Variety Chief Film Critic Scott Foundas to Exit for Amazon Studios

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 17: Scott
Heather Kennedy/Getty Images

Scott Foundas, who has served as Variety’s chief film critic for the past two years, will be leaving the publication and the journalism business to join Amazon Studios as a film acquisitions and development executive.

With his appointment effective Aug. 17, he will relocate from New York to Los Angeles to work for Amazon’s recently appointed film chief Ted Hope as the streaming service forges into the feature production and acquisitions business.

“We are going to miss Scott tremendously,” said Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller. “He has contributed significantly to Variety’s role as an authoritative voice in film criticism. He applied his smarts, insights and exquisite prose to every review he wrote, whether it was an obscure arthouse picture or big Hollywood blockbuster.”

Foundas joined Variety in 2013 just as the venerable publication was relaunching its weekly edition in a new, enhanced format. He worked closely with fellow chief film critics Justin Chang and Peter Debruge to help maintain the highest standards for Variety reviews.

Considered one of the top film critics of his generation, Foundas is known for his incisive reviews and vast knowledge of cinema history. A prolific writer, he also penned cover stories and feature stories for Variety’s magazine on such iconic filmmakers as Clint Eastwood, Ridley Scott, George Miller, Roman Polanski and Woody Allen.

“Returning to Variety as chief film critic has been one of the great pleasures of my career, especially working alongside my fellow ‘chiefs’ Justin Chang and Peter Debruge, our intrepid team of far-flung freelancers, our indefatigable editor Claudia Eller, and our fearless leader, Jay Penske, who has breathed extraordinary new life into this venerable publication,” said Foundas. “I have learned much from them, and will miss them all as I begin this new adventure.”

Chang and Debruge said they value the time that they worked with Scott over the past two years.

“As he’s shown us over the course of his career, Scott Foundas is one of the great names in criticism, but crucially, his love for cinema doesn’t end with film criticism,” Chang said. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to write alongside him these past two years, and Peter and I wish him nothing but continued success in his new endeavor.”

Prior to joining Variety, Foundas was the chief film critic for the Village Voice, where his reviews, essays and interviews appeared regularly in all 11 Voice Media Group publications.

Earlier, from 2010-2012, he served as associate program director for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he was a contributing editor to Film Comment magazine and a member of the New York Film Festival selection committee.

Foundas, a native of Tampa, Fla., and graduate of USC School of Cinema-Television, began his career as a regular contributor to Variety. He has written for Indiewire, the New York Times and the DGA Quarterly, and has been a special consultant to the Cannes Film Festival. From 2003-09, Foundas was film critic and editor for the Voice’s sibling paper in Los Angeles, the L.A. Weekly.


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  1. Dixon Steele says:

    Good for him, but the puffery in this article in gag-inducing.

  2. Web Guru says:

    Best of Luck.

  3. Chris L. says:

    I’m sure he’ll make some very shrewd acquisitions, but damn, it hurts to lose another voice like his from the everyday film-loving conversation so soon after The Dissolve went under, ratcheting up the level of existential panic among so many great writers I enjoy and follow. Best wishes for success in developing more movies worth writing about, then!

  4. GeorgeValentin says:

    I will miss Scott. His movie reviews were an asset to Variety.

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