2 exex out of Focus

USA acquisitions pair ankle U's niche unit

This article was corrected on June. 2, 2002.

As Universal Pictures’ specialty label, Focus, takes shape under new co-heads James Schamus and David Linde, two execs from USA Films are exiting the company.

USA Films senior VP of acquisitions Stephen Raphael and VP of acquisitions Amanda Klein are expected to leave the Focus fold this month.

Raphael will be settled out of his existing contract, which has 18 months to go. Klein will exit at the end of July when her contract runs out.

U’s London-based acquisitions exec Graeme Mason may assume a new role within the organization.

It’s unclear whether Mason will work in acquisitions for Focus, though he likely will continue at the studio overseeing U’s London-based production deals and making strategic acquisitions for U.

Raphael, who like Mason and Klein is a well-liked and well-respected member of the acquisitions community, started in publicity and marketing He was responsible for acquiring such pics as Francois Ozon’s “Eight Women,” Mira Nair’s arthouse hit “Monsoon Wedding” (acquired with Klein), and the critically acclaimed Wong Kar-Wai pic “In the Mood for Love.” He also oversaw production for USA/Focus’ upcoming $18 million production “Far From Heaven.”

Klein recently oversaw production on the Robert Evans docu “The Kid Stays in the Picture.”

“Stephen Raphael was an extremely seasoned acquisitions executive. Coupled with his background in publicity, it is a rare combination,” said Russell Schwartz, head of marketing for New Line Cinema and former president of USA Films.

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