Focus CEO James Schamus Renews Contract, Andrew Karpen Promoted

7:15 AM PST 05/15/2013 by Gregg Kilday
Courtesy of Subjects
James Schamus, Andrew Karpen

Karpen, who has been president since 2006, is named Co-CEO.

James Schamus has renewed his contract as Focus Features CEO, and Andrew Karpen has been promoted to co-CEO.

Schamus will continue to lead the specialty film company under a new multi-year contract. Karpen,  who first joined Focus in 2003 and became president in 2006, will oversee the company's global business strategy and continue to spearhead its digital initiatives. His new title reflects the fact that both execs share in running all aspects of the company, including acquisitions and worldwide production, marketing and distribution. Karpen will continue to report to Schamus, who co-founded Focus in 2002 with David Linde, who is now CEO of Lava Bear Films.

Both men were scheduled to arrive Wednesday in Cannes, where Focus Features International and president of international sales and distribution Alison Thompson will be fielding a slate that includes such new titles as Mike Leigh's new film, starring Timothy Spall as painter J.M.W. Turner, and Asif Kapadia's documentary about Amy Winehouse. Other titles being offered include Ruairi Robinson's thriller The Last Days on Mars, which is screening in the Directors' Fortnight section.

On the domestic front, Focus recently released Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines. Its upcoming  release slate includes The World’s End, a comedy reuniting director Edgar Wright with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; the thriller Closed Circuit, directed by John Crowley and starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall; and Dallas Buyers Club, a fact-based drama directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Matthew McConaughey

Over the course of its eleven-year history, Focus, which is part of NBCUniversal, has grossed $2.8 billion worldwide. Its films have earned 84 Academy Award nominations, winning 16.

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