Jake Eberts

John D. Eberts (born at Montréal 1941; died there 6 Sept 2012). Jake Eberts was one of the most successful and well-respected Canadian-born film producers. A McGill graduate, after a brief career as a chemical engineer he became a Wall Street banker – with an MBA from Harvard – dealing specifically with risk capital. In 1977 he established the British firm Goldcrest Films in partnership with David Puttman, and the two are credited with reviving British cinema in the 1980s with a string of Oscar-winning movies, including back-to-back best pictures: Chariots of Fire and Gandhi.

Eberts left Goldcrest in 1984 and formed Allied Filmmakers, earning another 2 back-to-back best picture Oscars with Driving Miss Daisy and Dances with Wolves. In 1991, he won a GENIE AWARD for best picture and the GOLDEN REEL AWARD for the historical drama BLACK ROBE, a Canada/Australia co-production, and he produced Grey Owl, a Canada/UK co-production, and the Oscar-nominated documentary Prisoner of Paradise.

Eberts produced and financed more than 50 films that won 37 Oscars and garnered 66 nominations. The list includes The Killing Fields, The Dresser, A River Runs through It, James and the Giant Peach, Chicken Run and Local Hero. In 2006, March of the Penguins won the Oscar for best documentary.

In 1992, Jake Eberts was appointed an officer in the ORDER OF CANADA. He was also awarded honorary doctorates by McGill University in 1998 and by Bishop’s University in 1999. He served as chairman of National Geographic Films and on the board of the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Channel.

He co-wrote the memoir My Indecision Is Final (1991) with Terry Illiot.