Bill Pohlad

Bill Pohlad's first stab at the directing game was a short-lived one. Following his filmmaking debut in 1990 (the little seen movie Old Explorers), the Minnesota native took a two-decade-long hiatus from writing and helming features to focus his energies on his production company, River Road Entertainment. Although the first chapter of the company's tenure was spent developing small commercial and documentary projects, 2005 saw the beginnings of Pohlad's influence in the realm of prestige pictures. Starting with Oscar nominee Brokeback Mountain, Pohlad went on to produce a string of high profile films, most recently the esteemed Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. Although Pohlad put off a second directorial attempt until Love & Mercy, which debuted at 2014's Toronto International Film Festival, nary a year went by after his success with Brokeback that didn't see a noteworthy picture with the Pohlad name behind it.