EXCLUSIVE: As part of the revamp at Focus Features, I’m hearing that London-based international sales arm Focus Features International is likely next to shutter. The news comes three weeks after Deadline revealed the company is closing its New York office and centralizing operations in LA. The timing of FFI’s closing is unclear, believed to be due to certain UK laws that require a consideration period, but I understand this could be official within a few weeks. It is not known for certain whether some staff would be relocated and international sales of Focus films would continue from the U.S. base. Another scenario would see international sales cease entirely, with movies going through parent company Universal.
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FFI, overseen by co-president Alison Thompson, has been a key fixture on the global scene. At Cannes in May a hot title was the Focus Features pic Black Sea starring Jude Law among its films. Other titles on FFI’s recent slate have included the Woody Allen pic Blue Jasmine, the Amy Winehouse documentary from director Asif Kapadia, and Julian Temple’s Marvin Gaye biopic. In Toronto this fall it handled the Toronto Midnight Madness horror pic Oculus from Relativity and Blumhouse Prods.