Fox Searchlight has promoted Ray Strache to the post of senior VP of acquisitions and co-productions.He will jointly run the acquisitions department with Tony Safford, exec VP of worldwide acquisitions. Strache and Stafford will continue to report to presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula.Strache joined Fox as an assistant to then Fox chairman Tom Rothman and most recently held the post of VP of acquisitions and co-productions at Searchlight.He's been involved with "Napoleon Dynamite," "Garden State," "Little Miss Sunshine," "Beasts...
A Chicago native with a background in marketing, Utley got her start in New York at Grey Advertising before moving into feature films at 20th Century Fox. As president of Fox Searchlight Pictures along with Stephen Gilula, she has driven the company’s presence during awards season and at the box office, overseeing a string of critical and commercial hits including “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Wild,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Black Swan,” “Juno,” “Sideways,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”
She previously served as president of marketing at Fox Searchlight, and played a crucial role in rescuing “Slumdog Millionaire” from a direct-to-DVD fate, instead championing the film for theatrical release, which led to seven Oscars including best picture. Utley has overseen many of Searchlight’s most successful films, which have received a total of 117 Oscar nominations.
The exec is on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors, Film Independent’s Board of Directors and is a board member of Lupus LA. She’s also active in mentoring projects within Fox Searchlight.