SK Films CEO Jonathan Barker dies

Barker, who launched SK Films in partnership with IMAX co-founder Robert Kerr, was a veteran producer and distributor in the giant-screen cinema space.

Jonathan BarkerJonathan Barker, co-founder and CEO of Toronto’s SK Films, has died.

Barker, who was 66, died from cancer on July 5.

A veteran producer and distributor in the giant-screen cinema space, Barker co-founded SK Films in 1998 alongside IMAX co-founder Robert Kerr.

The company specializes in creating natural history and science-related content, with titles including Into the Deep (1994), Bugs! (2003), Flight of the Butterflies (2012) and more recently the 45-minute, $13-million project Amazon Adventure, which was released in Canada last October.

Earlier in his career, Barker served as the president and co-CEO of Shaftesbury for 12 years. Prior to launching SK Films he also headed up the worldwide film business at IMAX, where he developed the blockbuster IMAX 3D film T-Rex. During his tenure with IMAX, Barker also oversaw the production and distribution of a number of IMAX’s space films, including David Attenborough’s Survival Island and Into the Deep.

As well, Barker was previously the SVP, business and legal affairs for Cinexus Group and CEO of the Ontario Film Development Corporation (now OMDC). He began his career as an entertainment lawyer and Barker is also a former actor and theatre producer.

He is survived by his wife Wendy MacKeigan and children Scott, Tyler, Georgia, Alex, and Caleigh.

MacKeigan, the current executive VP of SK Films, will take over as the company’s CEO.