Lupus LA honored Fox Searchlight co-president Nancy Utley at its annual Orange Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Thursday night.The Beverly Hills ballroom had a central dance floor with the woman of the hour, Utley, cutting a rug as the band played a wide range of renditions from The Jackson 5 to Ed Sheeran to Bruno Mars.Utley admitted that she was initially hesitant to be honored, but went on to say that "this organization is trying to make sure that every...
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.