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Focus Features

  • The Playlist
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    Podcast: The Playlist Talks 'Gravity', Focus Features, Quentin Tarantino's Top 10 & More

    On this latest episode, host Erik McClanahan is joined by Editor-In-Chief Rodrigo Perez, Managing Editor Kevin Jagernauth and for the first time, Features Editor Jessica Kiang to talk about "Gravity." Warning, SPOILERS abound in this podcast so don't listen unless you've already seen the film or don...

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    Focus Takes Rights to CIA Manhunt Thriller 'Circle of Treason,' on the Capture of Traitor Aldrich Ames

    Focus Features has nabbed screen rights to Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille's "Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed." In the book, the authors describe systematically hunting down America's most notorious traitor, all the while pushing up against the ...

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  • The Playlist
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    With James Schamus Out, What Does The Future Hold For Focus Features?

    Since 2001, James Schamus has been the very public and very successful CEO of Focus Features, the arthouse arm of Universal Pictures. Under his tenure, filmmakers like Ang Lee, the Coen Brothers, Woody Allen, George Clooney, Cary Fukunaga, Rian Johnson, David Cronenberg, Roman Polanski and more have...

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    Universal Replaces Schamus with Schlessel to Expand Focus Features Brand

    Universal is under new management. And another specialty division bites the dust. I may be overstating it, but safe to say, the old Focus Features--a high-class specialty division with an eye for awards worthy content--is no more. Longtime Focus CEO and co-founder James Schamus, a New Yorker of disc...

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  • Indiewire
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    Shakeup at Focus Features: Peter Schlessel Named CEO as James Schamus Exits; FilmDistrict to be Absorbed by Focus

    FilmDistrict founder and CEO Peter Schlessel has been named the CEO of Focus Features, effective January 2014, Universal Pictures, Focus' parent, announced Wednesday. Current CEO James Schamus, who co-founded Focus Features over 12 years ago, will leave the company to work with director Ang Lee on h...

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    In the Works: Derek Cianfrance On Board to Direct 'ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun' for Focus

    Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyond the Pines") is attached to direct "ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun." The book by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales follows the rise of the eponymous cable network, via interviews with past and present ESPN personalities and producers.

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    IN THE WORKS: 'Mother of George' Director Dosunmu to Helm 'Fela Kuti' Musical Biopic for Focus

    Focus Features is developing a drama about famed Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti, who was also front and center in the hit Broadway musical "Fela!" "Mother of George" filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu will direct "Fela Kuti," which Focus is describing as a "drama with music," as opposed to a fullblown ...

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  • Indiewire
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    Dakota Johnson to Play 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Heroine Anastasia Steele

    The search for Anastasia Steele, the female lead in the anticipated film adaptation of E.L. James' literary phenomenon "Fifty Shades of Grey," is over.

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    Jude Law Captains the Cast of Kevin Macdonald's 'Black Sea,' Now in Production in U.K.

    Focus Features and Film4 have kicked off the UK production of director Kevin Macdonald's maritime thriller "Black Sea." Starring Jude Law as an intrepid sea captain, the film sails into theaters in 2014.

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  • Indiewire
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    Focus Features' Sixth Africa First Program Accepting Entries

    In 2008, Focus Features launched Africa First, conceived as a program meant to support the filmmaking community in Africa. The institution offers participating filmmakers the chance to be awarded up to $10,000 dollars to finance their narrative short films made in continental Africa.

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