed by: Spencer Brown

Logline: An engineer (Gerogina Campbell) begins work on her company’s latest product, the A.I. humanoid T.I.M.—whose subservient programming leads to a dangerous obsession.

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