ShoWest nods for Lee, Schamus

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Director-producer Ang Lee and Focus CEO James Schamus, who have collaborated on such films as "Lust, Caution" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," are set to receive the inaugural ShoWest/NATO Freedom of Expression Award.

The honor will be presented March 11 at the convention's Opening Day Luncheon, which will shine the spotlight on indie and specialty films, at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas.

"One year ago at ShoWest, I called upon cinematic artists to take the NC-17 rating seriously," National Association of Theatre Owners president and CEO John Fithian said. "Ang Lee and James Schamus answered that call with 'Lust, Caution,' demonstrating uncompromising integrity in their filmmaking and, by accepting the NC-17 rating, that same integrity in clearly labeling a film intended for adults as what it was. NATO and our members congratulate Ang and James on a legacy of integrity in filmmaking."

A best director Oscar winner for 2005's "Brokeback Mountain," the Taiwan-born Lee's credits also include "Pushing Hands," "The Wedding Banquet," "Sense and Sensibility," "The Ice Storm" and "Hulk."

Before the formation of Focus in 2002, Schamus was co-president of the independent film production company Good Machine. As an exec, he has been involved in the production and distribution of most of Lee's films and has lent his hand as a writer to eight of Lee's movies, ranging from "Pushing Hands" to "Lust."

ShoWest, which runs March 10-13, is produced by the Film Group at Nielsen Business Media, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.
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