EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents of Production for Film and Television Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum have set Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe’s Element Pictures to a first-look production deal for feature films. Deal comes as the duo’s latest film, the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed The Favourite, opens the New York Film Festival Friday evening. The film stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, and is set for release by Searchlight in North America on November 23. It opens New Year’s Day in the UK.

Element Pictures produced the film with Ceci Dempsey of Scarlet Films, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos for Searchlight, Film4, and Waypoint Entertainment. It was a challenge to make, and that included a hiatus when Stone and Colman left to fulfill other series and film obligations, and then returned. Through it all, Searchlight’s Greenfield and Greenbaum were supportive enough that the Element partners wanted a more permanent arrangement in which Searchlight will get first look at films generated through Element, which is based in Dublin and London. The Favourite is the first film that Element set at Searchlight, run by Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley.

The duo’s recent films have included the current festival favorite Rosie, which they exec produced, the Lenny Abrahamson-directed Oscar winner Room with Brie Larson, the Sebastian Lelio-directed Disobedience with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed The Killing Of A Sacred Deer with Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, and the Lanthimos-directed The Lobster, which starred Farrell and Weisz.

Said Greenbaum and Greenfield, “We have loved working with Ed and Andrew on The Favourite. They are brilliant producers who have deep relationships with some of the most unique and important directorial voices in the world. We enter this partnership with a shared commitment to bringing ground-breaking, ambitious works to the screen.”

Said Guiney and Lowe, “David and Matthew and the team at Searchlight are wonderful collaborators; they have great taste, are incisive, astute and very supportive. Our experience working together on The Favourite has demonstrated that we have a shared sensibility and a strong ambition to make truly distinctive and outstanding work together.“