Jacob Pechenik is an American film producer predominantly active in the independent scene. He is the husband of actress Zooey Deschanel. A native Texan, Pechenik initially did not have any plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Instead, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and spent the next two decades in the development and support of enterprise-class trading platforms for prominent financial service firms and Fortune 500 companies. He co-founded the start-up TechTrader and set up and served as the CEO of YellowJacket Software. In 2010, Pechenik decided to venture into the film business and founded Venture Film Productions. A year later, they released their first film, a comedy-drama titled ‘Terri’. Serving as its CEO, Pechenik has established Venture Film Productions as one of the most prominent production companies of independent cinema. He has produced films, such as ‘Kiss of the Damned’, ‘Before Midnight’, ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete’, ‘The Skeleton Twins’, and ‘Solace’. In 2016, Pechenik and Deschanel set up ‘The Farm Project’, a public benefit corporation with a mission to reconnect people with their food.
Shortly after graduating from college, Jacob Pechenik, with the help of fellow MIT graduates, launched the start-up TechTrader. His first start-up, this was designed to facilitate business-to-business enterprise software for public and private trading exchanges catering to the direct materials markets. He served as its CEO for a considerable period.
In 2003, he set up YellowJacket Software with an aim to provide a better method of the trade of over-the-counter products. Intercontinental Exchange eventually purchased the company. Subsequently, he took the decision to leave the technology sector and set up a film production company.
In 2010, Venture Forth Productions was founded with the goal to produce and finance independent films. In 2011, ‘Terri’, the first film he served as an executive producer of, was released. It was followed by ‘Kiss of the Damned’, which was released in 2012 and starred Joséphine de La Baume, Roxane Mesquida, and Milo Ventimiglia.
Venture Forth Productions started off 2013 with the release of ‘We Are What We Are’. He then served as the executive producer of ‘Before Midnight’, the third film in the trilogy after ‘Before Sunrise’ (1995) and ‘Before Sunset’ (2004). Directed by Richard Linklater, it received near universal critical acclaim. In 2013, Pechenik and his production company also produced seven other films. They are ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete’, ‘Jobs’, ‘The Immigrant’, ‘Hateship Loveship’, ‘Devil’s Knot’, ‘Life of Crime’, and ‘Cold Comes the Night’.
He served as the producer for the first time on the comedy-drama ‘The Skeleton Twins’ (2014). That year, he collaborated with actress Anne Hathaway in the musical drama ‘Song One’. He also served as the executive producer of ‘Electric Slide’, a biographical film about real-life furniture salesman turned bank robber Eddie Dodson. In ‘Black or White’, Pechenik got the chance to work with industry veteran Kevin Costner.
In 2014, he also served as the executive producer of ‘Amnesiac’, a horror mystery starring Kate Bosworth, Wes Bentley, and Olivia Rose Keegan. A year later, he produced the crime-drama ‘Solace’, which revolves around a psychic who joins forces with the FBI to locate a serial killer. Later in that year, he produced the musical comedy ‘Rock the Kasbah’. He is presently serving as an executive producer of Robinson Devor’s upcoming directorial venture ‘You Can’t Win’.
In 2016, Pechenik and his wife, Zooey Deschanel, founded ‘The Farm Project’ to make the process of growing their own food easy for people and to encourage conversation between farmers and their respective communities.
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Jacob Pechenik was born on June 16, 1972 in San Antonio, Texas. Little to no information is available on his family or early life. When he was a youth, he was more interested in science than in films and eventually received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pechenik began dating Deschanel sometime in 2014. In January 2015, they announced that they were expecting their first child. They got engaged later that month and married in June 2015. Their first child, a daughter whom they named Elsie Otter Pechenik, was born in July that year. In May 2017, Deschanel gave birth to a son named Charlie Wolf Pechenik. Prior to their wedding, Deschanel converted to Pechenik’s faith, Judaism.