Universal Pictures ups Grass

Exec named prexy int'l productions, acquisitions

Universal Pictures co-chairs Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley have upped Christian Grass to prexy of international productions and acquisitions for Universal Pictures Intl.

Grass, who is co-CEO of Focus Features Intl., will report to Langley and David Kosse, who was recently upped to an expanded role as international prexy for Universal Pictures.

Grass has been leading Universal’s international production group since October 2007. Under his stewardship, Universal and Focus Features Intl. have forged close relationships with some of world cinema’s leading filmmakers, including Russia’s Timur Bekmambetov and the Mexican triumvirate of Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu and Alfonso Cuaron through their shingle, Cha-Cha-Cha.

The studio also has partnerships with Italian shingle Cattleya and German banner UFA Cinema.

The move underlines both Grass’ work and the value of international productions for Universal.

Grass’ division, which includes exec VP of international production Clare Wise, will continue to head local production and acquisition for Universal and supply pics for international distribution. The international acquisitions team, led by Dylan Wilcox, will continue to acquire films for UPI and Focus Features.

Focus Features chief exec James Schamus and prexy Andrew Karpen will continue to run the Universal Pictures-owned Focus Features and Focus Features Intl. with international sales and distribution prexy Alison Thompson. Grass’ team will continue to work with Focus Features Intl. on a picture-by-picture basis.