Fox Searchlight’s production president Claudia Lewis has hoisted two senior executives, Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, to Executive Vice Presidents of Production. Reporting to Lewis, they’ll jointly steer all aspects of production going forward.
Greenfield has been a senior executive at Searchlight for nine years, shepherding the studio’s awards-buzzy titles including “The Descendants” and “Enough Said,” and he will be overseeing Nicole Holofcener’s next feature next film starring Julianne Moore. His indie credits including 2002 Jennifer Aniston starrer “The Good Girl.”
Greenbaum, a Fox Searchlight executive for five years, oversaw production on Oscar-nominated “Wild” and Tom Hardy vehicle “The Drop.” Currently, he’s in production on Craig Johnson’s “Wilson” starring Woody Harrelson as Daniel Clowes’ titular loner. Greenbaum has deep experience dating back to Miramax as a production executive, and steered Searchlight’s virtual reality “Wild” experience that premiered at Sundance.
Now in its 21st year, the specialty label that both finances and acquires films is the gold ring of distributors for indie filmmakers. Fox Searchlight has not only learned over the years how to score in the awards derby, but it also plays a canny box office game — and on tight production budgets. Run by marketing whiz Nancy Utley and distribution master Stephen Gilula with production expertise from Lewis, has taken a surfeit of films to Best Picture wins including “12 Years a Slave,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Birdman.”
Claudia Lewis shared her philosophy with us during a “Birdman” Q&A last year: “We don’t make or release teeny-tiny movies; we need to know there’s some commercial viability there, but there are a lot of films we initially read and went on to acquire after we saw them at festivals or screenings.”