Peter Lawson Joins Open Road Films’ Acquisitions Team Pre-Sundance

He previously worked at the Weinstein Company and Miramax

Peter Lawson has joined Open Road Films in the newly created position of executive VP of production and acquisitions, the company announced Monday.

Lawson joins Open Road Films from Thunder Road, where he was president of production for two years.  Prior to joining Thunder Road, he was executive VP of acquisitions and co-productions at The Weinstein Company.

“Peter’s great taste and depth of expertise in the acquisitions arena is unparalleled,” said Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg.  “As our business evolves and we continue to acquire projects in the script and pre-production phases, Peter’s production savvy will be a tremendous asset to the entire team at Open Road.”

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Ben Cotner, who served as Open Road’s senior VP of acquisitions since the company’s inception, recently left his post to focus on his budding filmmaking career. Cotner is the co-director of the documentary “The Case Against 8, “which was acquired by HBO and will screen in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Under his tenure at Thunder Road, Lawson executive produced the just-wrapped New York City action-thriller “John Wick” starring Keanu Reeves. He set up remakes for the French gangster film “Gang Story” and the French cop thriller “36.” He also brought in a project about Marie Colvin, which Arash Amel adapted from Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article.

At TWC, Lawson oversaw a diverse slate of award-winning and critically acclaimed films including John Hillcoat’s “Lawless,” Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine” and John Wells’ “The Company Men,” as well as documentaries “Bully,” “Undefeated” and “The Tillman Story.”

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Lawson previously headed up the acquisitions team at Miramax and was responsible for acquiring such films as “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”

Prior to Miramax, Lawson spent five years as VP of acquisitions at First Look Pictures, where he acquired John Hillcoat’s “The Proposition” and Andrew Dominik’s “Chopper.”