Open Road Losing Top Executive Peter Lawson (Exclusive)

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Jason Cassidy and Peter Lawson

The veteran film executive joined Open Road two years ago, helping to bring in such titles as 'Spotlight.'

Peter Lawson is exiting his post as executive vp production and acquisitions at Open Road Films, the indie film distributor backed by theater giants Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment.

Open Road confirmed Tuesday that Lawson will leave at the end of February. "We thank Peter for his contributions at Open Road and wish him the best with his endeavors," said a spokesperson.

Reporting to CEO Tom Ortenberg, Lawson has been a prominent force since joining the company two years ago and helped to bring in Spotlight, which Open Road co-financed and co-produced with Participant Media after acquiring U.S. rights to the drama.

He has also been a regular on the festival circuit in identifying movies to buy. (So far, Open Road has been noticeably quiet at this year's Sundance Film Festival).

Sources say Lawson intends to start his own production venture. He couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Other films Lawson worked on at Open Road include Bill Murray's Rock the Kasbah, as well as John Hillcoat's upcoming Triple 9, starring Kate Winslet, Arron Paul, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Casey Affleck, and Snowden, the biopic starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley. All three were acquisitions.

He also has an executive producing credit on Bob Odar's recently wrapped Sleepless Night, Open Road's first in-house production starring Jamie Foxx, Michele Monaghan and Gabrielle Union.

Lawson came to Open Road from Thunder Road Pictures. Prior to that, he served as head of acquisitions and co-productions for The Weinstein Co.