James Schamus (Story/Screenwriter/Producer) has collaborated with Ang Lee on all of his films. He co-wrote and executive produced Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, for which he received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He produced The Ice Storm, which he also adapted from Rick Moody’s novel and received the Best Screenplay prize at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, along with 1998 Writer’s Guild and BAFTA nominations. He produced and wrote Ride With the Devil; co-produced Sense and Sensibility, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award® for Best Screenplay Adaptation; and co-wrote and associate produced Eat Drink Man Woman, which garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Foreign Film and was the opening night film for Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. He produced and co-wrote The Wedding Banquet and produced Lee’s first feature, Pushing Hands.

Over the past several years, Schamus has served as executive producer on a variety of independent films, including Todd Solondz’s Happiness, Todd Haynes’ Safe, Nicole Holofcener’s Walking and Talking, Cindy Sherman’s Office Killer, Bart Freundlich’s The Myth of Fingerprints, Hannah Weyer’s Arresting Gena, Frank Grow’s Love God and John O’Hagan’s Wonderland.

Schamus has also been involved in four of the last nine Grand Jury Prize Winners at Sundance. Along with Ted Hope, he executive produced Edward Burns’ The Brothers McMullen and Tom Noonan’s What Happened Was… He associate produced Alexandre Rockwell’s In the Soup and executive produced Todd Haynes’ Poison.

In 1991, he founded Good Machine with Ted Hope, which recently became Focus Features. Under the co-presidency of Schamus and David Linde, Focus Features was formed in 2002 as the new fully independent specialty motion picture division of Universal Pictures. Recent Focus Features releases have included Todd Hayne’s critically acclaimed Far From Heaven, nominated for four Academy Awards® (including Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay); Roman Polanski’s hailed The Pianist, which received a total of seven Oscar® nominations (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay) and won three statuettes (for Polanski, star Adrien Brody and screenwriter Ronald Harwood); Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things (starring Gretchen Mol, Paul Rudd, Rachel Weisz and Frederick Weller); and Jim Simpson’s The Guys (starring Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia). Upcoming Focus Features include director Francois Ozon’s first English-language film, Swimming Pool, and Lost in Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola.

Schamus is a professor of film theory, history and criticism at Columbia University, where he was recently a university lecturer. He was also the 1997 Nuveen Fellow in Humanities at the University of Chicago. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Independent Film and Video and on the board of Creative Capital.

Filmography @ The Internet Movie Database


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James Schamus
Writer, Producer