Warner Independent Pictures

Warner Independent Pictures was an independent film division of the American film studio Warner Bros., itself a division of WarnerMedia, which then was known as Time Warner. Established in August 2003, its first release was 2004's Before Sunset. The division financed, produced, acquired and distributed feature films largely budgeted under $20 million.

Warner Independent Pictures
FoundedAugust 7, 2003
FounderPolly Cohen Johnsen
DefunctNovember 12, 2008
SuccessorNew Line Cinema
ParentWarner Bros.

The use of "independent" in its name was not literal, as it was a division of Warner Bros., itself a division of media conglomerate Time Warner. Mark Gill was the division's first president.[1] After a controversial departure, Gill was replaced by former Warner Bros. production executive Polly Cohen,[2] who served as president of this division until fall 2008, when the division was officially shut down. While well versed in big-budget motion picture production, it was widely believed Cohen did not have strong enough backgrounds in independent film, or in the marketing/publicity aspects of film distribution, to hold that role. This led to a lackluster slate and output, after a successful initial run under Gill.

In February 2008, Time Warner announced that it would merge New Line Cinema into Warner Bros. New Line's "independent" group Picturehouse was expected to be merged into Warner Independent as part of this process. On May 8, 2008, however, it was announced that both of these specialty divisions would be shut down.[3][4] In 2013 however, Picturehouse was relaunched under separate ownership.[5]


Title Release Date Notes
Before Sunset July 2, 2004 co-production with Castle Rock Entertainment
A Home at the End of the World July 23, 2004 co-production with Hart-Sharp Entertainment
We Don't Live Here Anymore August 13, 2004
Criminal September 10, 2004
Around the Bend October 8, 2004
A Very Long Engagement December 17, 2004
The Jacket March 4, 2005 co-production with Mandalay Pictures
Eros April 8, 2005
March of the Penguins July 22, 2005 multiple award winner, including an Academy Award for Documentary Feature
Everything Is Illuminated September 16, 2005 co-production with Big Beach
Good Night, and Good Luck October 14, 2005 multiple Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture co-production with 2929 Entertainment, Participant Productions and Section Eight (logo appeared in black and white)
Paradise Now October 28, 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World January 20, 2006 co-production with Shangri-La Entertainment
Duck Season March 10, 2006
The Promise May 5, 2006
A Scanner Darkly July 7, 2006 co-production with Thousand Words and Section Eight
The Science of Sleep September 22, 2006 co-production with Gaumont, France 3 Cinéma and Canal+
Infamous October 13, 2006
For Your Consideration November 22, 2006 co-production with Castle Rock Entertainment and Shangri-La Entertainment
The Painted Veil January 19, 2007 co-production with Bob Yari Productions and The Mark Gordon Company
The Astronaut Farmer February 23, 2007 The film was supposed to be released under the label but Warner Bros Pictures distributed it.
Introducing the Dwights August 3, 2007 known as "Clubland" in Australia
The 11th Hour August 17, 2007
December Boys September 14, 2007 co-production with Village Roadshow Pictures, Becker Entertainment and Film Finance Corporation Australia
In the Valley of Elah September 28, 2007 co-production with Summit Entertainment
Rails & Ties October 26, 2007 The film was supposed to be released under the label but Warner Bros Pictures distributed it.
Darfur Now November 2, 2007 co-production with Participant Productions
Snow Angels March 7, 2008 co-production with Crossroads Films
Funny Games March 14, 2008 co-production with Tartan Films, Celluloid Dreams and FilmFour
Towelhead September 26, 2008 co-production with Indian Paintbrush
Slumdog Millionaire November 12, 2008 co-production with Pathé UK, Celador Films and FilmFour, which was sold to Fox Searchlight Pictures after Warner Independent closed. The main Warner Bros. studio logo, which is not the Independent one appears at the beginning of the film after the Fox Searchlight logo, and Warner retained distribution rights in some countries outside North America. However, Fox Searchlight is its distributor in North America, and FoxStar handles it in India, where the film is set. After Warner Independent closed, the film seemed destined to go straight to DVD before the deal with Fox Searchlight. Slumdog Millionaire would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.


  1. ^ "Warner Bros. Unveils Specialty Division with Mark Gill at the Helm – IndieWire". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  2. ^ "Polly Cohen Named New President of Warner Independent Pictures – IndieWire". Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  3. ^ Hayes, Dave McNary,Dade; McNary, Dave; Hayes, Dade (2008-05-08). "Picturehouse, WIP to close shop". Variety. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  4. ^ Finke, Nikki (2008-05-08). "End Of Picturehouse Was Predicted; But End Of Warner Independent Not So Much". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  5. ^ "Bob Berney Relaunching Picturehouse, Signs Output Deal with Netflix". www.hollywoodreporter.com. 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2021-02-24.

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