Pulse Films founders exit as Vice Media Group completes acquisition

Gangs Of London

Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford, the founders and CEOs of London-based Pulse Films, are stepping down after 16 years of leading the company.

Their departure from the firm comes six years after they sold a controlling interest to Vice Media Group, which has now completed that acquisition, prompting their exit.

The prodco will continue as its own distinct brand and join the VICE Studios portfolio, with that company’s president Kate Ward now taking oversight.

L-R: Thomas Benski, Marisa Clifford & David Karbassioun

It will now be run by David Karbassioun, global president, commercials & entertainment; Diene Petterle, global creative director of non-fiction and Jamie Hall, COO of scripted.

All three will report to Ward, while James Sorton will continue as MD and executive producer, commercials & music videos.

Pulse Films was founded by Benski and Clifford in 2005, starting out as a film producer before moving into series, on projects such as Gangs Of London for Sky and AMC.

After his departure, Benski will continue to work with Pulse in a partnership to executive produce and co-produce future and existing projects including Gangs Of London and the Olivia Wilde-directed feature Perfect.

Upcoming projects for Pulse include its Grammy-nominated Lewis Capaldi documentary, the second season of Gangs Of London and the documentary Meet Me In The Bathroom.

“Leaving Pulse Films is for us a watershed moment,” said Besnki. “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, indelible work for a global audience and we are so proud to have done so with the help of the most gifted team of professionals and partners imaginable.”

Clifford added: “When Thomas and I first founded Pulse, never could I have envisioned all that we would go on to create together, the stories we would tell, the relationships we would build. We’re profoundly thankful to our Pulse family who are the greatest of people, and to the Vice Media Group for believing in our incredible team.”

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