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Chelsea Barnard Exits Annapurna as President of Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Chelsea Barnard has stepped down from her post as president of film at Annapurna, an individual with knowledge of the company told Variety.

An Annapurna spokesperson had no immediate comment. An email to Barnard was not immediately returned. Annapruna founder Megan Ellison will personally stabilize the film unit before a replacement search begins, the insider said.

Two of Barnard’s top projects have fallen apart, Variety reported on Tuesday prior to her exit. One was a high-profile telling of Roger Ailes’ Fox News implosion starring Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron. The other was the Jennifer Lopez drama “The Hustlers at Scores,” about exotic dancers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients after the economy tanks.

The Ailes film recruited Canadian heatseeker Bron Studios to co-finance and its move to Focus Features as distributor will be announced imminently. Lopez and her team are taking “Hustlers” to STX, the Bob Simonds-run studio releasing her next film “Second Act” in December.

A timeline around Barnard’s departure is unclear, though she is said to be exploring new opportunities. In addition to pet projects, Barnard was also managing a slate of awards-heavy prestige titles.

These include Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” follow-up, the triumphant “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Nicole Kidman’s critically acclaimed “Destroyer” from director Karyn Kusama; and the just-wrapped Richard Linklater film “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” starring Cate Blanchett.

Barnard was with the company since its founding in 2012, and has worked on titles like Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day Lewis’ “Phantom Thread.”

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