James Schamus
Chief Executive Officer, Focus Features

James Schamus participated in the World Leaders Forum event, The First Emperor and Our World, in November 2006.

James Schamus is chief executive officer (CEO) of Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com), a motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company committed to bringing moviegoers the most original stories from the world's most innovative filmmakers. Mr. Schamus formed Focus with David Linde in May 2002.

In March 2004, Focus created Rogue Pictures. All Rogue movies are handled domestically through Focus' existing marketing and distribution operations, and comparably overseas via the Focus Features International division. Mr. Schamus is responsible for all aspects of Focus, Rogue, and Focus Features International.

An integral contributor to the American independent film business for over a decade, Mr. Schamus has the unique distinction of being an award-winning screenwriter and producer who is also a film executive.

Prior to the formation of Focus, Mr. Schamus was co-president of the independent film production company Good Machine, which he co-founded in 1991. Mr. Schamus and his partners at the company produced over 40 films during an 11-year period, in partnership with filmmakers such as Ang Lee, Todd Solondz, and Nicole Holofcener. Through its financing and distribution arm, Good Machine International, the company represented dozens more filmmakers, among them Pedro Almodóvar and the Coen Brothers. Good Machine was recently honored with a 10-year retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Mr. Schamus is also a screenwriter, and received Academy Award nominations in the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song categories for his work on Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The blockbuster Good Machine feature, which Mr. Schamus co-wrote and executive-produced, won 4 Academy Awards.

Mr. Schamus has had a long collaboration as writer and producer with Ang Lee on nine feature films, with the director's Brokeback Mountain, starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, released worldwide through Focus Features. The film is Focus' all-time top-grosser, with global ticket sales of over $179 million. Brokeback Mountain, on which Mr. Schamus served as a producer, won, among other honors, 3 Academy Awards; 4 Golden Globe Awards; 4 BAFTA Awards; and the Producers Guild of America's top prize, the [Darryl F. Zanuck] Producer of the Year Award, Theatrical Motion Pictures.

Messrs. Lee and Schamus' earlier films together include The Hulk (which Mr. Schamus wrote and produced); Ride with the Devil (which Mr. Schamus produced and adapted); The Ice Storm (which Mr. Schamus produced and adapted, earning the Best Screenplay prize at the 1997 Cannes International Film Festival as well as WGA and BAFTA Award nominations); Sense and Sensibility (which Mr. Schamus co-produced); Eat Drink Man Woman (which Mr. Schamus co-wrote and associate-produced); The Wedding Banquet (which Mr. Schamus co-wrote and produced); and Pushing Hands (which Mr. Schamus produced). The duo are reteaming on Focus' Lust, Caution, which Mr. Lee is directing and Mr. Schamus is executive-producing.

Mr. Schamus executive-produced several Good Machine features that won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, including Edward Burns' The Brothers McMullen, Tom Noonan's What Happened Was..., and Todd Haynes' Poison. Among the other films that he executive-produced at Good Machine are Paul Schrader's AutoFocus, Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers, Todd Solondz' Happiness, Bart Freundlich's The Myth of Fingerprints, Cindy Sherman's Office Killer, Nicole Holofcener's Walking and Talking, and Todd Haynes' Safe.

He is also Associate Professor in Columbia University's School of the Arts, and he currently serves on the board of directors of Creative Capital. He was the 2006 Presidential Fellow in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, and received his Ph.D. in English from U.C. Berkeley in 2003.

Mr. Schamus was honored with the NBC Screenwriter Tribute at the 2002 Nantucket Film Festival as well as with the Writers Guild of America, East's 2003 Richard B. Jablow Award for devoted service to the Guild.

Focus' second-highest-grossing film to date (after Brokeback Mountain) is Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, which grossed over $100 million worldwide and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Focus' other celebrated releases have included four more Academy Award winners, Roman Polanski's The Pianist, Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener, and Michel Gondry's Eternal

Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries; and Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice, Todd Haynes' Far from Heaven, François Ozon's Swimming Pool, and Alejandro González Iñárritu's 21 Grams.

In addition to Lust, Caution, upcoming Focus Features releases include Phillip Noyce's Catch a Fire, starring Tim Robbins, Derek Luke, and Bonnie Henna; Kasi Lemmons' Talk to Me, starring Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor; Shane Acker's animated fantasy epic 9; Henry Selick's stop-motion animated feature Coraline, starring Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher; Joe Wright's Atonement, starring Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Romola Garai; the untitled new thriller directed by David Cronenberg, starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts; Terry George's Reservation Road, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly, and Mira Sorvino; and Lajos Koltai's Evening, starring Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Hugh Dancy, Natasha Richardson, Dame Eileen Atkins, Mamie Gummer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Glenn Close, and Meryl Streep.

Rogue Pictures (www.roguepictures.com) is devoted to producing and distributing high-quality suspense, action, thriller, comedy, and urban entertainment with mainstream appeal and franchise potential. Rogue Pictures productions differ from Focus Features productions in that Rogue titles specifically target the more mainstream ticket buyer and will receive wider initial releases.

Upcoming Rogue Pictures releases include The Return, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar for director Asif Kapadia; Robert Ben Garant's Balls of Fury, starring Dan Fogler, Christopher Walken, George Lopez, and Maggie Q; Dave Meyers' remake of The Hitcher, produced by Michael Bay and starring Sean Bean, Sophia Bush, and Zachary Knighton; Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz, the new comedy from the Shaun of the Dead team; and Bryan Bertino's Strangers, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman.

In addition to the majority of the previously mentioned titles, Focus Features International is also currently handling the overseas sales and distribution of, among other films, Peter Hedges' Dan in Real Life, starring Steve Carell, Dane Cook, and Juliette Binoche; Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, starring Jack Black and Mos Def; Zhang Yimou's epic Curse of the Golden Flower, starring Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li; Sean Penn's Into the Wild, starring Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Catherine Keener, and Vince Vaughn; Pedro Almodóvar's Volver (winner of two awards at the 2006 Cannes International Film Festival), starring Pénelope Cruz and Carmen Maura; and Justin Chadwick's The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Eric Bana, Scarlett Johansson, and Natalie Portman.

Focus Features, Rogue Pictures, 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.

Participated In

The First Emperor and Our World

Date: November 30, 2006 from 7:00 PM to 8:15 PM
Location: Miller Theatre
Description:
A roundtable discussion with Columbia faculty and the distinguished
artists who are collaborating on the production of Tan Dun's The First
Emperor, which has its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on
December 21. In conjunction with the Metropolitan
Opera