Fred Bernstein – President, Astute Films, LLC
Veteran film production executive Fred Bernstein launched Los Angeles-based, privately-funded motion picture financing and production company Astute Films, LLC with Rick Jackson in 2015. Bernstein, who previously headed production at Columbia Pictures, and the business and operations of Universal Pictures, created Astute Films with Jackson to facilitate the production of quality films that both entertain and matter.
Bernstein is producer of The Best of Enemies, starring Academy Award-nominee Taraji P. Henson and Academy Award-winner Sam Rockwell, set to be released in the US by STX Entertainment. He is also producer of Welcome to Pine Grove!, featuring an all-star cast led by Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn and Academy Award-nominee James Caan.
Bernstein is co-founder of Astute Films’ sister-company Giving Films, a production company that funds life-giving stories and donates all profits to charity. Giving Films produced Michael Polish’s 90 Minutes in Heaven starring Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth, which was released by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Paul, Apostle of Christ starring Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner which was released by Sony Affirm in 2018. Bernstein produced An Interview with God starring Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn and Brenton Thwaites, released in August 2018.
Bernstein’s previous executive roles include President of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Companies, Senior Vice President of the MCA Motion Picture Group and President of Worldwide Production at Columbia Pictures. In addition to his studio management and producing experience, Bernstein also had an extensive career as high-profile lawyer, specializing in the creation, financing, production, distribution and branding of entertainment.
Dominique Telson - SVP of Development & Production, Astute Films LLC
Dominique Telson is a producer on Astute Films’ The Best of Enemies, starring Academy Award-nominee Taraji P. Henson and Academy Award-winner Sam Rockwell, set to be released in the US by STX Entertainment. She is also a producer of Welcome to Pine Grove!, currently in post-production and featuring an all-star cast led by Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn and Academy Award-nominee James Caan. Telson also co-produced An Interview with God for Astute Films and its sister-company Giving Films. All profits from Giving Films productions are donated to charity.
Prior to joining Astute Films in 2015, Telson served as a consultant for Canadian producers Chesler/Perlmutter Productions. She was instrumental in developing C/P’s “Holiday Films”, which were some of the most watched films on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime Movie Network including the record-breaking “The Christmas Cure”, “Sound of Christmas” and “Merry Matrimony”.
Prior to being an independent producer, Telson was the longtime Vice President of Original Programming for Showtime Networks where she oversaw the development and production of various award-winning and critically acclaimed Original Movies and Series featuring top talent including Robert Redford, Jamie Foxx, Dustin Hoffman, Mimi Rogers, Bernadette Peters, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ally Sheedy, Ed Harris and Ryan Gosling among others. Danny Glover’s Daytime Emmy Nomination directorial debut “Just a Dream” was guided by Telson. She also dared to discover new talent like Brittany Murphy who made her debut opposite Kirsten Dunst in “The Devil’s Arithmetic”. The film was produced by Telson and won Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Special and Outstanding Writing in a Children's Special.
Ever pioneering to create opportunities for minorities, Telson was instrumental in the creation of Showtime’s Black Filmmaker Showcase, which featured short films from several previously unknown filmmakers such as Malcolm Lee. In 2003, Telson received Multichannel News’ prestigious “Wonder Woman of the Year” award in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a leader in the cable television industry.
Telson’s wealth of industry experience and industry relationships make her a priceless part of the Astute team.
Harrison Powell – Production Executive, Astute Films, LLC and Vice President (Producer), Giving Films
Atlanta-native Harrison Powell has played a key role in developing and producing feature film projects at Astute Films since its launch in 2015. His own grandmother’s experience at a senior living community became the inspiration for the upcoming film Welcome to Pine Grove! starring Academy Award-winner Ellen Burstyn and Academy Award-nominee James Caan. Powell is a producer on the film that was shot in Atlanta, Georgia. He also co-produced The Best of Enemies starring Academy Award-winner Sam Rockwell and Academy Award-nominee Taraji P. Henson, which will be released in the US by STX Entertainment.
Powell is VP Development at Astute Films’ sister company Giving Films, the production company that funds life-giving stories and donates all profits to charity. With a background in venture capital finance, he is passionate about turning an idea into a powerful experience for audiences and doing good with the profits. Under the Giving Films label, Powell co-produced Michael Polish’s 90 Minutes in Heaven starring Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth and was Executive Producer on Paul, Apostle of Christ starring Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner which was released by Sony Affirm in 2018. He is co-producer on An Interview with God starring Brenton Thwaites and David Strathairn, which was released in August 2018.