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The Saul Zaentz Company evolved from Fantasy Records in Berkeley, California, the largest jazz label in the world. In 1972 Saul Zaentz and his Fantasy partners ventured into feature film, producing “Payday” starring Rip Torn. This was followed in 1975 with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” directed by Milos Forman and co-produced with Michael Douglas, which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Zaentz produced “Three Warriors” in 1977 and the animated “The Lord of the Rings” in 1978.

In 1984 “Amadeus,” Zaentz’s second collaboration with Forman, won eight Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Sound. In 1986 Zaentz acted as executive producer on “The Mosquito Coast,” directed by Peter Weir.

In 1988 the Saul Zaentz Company produced “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” Based on the novel by Milan Kundera, directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche and Lena Olin, the film was warmly received by the critics and honored with three Academy Award nominations. “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” directed by Hector Babenco, followed in 1991.

In 1996 Zaentz’s “The English Patient,” directed by Anthony Minghella, swept nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.

The success of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” encouraged Fantasy to add a new building to the existing record company facility in Berkeley. Opened in 1980, the Fantasy Building housed a fully-equipped dubbing stage and picture and sound editing suites. A second film mixing stage was added in 1989, along with additional editing rooms and many facility updates.

For more than twenty years, studio and independent filmmakers from around the world used the Saul Zaentz Company facilities to finish their productions. Films posted at the Fantasy Building have earned 26 Academy Awards, including three for Best Picture and three for Best Sound. Fantasy Records was acquired by Concord Music Group in 2004.

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