Prod'n VP one of the company's original hires

Claudia Lewis has been upped to executive vice president of production for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Lewis, senior veepee at the specialized banner since 1995, was one of the original production execs hired by Tom Rothman when Searchlight was launched in 1994.

During her tenure, Lewis has overseen production on “William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Michael Hoffman; Christina Andreef’s upcoming “Soft Fruit”; Ang Lee’s “Ice Storm”; Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Stealing Beauty”; Stanley Tucci’s “The Impostors”; and Gillian Armstrong’s “Oscar and Lucinda.”

Lewis most recently supervised production of “The Closer You Get,” directed by Aileen Ritchie and produced by Uberto Pasolini (“The Full Monty”).

“Claudia has a remarkable ability to discover a diverse range of talent and material followed by the savvy to nurture a project through all its stages of development, production and post-production,” said Searchlight prexy Lindsay Law, who made the announcement Thursday. “As we move forward with a slate of films in all stages of production, I can’t think of a better person to lend her creative vision to these projects.”

Lewis joined Searchlight from management-production firm Addis-Wechsler (now Industry Entertainment), where she served as executive producer of James Gray’s “Little Odessa.” Before that, Lewis worked as VP of production at Avenue Pictures.

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