Universal Pictures'specialized arm Focus Features has finalized the structure of its acquisitionsdepartment, ending months of speculation which has seen the exit of senioracquisitions executives Graeme Mason from Universal Pictures International(UPI) and Steven Raphael and Amanda Klein from USA Films. Focus was formed byUniversal from the merger of USA Films and Good Machine in May 2002.
Heading the acquisitionsteam is Amy Kaufman as senior vice president, acquisitions and co-productions.Based in New York City, Kaufman reports to Focus co-presidents David Linde andJames Schamus. Reporting to her are Lee Magiday and Jason Resnick who are namedvice presidents, acquisitions. Magiday remains in London and Resnick in LosAngeles. The New York office will be bolstered by the hiring of Laura Hake asmanager, acquisitions.
Resnick willmonitor Australia, New Zealand and Asia in addition to his domestic efforts,while Magiday will be the company's UK representative while alsooverseeing European acquisitions.
"With theformation of Focus Features, our global reach as a specialized film company isfirmly grounded in the executives who have joined us at the new company,"said Linde in a statement. "In addition to having worked closely withAmy, I have known Jason and Lee for years and am truly excited that they havechosen to come on board."
"This is adynamic group of executives who understand the importance of supporting andfacilitating the work of the best filmmakers," added Schamus."We've hit the ground running, and every member of this team isalready hard at work."
Kaufman joinedGood Machine in 1997 where she was most recently senior vice president ofacquisitions and co-productions at Good Machine International working forLinde. She already spearheaded the acquisition last month of Alejandro GonzalezInarritu's next film 21 Grams for Focus.
Resnick hasworked as executive director, acquisitions, for UPI for several years. He willcontinue to buy for Universal as well as for Focus. While at Universal, he wasinstrumental in the acquisitions of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive and Christophe Gans' BrotherhoodOf The Wolf both for theformer Universal Focus label as well as German and Japanese rights for GosfordPark and In TheBedroom forUniversal/UIP.
Magiday hasworked as executive director, acquisitions, at UPI for three years, workingclosely with Working Title Films. Among her acquisitions for UPI wereScandinavian rights (excluding Norway) to Elling as well as select territories on GosfordPark. She had previouslyspent three years as acquisitions executive for PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.
Hake waspreviously at USA Films in the company's acquisitions and co-productionsdepartment.