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Closer Media Founders Zhang Xin, William Horberg on ‘Ezra’ and Producing Movies That Make You Feel and Think

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Brent Lang Executive Editor “Ezra,” the story of a stand-up comic embarking on a road trip with his autistic son, is the kind of movie that Hollywood doesn’t make much anymore.

It’s not based on a toy or a comic book; instead it’s a warm-hearted, deeply human story without much in the way of special effects.

But the movie, which opened last weekend in the height of summer popcorn season, is exactly what Closer Media, the new film and television company that backed the production, was founded to champion. “We want to tell stories from all over the world that are meaningful and that can bring people closer together,” says Zhang Xin, noting that Closer’s mission statement is right there in its name. “When a project comes to us, we ask does it move our heart and does it open our eyes?” It’s a new challenge for Zhang, a billionaire who made her fortune as the co-founder of Soho China, the Chinese construction giant.

After leaving the company in 2022, Zhang decided she wanted to break into the media business, and she partnered with William Horberg, a veteran producer whose credits include “The Queen’s Gambit” and “The Talented Mr.

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