Focus Features Press
FOCUS FEATURES INTERNATIONAL SALES DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS
Posted September 07, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK, September 4th, 2008 – Focus Features has promoted Peter Kujawski to senior vice president, international sales, and Gabrielle Stewart to manager of international sales. The appointments are effective immediately, Focus president of international sales and distribution Alison Thompson announced today.
Mr. Kujawski, who has been with Focus since it was formed in the spring of 2002, will remain based in the company’s Manhattan offices. In being raised from vice president to senior vice president, he succeeds Tim Spencer, who is segueing from the film business to a different field.
Ms. Stewart will remain based in the company’s London offices. She joined the company in 2005 to work directly with Ms. Thompson and in May 2007 added additional responsibilities as sales coordinator.
Ms. Thompson said, “Peter is very much part of the Focus family; truly, there is no one else who could have filled Tim’s shoes as well. Gabrielle’s promotion to junior executive is a well-deserved natural progression. Since she shares Peter’s talent and dedication, I really can’t think of a better sales team.”
Mr. Kujawski added, “During this first weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival, Alison and I will be working closely with master filmmakers like the Coen Brothers and Fernando Meirelles, exciting new talent like Lance Daly, and top distribution companies from around the world. I’m thrilled to be taking a more active role at this company.”
Beginning as director of international sales, Mr. Kujawski has over the years sold such hits as Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver; Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers and Curse of the Golden Flower; Jet Li’s Fearless (directed by Ronny Yu), on which he also was a production executive; Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation; Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener; David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises; and Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Brokeback Mountain (the company’s all-time top-grossing film).
Mr. Kujawski previously worked at Focus as manager of creative affairs, during which time he was involved in production and distribution, and oversaw all soundtrack album rights and negotiations for such films as Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams.
Holding a BA in Film Studies from Columbia University, Mr. Kujawski’s industry career began at the independent film production company Good Machine. There he worked as an assistant to company founder and co-president James Schamus, who is now CEO of Focus, including during the worldwide rollout of Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. When Good Machine was absorbed into Focus in the spring of 2002, Mr. Kujawski joined Focus at its inception.
Prior to joining Focus, Ms. Stewart worked at Renaissance Films International in London. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, she began her career in radio and television; her capacities in those mediums ranged from assistant director to researcher to camera operator. She combined the latter on the 15-part documentary “Portland Babies 2,” for the Discovery series.
Focus Features (www.filminfocus.com) exists to produce, acquire and distribute original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success.
Focus Features International is currently handling the overseas sales and distribution of, among other films, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Burn After Reading, starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins, and Brad Pitt, which world-premiered as the opening-night film of the 2008 Venice International Film Festival and screens at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival this week; Lance Daly’s Kisses, which took top honors at the 2008 Galway Film Fleadh Festival and also screens at the Toronto International Film Festival this week; Andrew Fleming’s irreverent comedy Hamlet 2, starring Steve Coogan; Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness, starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, which world-premiered as the opening-night film of the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival; Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic 9, starring Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly; writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s new film, tentatively titled The Limits of Control, starring Isaach De Bankolé; Chris Nahon’s Blood: The Last Vampire, based on the best-selling comic book; Lucrecia Martel’s La mujer sin cabeza [Headless Woman], which world-premiered at the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival; Carlos Cuarón’s Rudo y Cursi, starring Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna; AGORA, an historical epic from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar (The Sea Inside) starring Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz; Brandon Camp’s Traveling, starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart; Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Broken Embraces, starring Penélope Cruz; a contemporary comedy directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes and starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph; Taking Woodstock, the new film from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee; and Gus Van Sant’s Milk, starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk.
Focus Features is 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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Contact: Adriene Bowles; Harlan Gulko
FOCUS FEATURES/818-777-7499; 818-777-7346
FOCUS FEATURES INTERNATIONAL/44-207-307-5591