Brainstorm Media Appoints Michelle Shwarzstein as CEO to Spearhead Creative Distribution Strategies

Michelle Shwarzstein - CEO, Brainstorm Media

Independent Film Distributor introduces New Leadership Team and Unveils Diverse Lineup of Upcoming Releases

Los Angeles ( August 31, 2023 ) -

Brainstorm Media, an independent film distribution mainstay founded in 1995, is very pleased to name Michelle Shwarzstein as Chief Executive Officer. Shwarzstein has spent over a decade at the company building its all-rights distribution business and leading the acquisitions and marketing of dozens of pictures. Meyer Shwarzstein, the founder of the company, will be starting a new venture focused entirely on development and production. “I couldn’t be more thrilled,” says Meyer about the transition, “I’m impressed by Michelle’s team’s vision and their passion for the business.”

Under Shwarzstein’s leadership, Brainstorm’s mission is to realize focused and creative distribution strategies for its content partners. Supporting Shwarzstein in her new position as CEO are Abbey Warner (Vice President, Marketing and Strategy), who recently joined Brainstorm Media from Gunpowder & Sky, and Alex Peters, who was recently upped to Vice President, Sales and Acquisitions.

“Creativity, honesty, and collaboration are foundational values of Brainstorm Media since its inception 28 years ago,” says Shwarzstein. “Abbey, Alex, and I are honored to build on Brainstorm’s legacy with a very exciting new slate. The films we have coming out over the next few months are emblematic of what you can expect from Brainstorm going forward: an eclectic mix of titles, all from incredible filmmakers with distinct points of view.”

With Shwarzstein as CEO, Brainstorm will continue to uphold its core values of collaboration, transparency, agility, experience, and representation. Brainstorm works to spotlight diverse voices, prioritizing content that features historically marginalized creators and performers. It has long been Brainstorm’s mission to partner with filmmakers to align on strategy and marketing with a goal of achieving mutual success, sharing as much feedback and reporting as possible, and providing honesty and openness throughout the distribution process. Leveraging 28 years of expertise across all modes of distribution, ranging from theatrical to FAST and independent releases, Brainstorm has the resources and agility to react to a dynamic market and adapt swiftly without the bureaucracy of a larger company.

Later this year, Brainstorm will be releasing Irish neo-noir “Barber,” starring Aidan Gillen and “Limbo,” starring Simon Baker will have its North American premiere at TIFF next month and will be released in 2024.

Brainstorm Media’s upcoming slate:

Directed by: Fintan Connolly
Logline: A private investigator (Aidan Gillen) exposes dark secrets and corruption after a wealthy widow’s granddaughter goes missing.

“Cora Bora”
Directed by: Hannah Pearl Utt
Logline: When Cora (Megan Stalter), a struggling musician and messy millennial, goes home to Portland to win her girlfriend back, she realizes it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging.

Directed by: Ivan Sen
Logline: Jaded detective, Travis Hurley (Simon Baker), investigates a 20-year-old outback cold case murder, uncovering the pain of an Aboriginal family who have suffered ongoing neglect and racism at the hands of the justice system.

Directed by: Spencer Brown
Logline: An engineer (Gerogina Campbell) begins work on her company’s latest product, the A.I. humanoid T.I.M.—whose subservient programming leads to a dangerous obsession.

About Brainstorm Media
Since Brainstorm Media’s inception in 1995, the company has had a forward-thinking approach to a growing digital marketplace, establishing early video-on-demand deals with major tech platforms. With an ethos of adaptability, Brainstorm continues to expand its network of partners and explore unique models of distribution. Its growing all-rights business builds custom marketing and publicity campaigns that include both traditional opportunities as well as targeted tactics to capture audiences where they are. Under the leadership of CEO Michelle Shwarzstein, Brainstorm’s mission is to realize focused and creative distribution strategies for its content partners.

Most recently, Brainstorm Media released home invasion thriller “Dark Windows” after its world premiere at Popcorn Frights Festival this August. Other notable recent releases include William Kaufman’s “The Channel,” Alex Lehmann’s “Acidman” starring Thomas Hayden Church and Dianna Agron, French horror-comedy “Some Like It Rare,” android-horror “Blank,” Australian raunchy comedy “How to Please A Woman,” Billie Piper’s directorial debut “Rare Beasts,” and the hit pro-skater film “North Hollywood.” Later this year Brainstorm will be releasing Irish neo-noir BARBER starring Aidan Gillan, and crime drama “Limbo,” starring Simon Baker. Brainstorm Media’s first theatrical release was Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse” and the company has since worked with many acclaimed filmmakers and A-list talent. Learn more at