TV & Movies

Verve Signs Filmmaker & Former Focus Features CEO James Schamus

EXCLUSIVE:  Verve has inked 3x Oscar-nominated filmmaker, producer and former Focus Features Features CEO James Schamus in all areas.

Early in his career, Schamus formed a creative partnership with filmmaker Ang Lee, and would go on to found production company Good Machine alongside Ted Hope and David Linde, which eventually sold to Universal Studios. Following that in 2002, as the CEO of Focus Features, Schamus went on to oversee a bulk of award-winning and Oscar lauded, generation-defining classics such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation and Brokeback Mountain among many others.

Schamus was nominated as producer for Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, and received nods for Adapted Screenplay and Original Song (“A Love Before Time”) for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That pic, on which Schamus was also an EP, notched 4 Oscar wins including Best Foreign Language Film, Art Direction, Original Score, and Cinematography.

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In addition to his Oscar nominations, Schamus is the recipient of numerous accolades including a BAFTA for Best Film (Brokeback Mountain), winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes (Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm), as well as the Film Independent Spirit Award, Gotham Award, PGA Award and WGA Award, and a Grammy nomination.

Schamus’ writing and producing credits with Lee include Sense & Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Crouching, Tiger Hidden Dragon; Hulk and Brokeback Mountain.

In the wake of his departure from Focus Features in 2013, Schamus segued to film directing with his feature take of Philip Roth’s Indignation, which he also produced and adapted, making its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and getting released by Roadside Attractions. The pic starred Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts. Schamus went on to produce Kitty Green’s The Assistant about a secretary and her trials with a brutish, abusive New York City film studio executive. That pic, starring Julia Garner, went on to make its world premiere at Telluride, followed by the Sundance Film Festival.

Schamus, who as a producer, writer and director, currently has a number of projects on his slate at various stages of production, most recently created the celebrated Spanish-language television series Somos. 

Schamus continues to be managed by Literate.

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