James Schamus


James Schamus is an award-winning screenwriter (The Ice Storm), producer (Brokeback Mountain), and former CEO of Focus Features (Dallas Buyers Club, Lost in Translation, Milk, The Pianist). His feature directorial debut, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Indignation, starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival, and was released by Roadside Attractions. Schamus’ New York based production company, Symbolic Exchange, recently completed Kitty Green’s acclaimed feature documentary Casting JonBenet, which had its world premiere at Sundance and just launched on Netflix, and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn which premiered in Cannes this year and which will be released by A24. Schamus is also Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory.



James Schamus: Does the Cinema Have a Future?, sponsored by VER

Influential Oscar-nominated filmmaker James Schamus draws on his experiences as former CEO of Focus Features and producer of films such as Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, bringing his unique perspective to an in-depth presentation on the current state of the theatrical film and its future.