Stephen Gilula
Matteo Prandoni/BFA/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Fox Searchlight



Highly experienced in film exhibition and distribution, he has overseen many of Searchlight’s most successful and acclaimed films to date, which have amassed an impressive 117 Oscar nominations, including best picture winners “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman.”

Previously the division’s president of distribution since 2000, Gilula was appointed prexy in 2009, jointly managing production, acquisitions, marketing and distribution alongside fellow president Nancy Utley. With his guidance, Searchlight has established an enviable track record with such releases as “Jackie,” “Brooklyn,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and “The Descendants.” Upcoming releases include “Battle of the Sexes,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and “The Shape of Water.”

Prior to joining Searchlight, Gilula served as president and CEO of Landmark Theatres, which he co-founded in 1974 and grew from one screen to a national chain of more than 140 screens, dominating specialty film exhibition. He spent five years on the board of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners and supervised the expansion and management of ShoWest (now CinemaCon), the world’s largest convention of theater owners. He began his career as a film booker/buyer at UA Theatre Circuit in San Francisco.


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Fox Searchlight's Nancy Utley Recalls Her Early Days in Film Biz

Fox Searchlight's Nancy Utley Recalls Her Early Days in Film Biz

Nancy Utley has been a studio powerhouse for 30 years. She started at 20th Century Fox in 1986, then moved to Fox Searchlight in 1999. She became president of the specialty arm in 2009, overseeing all aspects of the films alongside fellow prez Stephen Gilula. Their box office has been successful, and their awards track record is terrific, including 117 Oscar nominations and best picture wins for “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman.” This season they have a...


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