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Focus Features

  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Schlessel Reshapes Focus Features: Loses Karpen and Foley, Keeps Brody and Bowles (ANALYSIS)

    The new CEO of Focus Features, Peter Schlessel, has wasted no time reconfiguring two distributors, FilmDistrict and Focus, into one. By insisting on shutting down the Focus New York branch, he lost several valuable executives including Focus COO Andrew Karpen, who was asked to stay on. Schlessel aim...

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    For Your Consideration: Breaking Down the 2013 Oscar Race, Distributor By Distributor

    It's mid-October and all but a few studios bidding for this year's Oscar glory have laid their cards out for all to see, either in theaters or in festivals ("Saving Mr. Banks," "American Hustle," "The Monuments Men" and -- maybe -- "The Wolf of Wall Street" are more or less the final four potential ...

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    Charlie Hunnam Falls Out of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

    Charlie Hunnam is out of "Fifty Shades of Grey," Universal Pictures and Focus Features announced in a statement today.

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  • 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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    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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