Focus bolstering European ranks

Studio adds Moneo, shifts Paarte to London

Focus Features has hired former Miramax and Fox exec Teresa Moneo as senior VP of European production, based in London.

Moneo will report to Alison Thompson, who joined Focus last summer as president, international sales and distribution, with a mandate to expand the foreign sales slate.

Focus also is transferring longtime staffer Heta Paarte from its New York HQ to London.

Paarte was senior VP of international marketing and publicity, but her title will change to senior VP, international marketing and distribution to reflect her expanded role.

Moneo will be responsible for finding European projects for Focus, and for managing its relationships with filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Roberto Benigni and Michel Gondry.

Spanish-born Moneo worked in acquisitions and production at Miramax for a decade, first in New York and then in London. Among the projects she worked on or brought in were Roberto Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful,” Walter Salles’ “Central Station” and Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Others.”

She took exec producer credits on several movies, including “Dirty Pretty Things” by Stephen Frears.

After leaving Miramax, she worked as an international production consultant for 20th Century Fox.

Paarte, who comes from Finland, has been with Focus since its inception and before that was head of marketing for its predecessor Good Machine Intl.

This expansion of the Focus office in London was in the works before co-president David Linde was elevated this month to co-chairman of parent company Universal. By hiring Thompson last year, Linde had already signalled his intention to delegate the role of Focus’ international spearhead.

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