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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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook