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Searchlight Pictures Chairmen Nancy Utley, Steve Gilula to Retire

Searchlight veterans Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum will take over

Searchlight Pictures Chairmen Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley will retire after more than two decades at the company, Disney announced on Tuesday.

Searchlight veterans Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, the studio’s longtime heads of production, have both been promoted to president and will jointly run the company. They will report to Disney’s Content Chief Creative Officer Alan Horn and Disney Studios Content Chairman Alan Bergman.

“Thanks to the stewardship and pitch-perfect creative instincts of Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, Searchlight has cemented itself as one of the finest film studios in history, and we commend and thank them for their incredible leadership, especially throughout the integration of Searchlight at Disney,” Bergman and Horn said. “They are leaving the studio in the talented hands of Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, who have been a critical part of Searchlight’s success over many years and we’re confident they will continue to set a course that keeps Searchlight on the industry’s leading edge.”

“Our time at Searchlight has been the kind of career highlight one can only dream of in this business,” Utley and Gilula added. “Over the past 21 years, we’ve had the privilege to build and lead an incredible team, and work with brilliant artists, to take creative risks, champion stories we’re passionate about, and, along the way, make iconic films that will stand the test of time. We’re so proud of how this studio has grown and evolved over the years, and we’re ready to pass the torch to carry on the Searchlight legacy.”

Also announced on Tuesday: Rebecca Kearey will head business operations and international marketing, while creative executives Katie Goodson-Thomas and DanTram Nguyen will continue in their film development and production roles.

Fox Searchlight Pictures was founded in 1994 and has since collected 28 Golden Globe Awards, 49 BAFTA awards and 40 Academy Awards, including four Best Picture wins with “Slumdog Millionaire,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman” and “The Shape of Water.” The studio’s upcoming releases include Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s award-winning “Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” David Bruckner’s  “The Night House,” Michael Showalter’s  “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Scott Cooper’s  “Antlers,” Guillermo del Toro’s  “Nightmare Alley,” Wes Anderson’s  “The French Dispatch” and Taika Waititi’s  “Next Goal Wins.”

The Walt Disney Company purchased Searchlight as part of its 2019 acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

More to come…