Paul Bronfman is Chairman/CEO of Comweb Corp. and Co-Chairman/Senior Advisor of William F. White International Inc. He is also the Chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios Inc.
After graduating from the University of Toronto, Mr. Bronfman entered the entertainment industry in the mid-1970s via the music industry. He worked with legendary rock bands Supertramp and April Wine and by the end of the decade, he segued to the film and television industry joining Montreal-based broadcaster Astral Media in senior positions.
Comweb Company History
Mr. Bronfman launched Comweb Corporation in 1988 with an eye to providing expert production services, studio facilities, and equipment to film and television industries worldwide. Comweb’s first major venture was building and managing Canada’s first Hollywood- style studio complex, North Shore Studios in Vancouver, in partnership with acclaimed Hollywood producer/writer Stephen J. Cannell. North Shore Studios is best known as the original home of the hit television series The X-Files.
Comweb additionally formed Comweb Productions Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary which enabled Mr. Bronfman to executive produce, produce and co-produce a number of indie films. An early movie credit was the 1989 feature film Prom Night III: The Last Kiss, the third installment of the popular horror franchise co-produced with Norstar Entertainment.
In 1989, Comweb acquired William F. White International Inc., the iconic Canadian provider of production equipment to the entertainment industry. With offices across Canada, the company offers a host of production equipment and services, with divisions including Camera, Lighting & Grip, Location Equipment, Specialty Equipment, and Studios.
In December of 2019, Comweb sold William F. White International Inc. to Sunbelt Rentals, a subsidiary of Ashtead Group.
In 1990, Comweb purchased 50% of Bulloch Entertainment Services Inc. (now EP Canada). Together they formed a partnership offering a complete range of production-related financial services to the movie and television industries.
In 1991, Comweb Productions together with Atlantis Films and David Brandes produced The Quarrel, an award-winning feature film that aired on PBS in the United States and cinematic release through Cineplex Odeon in Canada.
In 1992 Sparks was founded by the late Oscar Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter), Ritchie Romwalter, and WFW Int’l. Sparks Camera & Lighting Ltd. is a leading Budapest, Hungary- based provider of motion picture production equipment servicing western and eastern European producers.
In 1993 Comweb created Protocol Entertainment Inc. to develop, finance, and produce TV series, movies, miniseries, and feature films for the North American and international markets. The company’s credits included the popular kids’ series Goosebumps, which aired on the Fox Kids Network in the U.S. market and was sold to broadcasters in over 105 countries worldwide.
Protocol Entertainment formed the first Canadian/ Australian co-production of a television series based on the best-selling books of popular children’s author Bonnie Bryant. Saddle Club ran for three seasons between 2001-
2004 and experienced wide release (TV & DVD) in the US, UK, Hungary, Portugal, and Canada. Comweb sold its interest in Protocol in 2005.
In 1997, EP Canada along with Alliance Communications Inc. formed Bullock Equicap, which later reformed as Comweb Film Capital Corp. (CFCC). The company was launched to provide production management services, tax credit financing, and administration for both federal and provincial production service tax credits.
Comweb was a founding partner and major shareholder in Filmport Studios, which opened in 2007. Two years later the company was rebranded as Pinewood Toronto Studios. Comweb remains a principal investor in Pinewood Studios, which is situated on Toronto’s waterfront and consists of 260,000 square feet of production facilities. The 12-stage production lot includes a 46,000 square foot Mega-Stage, one of the world’s largest purpose-built soundstages.
Comweb owns and operates Comweb Aviation Inc., a private jet leasing company that provides first-class, non-stop, tax-creditable charter flights from Toronto to any destination in North America.
Comweb also owns and operates Comweb Realty Inc., which owns and operates sizable properties in Vancouver and Toronto.
Mr, Bronfman is dedicated to cultivating new talent in Canada’s film and television industry. The Comweb Foundation supports the professional development and creative expression of Canadian filmmakers countrywide. The foundation funds various not-for-profit organizations, industry initiatives, and relevant organizations including the Atlantic International Film Festival, Banff World Media Festival, Hot Docs, and Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre.
Mr. Bronfman serves or has served on industry boards including The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT), the Banff Television Foundation Board, the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA), FilmOntario and Ontario Creates (formerly the Ontario Media Development Corporation).
He is also an active member of his Canadian-Jewish community and contributes to national and local charities. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies. As well he serves on the Board of Governors of B’nai B’rith Canada in Toronto. In 2020, Mr. Bronfman joined the Board of Directors for Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem and the Hasbara Fellowships Canada.
Awards & Recognition
In 2002, Variety, the Children’s Charity, recognized Mr. Bronfman’s outstanding accomplishments with a special gala tribute dinner in his honour.
In 2008, Mr. Bronfman, along with Globe & Mail CEO Phillip Crawley, was awarded the prestigious Human Relations Award by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (formerly The Canadian Council for Christians and Jews), a leading Canadian organization dedicated to offering programs to educate against discrimination, prejudice, and bias.
In 2010, Mr. Bronfman was inducted into Playback’s Film & Television Hall of Fame, alongside Canadian industry icons John Candy, Don Carmody, Paul Haggis, Alanis Obomsawin, Donald Sutherland, and Dr. David Suzuki.
In 2011, he received the Honourable Life Member Award from the Director’s Guild of Canada, along with the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute for Outstanding and Enduring Contributions to Canadian Television at the Gemini Awards. Mr. Bronfman was also selected as a finalist for the esteemed Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In 2012, Mr. Bronfman was bestowed with the Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC) President’s Award, while also receiving the Friend of the Industry award at the Alberta Film and Television Rosie Awards (AMPIA).
In 2013, he was nominated to join the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and was bestowed with a Rockie Award at The Banff World Media Festival as it honours excellence in business and entertainment.
In 2019, Mr. Bronfman received the inaugural Screen Nova Scotia Industry Champion Award to celebrate 25 years of unwavering support to the east coast film industry.