Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford, the founders and CEOs of Pulse Films, are stepping down after 16 years at the helm of the company.
Partners and longtime friends founded Pulse Films in 2005 and sold a majority stake in Pulse to VICE Media Group in 2016.
Vice Media Group has now completed that acquisition and Benski and Clifford subsequently decided to exit Pulse.
Benski will continue to work with Pulse on a partnership to produce and co-produce future and existing projects, including “Gangs of London” and the Olivia Wilde-directed film “Perfect.”
Pulse Films will continue as a separate, independent brand, but will now join the portfolio of businesses as part of VICE STUDIOS; VICE’s global film and television division led by Kate Ward, president of Vice Studios. The business will be operated by the executive team; Davud Karbassioun (Global President, Commercials & Entertainment), Diene Petterle (Global Creative Director, Nonfiction) and Jamie Hall (COO, Scripted), who will report to Ward. James Sorton will continue as managing director and executive producer of commercials and music videos.
Under Benski and Clifford’s leadership, Pulse Films has become a major producer of film, television, commercials and music videos, including: the hit Sky/AMC series “Gangs of London,” the Emmy-nominated “Beastie Boys Story,” the Cannes Film Festival winner “American Honey,” films like “Pig” and “Mogul Mowgli,” the seminal music documentaries “20,000 Days on Earth,” “Shut Up and Play the Hits” and “Lemonade” by Beyonce, and the record-breaking documentaries “The Disappearance.” by Madeleine McCann”, “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” and “Harry Potter 20the Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
Pulse has won numerous Emmy, BAFTA, Grammy, Cannes, Sundance and Cannes Lions awards In 2021, Pulse was awarded Campaign Magazine Producer of the Year and the british arrows award for producer of the year as well as commercial of the year.
2022 will see release projects from Pulse, including Lewis Capaldi’s upcoming Grammy-nominated documentary Gangs of London Season 2 on SKY and AMC, the Sundance-selected documentary Meet Me In The Bathroom, and director Ninian Doff’s music video, “Out of Sight” for Run The Jewels ft. 2 Chainz, selected as part of SXSW2022.
Thomas Benski said: “Leaving Pulse Films is a defining moment for us. When we launched Pulse Films 16 years ago, our ambitious goal was to create a welcoming home for the most creative talent in front of and behind the camera, and to make elevated and indelible work for a global audience, and we’re so proud to have done just that. so with the help of the most talented team of professionals and partners imaginable.”
Marisa Clifford said: “When Thomas and I first founded Pulse, I could never have imagined all that we would create together, the stories we would tell, the relationships we would build. We are deeply grateful to our Pulse family, who are the best of people, and to Vice Media Group for believing in our amazing team. We wish Vice Media Group and the entire Pulse family the best of luck and look forward to great collaborations in the future.”
Kate Ward, President of VICE Studios, said: “Thank you so much to Thomas and Marisa for everything you’ve done over the last 16 years; together with his team, they have built Pulse Films into one of the world’s leading creative businesses, celebrated for its work across genres and all forms of entertainment. 2022 is set to be Pulse’s best year yet, and I look forward to working with the outstanding leadership of Pulse and the broader team as they continue to shape the future of visual storytelling.”
Nancy Dubuc, CEO, VICE Media Group: “We are grateful to Thomas and Marisa for their tremendous contributions and to Kate and the world-class executive team in place, the legacy the founders built will ensure Pulse grows to new heights.”
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