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Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

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George Clooney Stars in the Title Role of The American

Posted September 29, 2009

George Clooney Stars in the Title Role of The American

Directed by Anton Corbijn for Focus Features; Production on Suspense Thriller Beginning in Italy

NEW YORK, September 28, 2009 – Academy Award winner George Clooney stars in the title role of The American for director Anton Corbijn (Control). Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the suspense thriller, which begins production this week on location in Italy. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.

The screenplay by Rowan Joffe is adapted from Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman, published in 2005. The film’s producers are This is that’s Anne Carey, who most recently produced Adventureland and The Savages; Smokehouse’s Grant Heslov, an Academy Award nominee as producer and co-writer of Good Night, and Good Luck, and producer/director of this fall’s The Men Who Stare at Goats; Smokehouse’s Mr. Clooney; Ann Wingate, who most recently produced Into the Storm, starring Emmy Award winner Brendan Gleeson; and Jill Green, executive producer of the long-running U.K. television series Foyle’s War. Enzo Sisti, co-producer of the upcoming When in Rome, is executive producer of The American.

Alone among assassins, Jack (played by Mr. Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman of this fall’s Peter and Vandy) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten of Focus’ award-winning In Bruges), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Italian screen and stage veteran Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Italian leading lady Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

Focus senior vice president, production Kahli Small and creative executive Michael Pruss are supervising the project for president of production John Lyons. The American is Mr. Corbijn’s second feature film as director, following the award-winning 2007 drama Control, for which the director was honored with two British Independent Film Awards. The latter feature’s cinematographer and editor, Martin Ruhe and Andrew Hulme, respectively, are rejoining Mr. Corbijn on The American; Mark Digby and Suttirat Larlarb, both of Slumdog Millionaire, are production designer and costume designer, respectively.

Mr. Schamus said, “The combination of a visionary artist of the stature of Anton Corbijn with the great George Clooney is, for all of us at Focus, a movie marriage made in heaven.”

Focus Features and Focus Features International (FFI) (www.filminfocus.com) together comprise a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers – films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company’s flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films, from those geared to a single local market to worldwide hits. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

In addition to The American, current and upcoming Focus Features movies include Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic 9, starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov; writer/director Richard Curtis’ rock and roll comedy Pirate Radio; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Greenberg, the new film from writer/director Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; Taking Woodstock, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee; and Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, which world-premiered earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

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GEORGE CLOONEY STARS IN TITLE ROLE OF THE AMERICAN, DIRECTED BY ANTON CORBIJN FOR FOCUS FEATURES

Posted September 28, 2009

PRODUCTION ON SUSPENSE THRILLER BEGINNING IN ITALY

NEW YORK, September 28, 2009 – Academy Award winner George Clooney stars in the title role of The American for director Anton Corbijn (Control). Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the suspense thriller, which begins production this week on location in Italy. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.

The screenplay by Rowan Joffe is adapted from Martin Booth’s novel A Very Private Gentleman, published in 2005. The film’s producers are This is that’s Anne Carey, who most recently produced Adventureland and The Savages; Smokehouse’s Grant Heslov, an Academy Award nominee as producer and co-writer of Good Night, and Good Luck, and producer/director of this fall’s The Men Who Stare at Goats; Smokehouse’s Mr. Clooney; Ann Wingate, who most recently produced Into the Storm, starring Emmy Award winner Brendan Gleeson; and Jill Green, executive producer of the long-running U.K. television series Foyle’s War. Enzo Sisti, co-producer of the upcoming When in Rome, is executive producer of The American.

Alone among assassins, Jack (played by Mr. Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman of this fall’s Peter and Vandy) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten of Focus’ award-winning In Bruges), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Italian screen and stage veteran Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Italian leading lady Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

Focus senior vice president, production Kahli Small and creative executive Michael Pruss are supervising the project for president of production John Lyons. The American is Mr. Corbijn’s second feature film as director, following the award-winning 2007 drama Control, for which the director was honored with two British Independent Film Awards. The latter feature’s cinematographer and editor, Martin Ruhe and Andrew Hulme, respectively, are rejoining Mr. Corbijn on The American; Mark Digby and Suttirat Larlarb, both of Slumdog Millionaire, are production designer and costume designer, respectively.

Mr. Schamus said, “The combination of a visionary artist of the stature of Anton Corbijn with the great George Clooney is, for all of us at Focus, a movie marriage made in heaven.”

Focus Features and Focus Features International (FFI) (www.filminfocus.com) together comprise a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers – films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company’s flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films, from those geared to a single local market to worldwide hits. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

In addition to The American, current and upcoming Focus Features movies include Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic 9, starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov; writer/director Richard Curtis’ rock and roll comedy Pirate Radio; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Greenberg, the new film from writer/director Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; Taking Woodstock, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee; and Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, which world-premiered earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

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Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films to Produce Netherland with Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions for Focus Features

Posted September 21, 2009

Oscar winner Christopher Hampton adapting Screenplay from Joseph O'Neill novel

NEW YORK, September 16, 2009 – Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions are partnering to produce the feature film based on Joseph O’Neill’s novel Netherland for Focus Features. Mr. Mendes and partner Pippa Harris are producers for Neal Street, and Ms. Winfrey and company president Kate Forte are producers for Harpo, which optioned the novel last year upon publication. Focus will hold worldwide rights to Netherland. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) is scripting the adaptation, which is being developed with Mr. Mendes as a potential director. Mr. Mendes won the Best Director Oscar for American Beauty.

Neal Street recently signed a two-year first-look deal with Focus Features. Focus president of production John Lyons and senior vice president, international production Teresa Moneo are overseeing all Neal Street projects, including Netherland.

Mr. O’Neill received the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for Netherland, which is his third novel (following This Is the Life and The Breezes). Mr. Hampton was last year again an Academy Award nominee, for his screenplay adaptation of Focus’ Atonement. In Netherland, set in early 21st-century New York City, a lonely expatriate finds himself drawn to the sport of cricket, forming an unlikely friendship and discovering a rich world of immigrant culture previously unknown to him.

Mr. Schamus said, “We’re so glad to have Christopher join our creative partnership with Harpo and Neal Street, rendering an extraordinary gathering of talents even more so. This project’s emotional power has resonated with us all.”

Harpo Films, Inc. produces feature films and, through an exclusive deal with HBO, scripted television programming. Recent produced features have garnered the highest industry honors for quality, including The Great Debaters, directed by and starring Denzel Washington, which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture (Drama). Telefilms include the multiple Emmy Award-winner Tuesdays with Morrie, as well as Their Eyes Were Watching God, starring Halle Berry.

Harpo Productions, Inc. produces the number-one-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show; creates and develops original TV programming for primetime, syndication and cable television; and operates Oprah.com (www.oprah.com), a premier lifestyle website. Harpo Print, LLC and Hearst Magazines publish the monthly O, The Oprah Magazine publication. Harpo Radio, Inc. produces Oprah Radio (XM channel 156, Sirius channel 195 as part of its “Best of XM” package) on Sirius XM Radio. A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a multi-platform company, will debut in 2010 in more than 70 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.

Founded in 2003 by Sam Mendes, Caro Newling, and Pippa Harris, Neal Street Productions has enjoyed a string of screen successes, including Revolutionary Road, Starter For Ten, Jarhead, Things We Lost in the Fire, and Focus’ Away We Go (directed by Mr. Mendes). Neal Street is also prolific in the theater world, having received a total of 15 Tony nominations this past spring for Shrek The Musical and Mary Stuart. Neal Street Theatricals was recently represented on the London stage by Mr. Mendes’ Bridge Project – a double bill of The Winter’s Tale and The Cherry Orchard at The Old Vic.

Focus Features and Focus Features International (FFI) (www.filminfocus.com) together comprise a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers – films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company’s flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films, from those geared to a single local market to worldwide hits. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

Current and upcoming Focus Features movies include Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic 9, starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly and produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov; writer/director Richard Curtis’ rock and roll comedy Pirate Radio; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Greenberg, the new film from writer/director Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; Taking Woodstock, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee; and Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, which world-premiered last weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

# # #

Contact: Adriene Bowles

FOCUS FEATURES/818-777-7499

V.J. Carbone

FOCUS FEATURES/212-539-4055

 

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9 Director Shane Acker KODAK-presented Animation Showcase

Posted September 04, 2009

NEW YORK, September 4, 2009 – Student Academy Award winner Shane Acker, whose first feature film, the animated fantasy epic  9, opens nationwide from Focus Features on Wednesday (9/9/09), has curated an animation showcase of short films, presented by Kodak.

Free of charge, some of the best and most original animated short films from around the world can be found at http://filminfocus.com/focusfeatures/film/9/showcase. Mr. Acker’s new action-packed adventure 9 is the feature-length expansion of his Academy Award-nominated 2004 short film of the same name, for which he also won the Student Academy Award.

The short films selected by Mr. Acker for the showcase are as follows;

Li Marhaban’s End of the Line, about a lonely young woman; Mr. Marhaban, a former furniture designer, deploys architectural perspective in mixed media and makes striking use of cut-out models

Tomek Baginski’s BAFTA Award-winning Fallen Art, a statement on the haunting impact of war; Mr. Baginski favors stylized pictures and was an Academy Award nominee for his earlier short The Cathedral

Géza M. Toth’s Maestro, an Academy Award-nominated short film that follows the Maestro as he readies for a big performance; Mr. Toth is the founder of the Tuesday Animation Studio, and his other shorts include Ergo and Mama

Oktapodi, also Academy Award-nominated, is about two lovestruck octopi; directors Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, and Emud Mokhberi, all graduate students, worked for over seven months on the short

Jérémy Clapin’s Skhizein, about a man who gets struck by a meteorite and lives, was nominated for a César Award (France’s Oscar equivalent); Mr. Clapin graduated Saint Martin’s College and also directed Une Histoire Vertébrale

(more)
Focus Features and Focus Features International (FFI) (www.filminfocus.com) together comprise a singular global company, dedicated to producing, acquiring, financing, selling, and distributing original and daring films from emerging and established filmmakers – films that challenge mainstream moviegoers to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world. The company’s flexible and nuanced approach to distribution allows it to support a wide range of films, from those geared to a single local market to worldwide hits. The company operates as Focus Features domestically, and as Focus Features International overseas.

In addition to 9, upcoming Focus Features movies include writer/director Richard Curtis’ rock and roll comedy Pirate Radio; the unique nonfiction feature Babies, directed by Thomas Balmès; Greenberg, the new film from writer/director Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller; Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald’s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth, starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, and Mark Strong; Academy Award-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; Taking Woodstock, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee; and Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, which world-premieres next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

Comment And Interact »