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Twins executive credited for blossom of Oscar winner '12 Years a Slave'

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Bill Pohlad not only sits on the Minnesota Twins' board of executives, he's also now won his second Oscar in as many years.

Pohlad and his company River Road Entertainment partnered with Brad Pitt, who handled production, and released "12 Years a Slave" to wide critical acclaim last August. The adapted film is based on a novel by Solomon Northup and to date has grossed more than $140 million worldwide.

The Pohlad family has owned the Minnesota Twins since 1984, when Carl Pohlad purchased the team from Calvin Griffith. After Carl's death in 2009, his sons James, Robert and William took control of the team. Jim Pohlad is the sole legal owner of the Twins and runs the team's day-to-day operations, but Bill and Bob are fixtures on the organization's executive board.

Bill Pohlad and his team at River Road Entertainment have produced and financed more than a dozen films since 2005, including "Brokeback Mountain" and 2013 Oscar winner "Tree of Life." Three more are in various stages of production.

Pohlad was profiled in a 2007 New York Times Magazine trend piece examining the fad of wealthy financiers moving to Hollywood to back independent films. Pohlad, however, has proven far more than a "money guy." His connections with Sean Penn and Pitt, to name just two, have helped earn him a reputation in Hollywood for being a risk taker with an eye for socially difficult films with wide appeal.

The Los Angeles Times called the 2014 race for Best Picture one of the closest in history, and Pohlad was among the first thanked by director Steve McQueen during the cast's acceptance speech.