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Focus Features To Be Honored By Point Foundation

Posted February 09, 2012

For Respect and Inclusion Of LGBT Community In Its Award-Winning Films

-  Company Heads Will Receive Award at Gala April 16 Event in NYC -

Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, will honor global film company Focus Features on Monday, April 16th at this year’s Point Honors New York gala.  Focus, which has made and brought to worldwide audiences such original, Academy Award-winning films as Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain and Gus Van Sant’s Milk, will be accorded the Point Inspiration Award, given to a company or organization that champions respect and inclusion of the LGBT community and operates with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.
Accepting the Point Inspiration Award on April 16 will be Focus Features CEO James Schamus and President Andrew Karpen. The company, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May 2012, has had 7 of its movies nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, including most recently the LGBT-themed film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko.  Currently an Academy Award nominee is Christopher Plummer for his role in Mike Mills’ Beginners, Focus’s LGBT-themed comedy/drama.  Focus’s newest release, Dee Rees’s Pariah, is currently nominated for multiple Spirit and NAACP Image Awards, and stars Adepero Oduye and Kim Wayans in a story about 17-year-old African-American lesbian coming of age.

“The ethos of Focus Features and its films – celebrating diverse experiences, questioning the norm, promoting intellectual curiosity and creative expression – are the same qualities we encourage in our Point Scholars,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation.  “Films like Milk and Pariah speak to the values of diversity and empowerment Focus shares with Point and the LGBT community.  It is so important that young people have an opportunity to watch films like these, where maybe they can for the first time find representations of themselves on the screen, and come away awed and inspired.”

Among Focus Features’ other LGBT-themed films have been Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven, starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid; François Ozon’s 8 Women, starring Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert; and Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love, starring Natalie Press and Emily Blunt. Focus World, the company’s unique digital distribution, recently released the LGBT-themed The Broken Tower, adapted and directed by James Franco.

Prior to co-founding Focus, CEO James Schamus was involved in a number of groundbreaking LGBT films, as Executive Producer of Todd Haynes’s Poison and Tom Kalin’s Swoon; and as Producer and co-screenwriter of Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet.