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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

EMIL ELMÉR JOINS FOCUS FEATURES AS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL SALES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LONDON, March 19, 2012 – Emil Elmér is joining Focus Features as senior vice president, international sales. Focus Features International (FFI) co-president Alison Thompson made the announcement today.

Mr. Elmér will report to Ms. Thompson at the FFI offices in London, where he will be based beginning this week. FFI is readying for the Cannes International Film Festival world premiere, as the opening-night film, of Moonrise Kingdom, the new feature from Wes Anderson, starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman; as well as overseas sales at the Festival for several new movies, including the untitled international suspense thriller starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall for director John Crowley, which begins production in the U.K. next month.

Ms. Thompson said, “Having first-hand experience of working with Emil, I’ve long been impressed by his outstanding knowledge and thorough approach to the international business. He has the wealth of experience that is an absolute necessity in our business, and his expertise and valuable relationships will bolster the company as we celebrate Focus’s 10-year anniversary and field a particularly exciting slate of movies this year.”

Mr. Elmér added, “Over the last decade, Focus has built an outstanding reputation as one of the world leaders in independent global cinema. They continue to be at the cutting edge of the creative and financial evolution of the business, and I’m proud to be joining the team to work with their incredible roster of films and filmmakers.”

The executive began his career at Miramax Films, where he spent over eight years and was variously part of the company’s acquisitions, production, and marketing and publicity departments. Long based in the U.K., he was involved in the company’s acquisitions of the multi-Academy Award-nominated Amélie andLes Choristes (The Chorus) and the Oscar-winning The Barbarian Invasions, among other titles.

More recently, he was for three years head of acquisitions for Pathé Distribution, where he tracked projects worldwide for distribution in the U.K.; and was a full-time consultant for a film financing company, working on projects from the production phase through the world sales process. A native of Sweden, Mr. Elmér holds a BA in Social Science from Lund University.

Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.

One of the world’s leading international sales agents, FFI also encompasses international distribution, marketing and publicity. FFI has the special ability to tailor international distribution to suit each film, whether licensing distribution rights to independent companies, or securing distribution through Universal Pictures International.

FFI distributes up to 10 titles annually, approximately half of which are from Focus’ considerable domestic production/release slate and half of which come from partners across the globe. In addition to those previously mentioned titles, the FFI slate includes Woody Allen’s Nero Fiddled, starring Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, and Ellen Page;Arthur Newman, Golf Pro, starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt for director Dante Ariola; Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ruairi Robinson’s thriller The Last Days on Mars; Andrew Adamson’s drama Mr. Pip, based on the celebrated novel and starring Hugh Laurie; the historical tale Hyde Park on Hudson, directed by Roger Michell and starring Academy Award nominees Bill Murray and Laura Linney; and the epic fantasy Cloud Atlas, starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks for writer-directors Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski.

Focus Features, Focus Features International, and Universal Pictures International are part of NBCUniversal, 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. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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