The award is presented in recognition of a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media.
Schamus will receive the award prior to Outfest’s opening night gala screening of “Life Partners” on July 10 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
Schamus co-founded Focus Features in 2002 and departed last October as part of a restructuring.
“The scope and the depth of James’s work as a writer, producer and studio head, has had a tremendous impact on the LGBT community,” said Kirsten Schaffer, exec director of Outfest. “He has shepherded stories and storytellers who have defined the LGBT experience for three decades — from the new queer cinema films of Tom Kalin and Todd Haynes to the boundary-pushing ‘Pariah’ and from the historical insight of ‘Milk’ to, of course, the iconic ‘Brokeback Mountain.’”
Outfest has previously presented the award to Kimberly Peirce, John Waters, Jane Lynch, Bill Condon, Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, Don Roos, Donna Deitch, Kenneth Anger, Gregg Araki, Todd Haynes, Jane Anderson, Christine Vachon, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Gus Van Sant, Ian McKellen, John Schlesinger and Strand Releasing.