Focus Features to be Honored by Point Foundation for Respect and Inclusion of LGBT Community In Its Award-Winning Films

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Company Heads Will Receive Award at Gala April 16 Event in NYC to Benefit Foundation

Point Foundation & Focus Features

Point Foundation honors Focus Features

“The ethos of Focus Features and its films – celebrating diverse experiences, questioning the norm, promoting intellectual curiosity and creative expression – are the same qualities we encourage in our Point Scholars" - Jorge Valencia, Point ED & CEO

Point Foundation(Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, will honor global film company Focus Features on Monday, April 16th at this year’s Point Honors New York gala. Focus, which has made and brought to worldwide audiences such original, Academy Award-winning films as Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain and Gus Van Sant’s Milk, will be accorded the Point Inspiration Award, given to a company or organization that champions respect and inclusion of the LGBT community and operates with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.

Accepting the Point Inspiration Award on April 16 will be Focus Features CEO James Schamus and President Andrew Karpen. The company, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May 2012, has had seven of its movies nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, including most recently the LGBT-themed film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Currently an Academy Award nominee is Christopher Plummer for his role in Mike Mills’ Beginners, Focus’s LGBT-themed comedy/drama. Focus’s newest release, Dee Rees’s Pariah, is currently nominated for multiple Spirit and NAACP Image Awards, and stars Adepero Oduye and Kim Wayans in a story about 17-year-old African-American lesbian coming of age.

“The ethos of Focus Features and its films – celebrating diverse experiences, questioning the norm, promoting intellectual curiosity and creative expression – are the same qualities we encourage in our Point Scholars,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Films like Milk and Pariah speak to the values of diversity and empowerment Focus shares with Point and the LGBT community. It is so important that young people have an opportunity to watch films like these, where maybe they can for the first time find representations of themselves on the screen, and come away awed and inspired.”

Among Focus Features’ other LGBT-themed films have been Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven, starring Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid; François Ozon’s 8 Women, starring Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert; and Pawel Pawlikowski’s My Summer of Love, starring Natalie Press and Emily Blunt. Focus World, the company’s unique digital distribution, recently released the LGBT-themed The Broken Tower, adapted and directed by James Franco.
Prior to co-founding Focus, CEO James Schamus was involved in a number of groundbreaking LGBT films, as Executive Producer of Todd Haynes’s Poison and Tom Kalin’s Swoon; and as Producer and co-screenwriter of Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet.

About Focus Features
Focus Features and Focus Features International (http://www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International in the rest of the world.

To date, the company’s films have grossed over $2 billion worldwide. In the space of only 9 years, 7 Focus films have been nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. Among those were Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain – the company’s all-time top-grossing picture, and the winner of 3 Academy Awards – and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right.

Focus’ celebrated releases have included six more Academy Award winners: Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation; Roman Polanski’s The Pianist; Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener; Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Walter Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries; and Joe Wright’s Atonement.

Focus World, a digital distribution initiative of Focus Features’ multi-platform strategy, presents titles of genuine vision and originality as premiere releases on EST, iVOD, and VOD along with DVD and other formats.

About Point Foundation
Point Foundation (Point) is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit. Point provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT individuals who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Point provides its scholars with the financial ability to attend the nation's foremost higher educational institutions and its donors and mentors with the rare satisfaction of directly investing their resources and time in future generations of leaders. Point Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization.

http://www.pointfoundation.org
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