U specialty arm's reshuffling prod'n exex
NEW YORK — Universal specialty arm Focus Features is reshuffling its production ranks under department prexy John Lyons.Kahli Small has been upped to senior VP of production and Jill Morris has been brought aboard from Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, also as senior veep of production. Focus has upped staffer David Gerson to creative exec. Small is based in Los Angeles; other two execs work out of Focus’ Gotham offices. Moves come on the heels of news that Focus exec veep of production Amy Kaufman will step down in September to segue to a production pact. Morris was director of production at Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group since 2001. Based in Los Angeles, she worked on “Signs,” “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Dark Water.” Exec also previously held posts at HBO Films and Sundance Theater Lab. Small joined Focus in 2003. She has supervised pics for the U specialty unit including “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the upcoming “The Ice Harvest” and genre label Rogue’s upcoming untitled supernatural thriller starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Company’s “Broken Flowers” is in current release. Headed by James Schamus and David Linde, Focus is screening its “Pride & Prejudice” at next month’s Toronto Film Festival as a gala presentation. Unit’s “Brokeback Mountain,” by helmer Ang Lee, is screening at Toronto and Venice, which begins Aug. 31.
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