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Focus Features

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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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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    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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    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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    Focus Features International Nabs Deals on Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner Passion Project, and on Amy Winehouse Documentary

    Focus Features International has announced multi-territory sales on writer-director Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner biopic, a long-gestating passion project starring Leigh regular Timothy Spall as the renowned Brit painter; and on Asif Kapadia's untitled documentary on troubled singer-songwriter Amy Wine...

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    First Look: Focus Unveils Summer Slate, 'The World's End' and 'Closed Circuit'

    Focus Features will release two films this summer as counterprogramming aimed at the smart demo.

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  • The Playlist
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    Focus Features Ready To Sign Up For Matthew McConaughey's 'The Dallas Buyer's Club' For Fall Release

    For audiences and especially filmmakers, there is an aspect of deflated confusion in an actor’s misled sacrifices for an underwhelming film -- just ask Jared Leto in his role of Mark David Chapman in “Chapter 27.” Luckily, with the 2012 that Matthew McConaughey had, which saw “Bernie,” “Magic Mike,”...

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