James Schamus

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James Schamus
Neil Grabowsky-Indignation-TTL 9070 (26999563955) (cropped).jpg
Schamus at the Monclair Film Festival, 2016
Born James Allan Schamus[1]
(1959-09-07) September 7, 1959 (age 57)[2]
Detroit, Michigan
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Producer, Screenwriter, Director
Spouse(s) Nancy Kricorian (2 children)

James Allan Schamus (born September 7, 1959) is an American award-winning screenwriter, co-founder of Good Machine production company, and the CEO of Focus Features, the motion picture production, financing, and worldwide distribution company, until its merging with FilmDistrict.

Life and career[edit]

Schamus was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Clarita (Gershowitz) Karlin and Julian John Schamus, and was raised in Los Angeles. He is married to writer Nancy Kricorian, with whom he has two children.[3]

His output includes writing or co-writing The Ice Storm, Eat, Drink, Man, Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (all directed by Ang Lee), and producing Brokeback Mountain and the upcoming Alone in Berlin. At Focus he oversaw the production and distribution of Lost in Translation, Milk, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Coraline, The Kids Are All Right. He is Professor of Professional Practice in Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches film history and theory. He has also taught at Yale University and at Rutgers University. He is the author of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Gertrud: The Moving Word, published by the University of Washington Press. He earned his BA, MA, and Ph.D. in English from University of California, Berkeley.[4]

Schamus made his feature directorial debut with Indignation, an adaptation of Philip Roth's novel of the same name. Schamus also wrote the script for the film, which stars Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts, and is the story of a Jewish student at an Ohio college in 1951.[5] The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, and was theatrically released by Roadside Attractions on July 29, 2016.[6]

Schamus participates as a member of the Jury for the NYICFF, a local New York City Film Festival dedicated to screening films for children between the ages of 3 and 18.[7] He was president of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.[8]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

BAFTA Awards[edit]

Cannes Film Festival[edit]

Independent Spirit Awards[edit]

Golden Globes[edit]

Writers Guild of America Awards[edit]

Career Recognition and Honors[edit]



  • Taking Woodstock. New York: Newmarket Press, 2009. Screenplay and Introduction.
  • Carl Theodor Dryer’s Gertrud: The Moving Word. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008.
  • Lust, Caution. New York: Pantheon, 2007. Screenplay (with Wang Hui-Ling) and Introduction.
  • The Hulk. New York: Newmarket Press, 2003. Screenplay and Introduction.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Portrait of the Ang Lee Film. New York: Newmarket Press, 2000. Screenplay (with Wang Hui-Ling) and Notes.
  • Ride With the Devil. London: Faber & Faber, 1999. Screenplay, Introduction, and Notes.
  • The Ice Storm. New York: Newmarket Press, 1997. Screenplay, Introduction, and Notes.
  • Two Films By Ang Lee: "Eat Drink Man Woman" and "The Wedding Banquet". New York: The Overlook Press, 1994. Introduction and Screenplays (with Ang Lee, Neal Peng, and Wang Hui-Ling).

Essays and Articles[edit]

Profiles and Interviews[edit]

Film credits[edit]


  1. ^ IMDB Biography Page, retrieved August 22nd, 2016
  2. ^ IMDB Biography Page, retrieved August 22nd, 2016
  3. ^ "James Schamus". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  4. ^ Cal Alumni Association
  5. ^ "James Schamus Directorial Debut Indignation Acquired By Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (March 24, 2016). "Logan Lerman's 'Indignation' Gets July Release". Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  7. ^ "NYICFF Jury". Gkids.com. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  8. ^ "Berlinale 2014: International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 2013-12-31. 
  9. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Ice Storm". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  10. ^ Germain, David (March 4, 2006). "'Brokeback' named best independent film". Associated Press (via USA Today). Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Glaister, Dan (January 17, 2006). "'Brokeback Mountain rides high at the Globes'". The Guardian. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "ShowEast to honor James Schamus with Bingham Ray Award | Film Journal International". www.filmjournal.com. Retrieved 2016-07-19. 
  13. ^ "James Schamus to Receive 2014 Outfest Achievement Award". Outfest. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Three Schools Honor Faculty, Staff and Public Figures". Columbia University. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ New York Times article on this film series
  16. ^ Indignation's IMDB profile

External links[edit]