It's been slightly more than a year since Focus Features abruptly fired CEO James Schamus, a surprising move given how often he'd been hailed as an indie film pioneer. While at Focus he helmed films like "Brokeback Mountain," "Lost in Translation" and "The Kids Are Alright," leading the likes of Sean Penn to lament his departure -- Penn said that the film exec's "only liability may have been good taste" -- as well as the state of the independent film market.
But according to Schamus in a HuffPost Live interview on Monday, the future of indies is hardly in jeopardy, and it's time for film buffs to stop mourning his exit.
"My departure from Focus -- voluntarily embraced but maybe involuntary in the moment -- indicated to a lot of people: There goes the end of independent art house film, etcetera, etcetera," he recalled. "Such is not the case."
While he joked that it was "a disaster for the culture at large," he understood the choice to replace him.
"It's business as usual," he said. "Somebody decided upstairs to give a better shot to the resources by handing the company over to folks who are more oriented towards commercial movies -- horror movies, teen comedies, stuff like that."
"But they're still doing good movies," he added, naming the highly-anticipated "The Theory Of Everything" as an example.
Still, it was not without nostalgia that he reminisced about his time at Focus.
"We really had a lot of fun. We made money, we made great movies," he recounted. "Our last one was 'Dallas Buyers Club,'" which went on to win three Oscars.
James Schamus' work can be seen in the "We The Economy," a compilation of shorts, out across VOD platforms on Oct. 21.
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