Paramount Hires Fox Searchlight’s Russell Nelson for Awards Publicity

Nelson ran campaigns for films like “12 Years a Slave” and “The Shape of Water” for 12 years at Searchlight

Last Updated: August 30, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

Paramount Pictures has hired Fox Searchlight’s Russell Nelson to spearhead the studio’s awards campaign, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

Nelson will serve as Paramount’s vice president of awards, overseeing all aspects for awards campaigns. He was at Fox Searchlight for 12 years where he ran campaigns for Best Picture winners “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman” and “The Shape of Water.”

Paramount’s most recent slate includes John Krasinski’s “A Quiet Place,” which grossed $332.6 million at the worldwide box office off a $17 million budget. The studio also recently released “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” which has grossed more than half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.

The news is and isn’t a surprise — many more Fox veterans will depart the studio in pursuit of other jobs as the studio’s new owner, Disney, will seek to eliminate redundancies. What’s bound to inspire questions, however, is that Nelson was a gatekeeper for Fox Searchlight. Disney has widely been painted as enamored with the awards-magnet speciality label, in reports by TheWrap and others.

Deadline first reported the news.