Joel Pearlman, Roadshow Films CEO, Steps Down

Joel Pearlman, Roadshow Films CEO, Steps

Joel Pearlman is stepping away from Village Roadshow after 30 years.

Pearlman, CEO of Roadshow Films since 2013, and managing director of the distributor before that, has had a hand in the ANZ success of numerous blockbuster franchises, including Harry Potter, “Lord Of The Rings,” “Hunger Games” and “Dark Knight.”

During his time at the top, Pearlman oversaw a range of interests, activities and partnerships, from local and global studios, licensors, and production companies including Warner Bros, Lionsgate, Village Roadshow Pictures, A24, FilmNation, Made Up Stories and Arenamedia.

The outgoing executive is saluted by the company as a long-time and passionate advocate for the Australian film industry, and is “one of the most respected” in the business.

With Pearlman at the helm, Roadshow distributed many of the classic Australian releases over the past two decades including “Red Dog,” “The Dish,” “Bran Nue Dae,” “The Dry” and its sequel “Force Of Nature,” “Penguin Bloom” and the multiple Oscar-winning “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Also, Pearlman was instrumental in securing strategic partnerships for Village Roadshow, including its investment in independent production, financing and distribution company FilmNation (Village Roadshow owns a 31.03% stake in the company), and creating leading homegrown drama producer Roadshow Rough Diamond, in association with John and Dan Edwards.

“My time at Village Roadshow has been such a remarkable chapter in my life and it is a bittersweet decision to move on to a new adventure,” comments Pearlman in a statement, issued Thursday (May 30).

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to have led this organisation for many years and am incredibly appreciative for the support from Village Roadshow CEO Clark Kirby, Village Roadshow Chair Robert Kirby and also former CEO Graham Burke.”

Roadshow’s slate of releases includes the Midnight Oil rockumentary “The Hardest Line,” which opens the Sydney Film Festival next week, plus Michael Gracey’s Robbie Williams biopic “Better Man” (opening Dec. 26), Lionsgate’s “John Wick” spin-off “Ballerina,” and the Bill Skarsgard-starring reboot of “The Crow.”

Pearlman’s departure follows private equity firm BGH Capital’s swoop for the Village business in December 2020. That deal valued Village at A$585 million, and saw it delisted it from the ASX.