Sony Pictures Classics Sees The Light



NEW YORK (April 2, 2015) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired worldwide rights to I SAW THE LIGHT, the story of the legendary country western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and its ultimately tragic effect on his health and personal life.

Written and directed by Marc Abraham, I SAW THE LIGHT is based on Colin Escott’s award-winning biography and stars Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz and Cherry Jones. RatPac Entertainment’s Brett Ratner and Bron Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert produced the film, with G. Marq Roswell and Abraham. James Packer of RatPac Entertainment and Jason Cloth of Creative Wealth Media Finance executive produced. Notable director of photography Dante Spinotti was the cinematographer for the film.

“All of us at RatPac Entertainment are thrilled that Sony Pictures Classics is distributing I SAW THE LIGHT, as Michael and Tom are unparalleled in their marketing and distribution expertise. This film is a perfect fit, especially given their passion for country music, and we could not be in better hands,” said Brett Ratner.

“For over 20 years Sony Classics has been making, distributing and supporting independent films and filmmakers. If you want your film presented to the right audiences with fervor and in the company of previous artists from Kurosawa to Bergman, and countless others, you wish upon a star for Tom Bernard and Michael Barker to be in your corner,” said Marc Abraham. I SAW THE LIGHT with Tom, Lizzie and gang, is in the right spot by me.”

“Tom Hiddleston gives an amazing performance completely embodying the talent and spirit of Hank Williams, and Marc’s script and direction are brilliant,” said Aaron L. Gilbert. “I am very pleased that the picture has found a home at Sony Pictures Classics where I know Michael and Tom will give it the attention and special handling it deserves.”

Sony Pictures Classics added, “We have been actively talking with Brett Ratner about becoming involved with I SAW THE LIGHT for a long time. Globally at this moment, adoration for Hank Williams and his music is at fever pitch. The timing is perfect for a full screen portrayal of his life. As embodied by Tom Hiddleston and written and directed by Marc Abraham, I SAW THE LIGHT in our opinion, can’t miss with audiences worldwide. We are so pleased to be a part of this adventure.”


Michael Barker and Tom Bernard serve as co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics—an autonomous division of Sony Pictures Entertainment they founded with Marcie Bloom in January 1992, which distributes, produces, and acquires independent films from around the world.

Barker and Bernard have released prestigious films that have won 32 Academy Awards® (28 of those at Sony Pictures Classics) and have garnered 158 Academy Award® nominations (132 at Sony Pictures Classics) including Best Picture nominations for WHIPLASH, AMOURMIDNIGHT IN PARIS, AN EDUCATIONCAPOTE, HOWARDS END, AND CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.


Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. For additional information, go to


RatPac Entertainment is the film finance production and media partnership of Filmmaker Brett Ratner and Australian mogul, James Packer. RatPac has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and joined with Dune Capital to co-finance over 75 films including Gravity, The Lego Movie, and American Sniper. Internationally, RatPac and Warner Bros. have formed a joint venture content fund with China’s Shanghai Media Group to finance local Chinese content. In partnership with New Regency, RatPac also finances the development and production of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

As a director, Ratner has grossed approximately $2 billion worldwide, directing such hits as the Rush Hour trilogy, Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand, Tower Heist, and Hercules.


Bron Studios, co-founded by Aaron L. Gilbert and Brenda Gilbert in 2010, is a British Columbia-based producer of original live-action and animated motion pictures and series television. The company has produced over a dozen films since its founding; working with new voices and established talents both in front of and behind the camera including; Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, William H. Macy, Ricky Gervais, Tom Hiddleston, Ellen Page, Tim Robbins, Olivia Wilde, Billy Crudup, Zooey Deschanel, Anton Yelchin, Helen Hunt, Johnny Galecki, Anjelica Huston, Luke Wilson, Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, James Marsden, Rupert Friend, Linda Cardellini, and many others.