An Industry Toast to James Shamus

The 20th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival is honored to present Focus Features CEO James Schamus with this year’s Industry Toast. Mr. Schamus will be fêted by his peers on Friday, October 5th at East Hampton Point. The 20th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will take place this year over Columbus Day Weekend, from October 4th – 8th.
As a screenwriter, producer, and academic, Mr. Schamus has enjoyed a prolific career in the motion picture industry. He is Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory. Before co-founding the worldwide film company Focus Features, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2012, he served as co-president of the independent film production company Good Machine. Among the highlights of Mr. Schamus’ screenwriting career are his work on The Ice Storm and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, both directed by his longtime creative collaborator Ang Lee; he was Academy Award-nominated as producer on Mr. Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, which became Focus’ all-time top-grossing film.

“In the Festival’s 20th year, it is a priviledge to honor James who is such a well respected leader in the field,” said Hamptons International Film Festival Director Karen Arikian. “He has had a long and influential role in the independent film world in New York and in LA. and his deep understanding of the creative process has produced some of the most riveting films of the past years. He is also a generous mentor, passing on his knowledge and experience through his teaching career at Columbia University. There is no one more deserving of this honor. ”

“It’s a great honor to be subjected to the Hamptons Roast – I mean, Toast – a now-venerable tradition that brings together a truly wonderful community of independent film lovers,” said Mr. Schamus.

The Hamptons International Film Festival Industry Toast honors those who have played a significant role in the independent film industry over the years. Past recipients have included Marcie Bloom, Bob Berney, Ted Hope, Wouter Barendrecht, and Ben Barenholtz.

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