Aviron Pictures
IndustryFilm industry
PredecessorClarius Entertainment
FoundedMay 11, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-05-11)
FounderWilliam Sadleir
DefunctMay 22, 2020; 3 years ago (2020-05-22)
Area served
Key people
  • David Dinerstein
  • William Sadleir
  • Greg Forston
  • Claire Heath
Number of employees
11-50 people[1]

Aviron Pictures was an American film production and distribution company founded by William Sadleir, founder of Clarius Entertainment (which, as the company went inactive shortly after his departure, Aviron can be considered a successor of) and David Dinerstein, a founder of Paramount Classics and formerly of Lakeshore Entertainment and LD Entertainment, in 2017.


In May 2017, it was announced David Dinerstein had launched a film production and distribution company that would release up to eight wide release films, per year, starting off to distribute Kidnap, Drunk Parents, and The Strangers: Prey at Night.[2] In February 2018, it was announced the company had acquired Serenity, and A Private War.[3]

In 2019, a lawsuit was filed by investor BlackRock against Aviron and its founder William Sadleir, citing fraud and financial impropriety in the company structure.[4] Sadleir subsequently exited from his role as the operating manager of Aviron Pictures, a subsidiary of Aviron Group, in January 2020; he had already had a history of sketchy financial health, even further proven from the short history of money-losing features from his previous company Clarius Entertainment, directly resulting in said company silently ending most operations shortly after his departure in 2015.[5]

On May 22, 2020, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, announced multiple fraud charges against William Sadleir. He was charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft to convince BlackRock to invest $75 million in his Aviron Group,[6] he then allegedly siphoned off more than $20 million from his production company and diverted more than $14 million of it into his mansion. Sadleir also allegedly redirected nearly $1 million of the Coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program loans he applied, meant to keep Aviron staff on payroll, for his personal debts.[7][8] On January 19, 2022, Sadleir pled guilty and was sentenced on September 9, 2022, to 72 months in prison.[9]


Release date Title Notes
August 4, 2017 Kidnap
March 9, 2018 The Strangers: Prey at Night
August 31, 2018 Destination Wedding Under their "Regatta" banner.
November 2, 2018 A Private War
January 25, 2019 Serenity
April 12, 2019 After

See also


  1. ^ "Aviron Pictures". Linkedin.com. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  2. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 11, 2017). "David Dinerstein Launches Aviron Pictures With Halle Berry's 'Kidnap', Alec Baldwin-Salma Hayek Pic 'Drunk Parents' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  3. ^ Lang, Brent (February 2, 2018). "Aviron Buys Serenity With Matthew McConaughey, A Private War With Rosamund Pike". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  4. ^ Zweig, Jason (February 28, 2020). "WSJ News Exclusive | The Hollywood Drama That Cost a BlackRock Fund $75 Million". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 23, 2020). "Aviron Pictures Imploding As Layoffs & Lawsuits Cloud Future On Eve Of Sundance". Deadline. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  6. ^ "U.S. charges Hollywood film distributor with defrauding BlackRock fund". Reuters. May 22, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  7. ^ Rector, Kevin (May 22, 2020). "Film producer charged with paying credit cards with coronavirus funds, defrauding investors". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 23, 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2020.
  8. ^ Feuerherd, Ben (May 22, 2020). "Feds say Hollywood CEO stole millions to build manse, also swiped coronavirus $$". New York Post. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  9. ^ "SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Former Owner of California Film Distribution Company Charged with Defrauding Publicly Traded Fund". SEC. December 22, 2022. Retrieved May 25, 2020.