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Ex-Focus Chief James Schamus Makes Directorial Debut with Philip Roth’s ‘Indignation’

Former Focus Features chief James Schamus will make his feature film directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s “Indignation.”

Indignation” focuses on the son of a kosher butcher who struggles to adjust to life in an Ohio college. The story is set in the 1950s and touches on issues of anti-Semitism and sexual repression.

Schamus co-founded Focus and ran the label until 2013, when he was pushed out by parent company Universal Pictures in favor of Peter Schlessel. The former FilmDistrict chief was tasked with charting a more commercial path for Focus, which under Schamus produced such films as “The Kids Are All Right,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Lost in Translation” and “Milk.”

Schamus is also known for his long collaboration with Ang Lee, writing many of the screenplays for the director’s works such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Ice Storm” and “The Wedding Banquet.”

He will produce the picture with Anthony Bregman and his production label, Likely Story. Avy Eschenasy and Stefanie Azpiazu will serve as executive producers for Likely Story. The film is set to shoot in New York in the summer of 2015.

Bregman’s recent films include “Foxcatcher,” “Begin Again” and “Enough Said.”

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