James Schamus (USA)
In his capacity as a producer, James Schamus has been responsible not only for the Academy Award-winning film Brokeback Mountain, but also for numerous other Ang Lee films, including The Wedding Banquet, which won the Berlinale Golden Bear in 1993. James Schamus also wrote the script for the Ang Lee film The Ice Storm and was co-writer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Lust, Caution by Ang Lee. He is also Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory. As one of independent cinema’s most important champions, James Schamus knows the balancing act between Hollywood's studio system and art-house cinema better than anyone. In 1991, he founded the production company Good Machine in New York, which merged with USA Films in 2002 to become the new company Focus Features. For over a decade, James Schamus led Focus Features, and during that era, was involved in the production and distribution of award-winning and celebrated films such as Far from Heaven, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Milk, Dallas Buyers Club and Teddy Award winner The Kids Are All Right. Thanks to Focus Features, international successes such as 8 Women, The Pianist and The Motorcycle Diaries were presented in American cinemas.