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THR's Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100

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    66
    Claudia Lewis
    President of production, Fox Searchlight

    Lewis’ intelligence and good taste make Searchlight a must-stop for auteurs. Last year, Searchlight’s The Descendants was a critical hit that grossed more than $177 million worldwide. This year, Lewis, 56, is especially proud of three emerging filmmakers: Sacha Gervasi, who shot the $16 million Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren; Korean director Chan-wook Park, who made his English-language debut with the Nicole Kidman horror film Stoker; and Zal Batmanglij, who helmed 2013’s The East, with Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard.

    Who gave me my first big break: Cary Brokaw at Avenue Pictures, for whom I wrote freelance script coverage while attending UCLA’s graduate film school. He subsequently hired me as a junior executive, and I got to work on Drugstore Cowboy, a film I had passionately advocated for as a reader.

    When I leave work each day, I can’t wait to: Have a fortifying glass of crisp Italian white wine.

    Favorite way to unwind on the weekend: Pilates, swimming, reading in bed and Academy film screenings. Nothing beats the big screen with superlative sound.

    Proudest moment this year: I was able to promote my last two assistants, Erin Hagerty and Taylor Friedman, and see them work on their first films as junior executives.

    Best advice I’ve ever gotten: When I was a kid getting nervous about an upcoming spelling bee, a teacher said, “You can only do as good as you can do.” Perhaps not the best grammar on her part.

    When my relatives are confused about what I do, I tell them: “Don’t overthink it. Just go see Searchlight’s movies.”

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