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Paul Webster previously teamed with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner to produce Anna Karenina director Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice and Atonement for Focus Features and Working Title Films. Pride & Prejudice’s many honors included four Academy Award nominations, among them a Best Actress nod for Keira Knightley. For Atonement, as producer Mr. Webster was an Academy Award nominee (with the film Oscar-nominated as Best Picture) as well as a BAFTA and Golden Globe Award winner (with the film winning those Best Picture prizes).
In 2004, he launched the movie division of Kudos Film & Television Ltd., one of Britain’s premier television production companies. As head of film at Kudos Pictures until 2011, he produced Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt; Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock, starring Sam Riley and Andrea Riseborough; Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward’s documentary The Crimson Wing; and David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, also for Focus.
As producer of the latter, Mr. Webster was a BAFTA, Genie (Canada’s Oscars equivalent), and Golden Globe Award nominee; the film’s star Viggo Mortensen was nominated for every major prize as Best Actor, including the Academy Award, and won the British Independent Film Award (BIFA). Also for Focus, Mr. Webster executive-produced Kudos’ Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, directed by Bharat Nalluri; and Walter Salles’ award-winning The Motorcycle Diaries.
As the creator and head of Film4, the feature film arm of the U.K.’s Channel Four, he oversaw a slate of original productions from 1998 through 2002 that included such movies as Gregor Jordan’s Buffalo Soldiers; Jez Butterworth’s Birthday Girl; Gillian Armstrong’s Charlotte Gray; and Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast (for which Sir Ben Kingsley received an Academy Award nomination).
Prior to forming FilmFour, Mr. Webster was head of production at Miramax Films for over two years. In that capacity, he supervised such Academy Award-winning films as Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient, Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting, and John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love.
He had previously worked as a producer, both independently and with Working Title Films, during which time he produced such films as Mel Smith’s The Tall Guy; Peter Medak’s Romeo is Bleeding; and James Gray’s Little Odessa, which won the Silver Lion Award at the 1994 Venice International Film Festival. He subsequently reteamed with the latter filmmaker as producer of The Yards.
Prior to segueing into his producing career, he ran Palace Pictures, the theatrical distribution arm of the U.K. production company Palace. Mr. Webster began working in the film industry in the mid-1970s, clerking at the (Notting Hill) Gate cinema.
Through his London-based company Shoebox Films (with partners Guy Heeley and Joe Wright), he is currently producing Hummingbird, reuniting with screenwriter Steven Knight of Eastern Promises. Mr. Knight is making his feature directorial debut on the movie, which stars Jason Statham.