Focus Features Hires Jason Cassidy as President of Marketing

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Focus Features announced Friday that it has hired former Open Road Films chief marketing officer Jason Cassidy as its new president of marketing.

Cassidy is a 20-year veteran in the art-house film marketplace, most recently leading the Oscar campaign for Open Road’s Best Picture winner “Spotlight.” He replaces Christine Birch, who left the Comcast-owned arthouse label last spring with the departure of CEO Peter Schlessel.

Cassidy will report to Focus Features’ current chairman Peter Kujawski, and work closely with Focus President Robert Walak and Chief Operating Officer Abhijay Prakash.

During his career, he has led more than 100 marketing campaigns resulting in more than $1.8 billion at the domestic box office.

Prior to Open Road, Cassidy ran the Marketing department at Miramax Films, where he spearheaded campaigns for almost one hundred movies during his long tenure.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jason to Focus during such an exciting time for the studio,” Kujawski, Prakash and Walak said in a joint statement.  “Jason is a well-respected marketing executive and his passion for engaging worldwide audiences with innovative storytelling makes him the ideal leader for our world-class marketing team. We look forward to his guidance as we grow our business and continue to champion high-quality, diverse filmmaking in the specialty marketplace.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled to join the tremendously talented team at Focus. With a slate from some of the most extraordinary filmmakers of our time, it’s an exciting time there,” Cassidy added.  “I couldn’t be happier to help Donna, Peter, Abhijay and Robert strengthen Focus’s position as a leading global distributor of specialty films.”

Focus is currently in the thick of the Oscar season, handling such awards contenders as the dramas “Loving,” Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” Liam Neeson starrer “A Monster Calls” and the animated “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

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