People

Avi Lerner

Chairman and Founder

Avi Lerner is the Chairman and founder of Nu Image, Inc., Millennium Films and all related companies. With more than 350 films to his credit, he is one of the most experienced, prolific and successful independent producers of our time.

Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Lerner began as manager of Israel’s first drive-in cinema. In 1979, Lerner anticipated the explosion of home video rental, which led to his pioneering the largest specialized video distribution company in Israel and becoming a partner in the country’s largest theatrical distribution company.

In 1984, he executive produced the remake of King Solomon’s Mines. He then sold his Israeli company and relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he founded the Nu Metro Entertainment Group. The company’s interests grew to include owned-and-operated theaters, a video distribution division representing top studios and independent companies, and a production arm that made over 60 features distributed worldwide by major studios. Lerner eventually sold Nu Metro to join MGM/United Artists.

In 1992, he moved to Los Angeles and opened Nu Image, Inc., focusing on production and distribution for the home entertainment market. In 1996, he launched Millennium Films, which produces theatrical motion pictures.

Under the Millennium Films label, Lerner has produced such films as Expendables 1, 2, and 3, Rambo IV, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, Brooklyn’s Finest, and The Mechanic.

Trevor Short

CO-Founder adn CFO

Co-founder and CFO Trevor Short oversees legal, finance and administrative operations for Nu Image, Inc., Millennium Films and all related companies.

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Short obtained a Bachelor of Law from the University of Rhodesia and an MBA at the University of Cape Town where he was awarded the Gold Medal. In 1980 Short entered the world of banking and commerce, joining Standard Chartered Merchant Bank in Harare as head of Corporate Finance, responsible for takeovers, mergers and IPO’s. He then moved to Hill Samuel Merchant Bank in Johannesburg in 1984 as head of its Corporate Finance Division and subsequently to Investec Bank where he was responsible for eight IPOs on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as well as numerous mergers and acquisitions

In 1989, Short left the banking sector to join Lerner as a shareholder in and Chief Executive of Nu Metro Entertainment Group in Johannesburg. He continued to arrange financing for Nu Metro’s film production and was directly involved in its expanding its theater chain. In 1991, Lerner and Short used proceeds from the sale of Nu Metro Entertainment Group to start a new studio in California. Nu Image, Inc. opened its doors in Los Angeles in 1992.

Short’s expertise; in finance, law, investments, tax legislation, subsidies, international and domestic banking has been applied to the many foreign co-productions undertaken by the Nu Image group over the years. This includes the development of Nu Boyana Studios in Bulgaria and Millennium Studios in Louisiana, both of which are full service production facilities available to the film industry and often used by Millennium Films.

Short has served as producer or executive producer on nearly all Nu Image and Millennium Films productions since the beginning. Recent films include The Expendables 1 & 2 and the forthcoming The Big Wedding, Playing the Field, and The Paperboy, a 2012 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection.

Boaz Davidson

Head of development and creative affairs

Boaz Davidson is the Head of Development and Creative Affairs for Millennium Films. He has been with the firm and its parent company, Nu Image, Inc., since 1992. However, he is equally well known as the writer-director of the critically acclaimed worldwide hit film Lemon Popsicle, which debuted at the Berlin Film Festival, receiving its Panorama Audience Award and spawning more than a dozen sequels.

Davidson was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, graduated from London Film School, and moved to the United States in 1979. He joined Cannon Films, where he oversaw production on such films as: Going Bananas, Delta Force, American Cyborg, Salsa; and most notably an American version of Lemon Popsicle titled The Last American Virgin. Today both Israeli and American versions are considered cult classics.

In 1992, Davidson joined Nu Image, Inc. co-founders and played an integral role forming the new independent studio. He continued to write, direct, and produce such films as Looking for Lola, Shadrach, and The Big Brass Ring. In 1996, Nu Image formed Millennium Films, where Davidson has overseen the development and production of such films as The Expendables, Rambo IV, Righteous Kill, 16 Blocks, The Mechanic and Brooklyn’s Finest and such forthcoming pictures as The Expendables 2, The Iceman, The Big Wedding, Playing the Field, and The Paperboy, an official selection of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

John Thompson

Head of production

John Thompson grew up in Rome where his fine body of work in the Italian film industry throughout the 1980s and 90s includes Franco Zeffirelli’s Otello (two Oscar® nominations, Cannes Official Selection, American Critics Award); Claude D’Anna’s Salome (Cannes Official Selection); Lina Wertmuller’s Camorra (four Donatello Awards, Berlin Film Fest official entry); Liliana Cavani’s Berlin Interior (Donatello Award, Berlin Film Festival official selection); Paul Schrader’s The Comfort of Strangers (Cannes Official Selection); Ivan Passer’s Haunted Summer (Venice Film Festival Official Selection); Jerzy Skolimowski’s Torrents of Spring (Cannes Official Selection) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Everybody’s Fine (Cannes Official Selection).

Thompson returned to Los Angeles to helm production for Millennium Films in 1998. Films he has produced or co-produced for Millennium include American Perfekt written and directed by Paul Chart (Cannes Official Selection); Susanna Styron’s Shadrach (Venice Official Selection); Some Girl  from Rory Kelly (Best Director Award, LA Independent Film Festival); Audrey Wells’ Guinevere; George Hickenlooper’s Big Brass Ring, as well as Prozac Nation, Nobody’s Baby, The Replicant, Try Seventeen, Undisputed and other successful productions.

Continuing as Millennium’s Head of Production, Thompson has gone on to produce The Mechanic, The Expendables, Brooklyn’s Finest, Righteous Kill, Rambo IV and soon to be released The Expendables 2, The Big Wedding, Playing the Field and Stolen.

Lonnie Ramati

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS AND LEGAL AFFAIRS

Born in New York City, New York Lonnie Ramati grew up as an Israeli (by birth) whose family had relocated to New York when he was 3. He attended Princeton University, graduated in the top 1% of his class, as English major with a minor in Economics and History, was awarded Phi Beta Kappa status, and graduated in the top 10% of his class at Osgoode Law School, an ABA recognized Canadian law school ranked as one of the top 3 law schools in Canada and practiced music and film entertainment law in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia before starting his business affairs career in New York City and Los Angeles. With more than 20 years experience in business affairs in the film, television and music industries, Mr. Ramati has worked for more than 50 AFM/IFTA distribution companies and major distributors in foreign and domestic distribution of films and TV series. Known for his sincere, passionate, hard working, dedicated business affairs services as an employee who can be as comfortable doing a complicated deal as drafting a long form agreement or summarizing credits for the benefit of distributor, his experience in financing agreements, production agreements (film and TV series and movies-of-the week), distribution agreements (both domestic and foreign), soundtrack album, music publishing and record agreements provides him with substantial experience and knowledge in production and distribution business affairs for such deals.

He is a Co-Executive Producer in addition to being production business affairs on the following films: (a) Killing Season (2013) starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta directed by Mark Steven Johnson, (b) The Iceman (2013) starring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans and Ray Liotta directed by Ariel Vromen, (b) Playing For Keeps (2012) starring Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta Jones directed by Gabriele Muccino, (c) The Big Wedding (2012)starring Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon and directed by Justin Zackham, (d) The Expendables 2 (2012) starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme and directed by Simon West,(e) Stolen (2012) starring Nic Cage, Josh Lucas and Danny Huston directed by Simon West, and (f) Lovelace (2013) starring Amanda Seyfried, Peter Saarsgard, James Franco, Chloe Sevigny, Sharon Stone, Hank Azaria, Eric Roberts, Wes Bently, Bobby Cannavale and Debi Mazar directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. And Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Homefront (2013), Legend of Hercules (2014), Expendable 1,2 and 3 (2014), Septembers of Shiraz (2015), London Has Fallen (2016), Criminal (2016), Mechanic (2016), The Late Bloomer (2016), Chuck (2016), Security (2017), Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017), Day of the Dead (2017), Hunter Killer (2018), Bullet Head (2017), Acts of Vengeance (2017), 211 (2018) and many more in development.

Dave Sobieraj

PRESIDENT OF NORTH AMERICAN SALES & DISTRIBUTION

As President of North American Sales & Distribution, Dave Sobieraj is the driving force behind the success of Nu Image film sales for the North American multi-platform distribution markets since 1998. Working in the entertainment industry for 30 plus years has provided Sobieraj with the skill and acumen to negotiate deals with such companies as Netflix, HBO®, Showtime, Starz®, USA Networks, eOne, Spike TV, Syfy, BET, TV One™, ABC Family, Amazon and Microsoft. Developing strong and lasting business relationships along the way, Sobieraj has been on the cutting edge of multi-platform distribution technologies from day one.

At his core, Sobieraj is all about negotiating the deal. As a result, Sobieraj was the key architect of the Trimark Easy Profits program, and the most recent negotiation of a game-changing Pay TV deal with Netflix.

From 2007 to 2014, Sobieraj split his responsibilities also holding the position of President of Television at Millennium Entertainment, a subsidiary of Nu Image. He was able to strike mutually beneficial deals with such companies such DirecTV®, DISH®, InDemand, Vubuquity, Cablevision and a host of high-profile VOD providers. The company sold in 2014, returning Sobieraj to Nu Image fulltime.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was where Sobieraj encountered the large studio system. He worked various roles including product management, business affairs and acquisitions. He worked on worldwide distribution for such films as “Past Midnight,” “One False Move,” “Ruby,” and “Passion Fish”, to name a few.

Having held executive positions with major studios and in the independent sector; Sobieraj’s career began as area sales and marketing manager for Storer Cable, a division of Storer Communications, one of America’s oldest broadcasting companies. He won the Marketing Achievement award while at Storer.

Sobieraj has a Masters in Educational Media from Fairfield University, an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts with Academic Distinction – both from the University of Connecticut.

Though he travels a great deal for conventions and film festivals such as Mipcom, NAPTE, Cannes, Sundance, and TIFF; Sobieraj resides in Los Angeles and communicates frequently with his two children in grad school (law and med school) and son who works for the NFL Network.

Jeffrey Greenstein

PRESIDENT OF SALES & DISTRIBUTION

Jeffrey Greenstein was named President of International Sales & Distribution at Nu Image/Millennium Films in April 2015. The almost seven-year company vet oversees the sales and distribution of all Nu Image and Millennium Films productions, some of which he also produces.

Greenstein, who was VP International Sales & Distribution at the company has worked on more than 50 films for the indie studio, including The Expendables franchise, Olympus Has Fallen, Homefront, Before I Go To Sleep, Criminal, London Has Fallen and Mechanic: Resurrection.

Greenstein is a graduate of the University of Central Florida – College of Business Administration, where he majored marketing with a concentration in sales.

Prior to entering the film business, he was an Assistant Trainer for the Anthony Robbins Foundation, owned and published a performance driven magazine for young professionals, and owned and operated a commercial carpet cleaning company he started at the age of 19.