Robert Walak was appointed President of Focus Features in February 2016. Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and is a premier label with a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers.
Based in London, Mr. Walak was previously Co-Managing Director of Universal Pictures International Productions (UPIP), which was since absorbed into Focus’ operations. At UPIP, he worked on internationally oriented acquisitions, productions, and local-language product for Universal.
Prior to joining Universal, he spent over two years as Managing Director Europe/President Production, Acquisitions and Television at The Weinstein Company (TWC). While at TWC, he effected a host of acquisitions including Todd Haynes’ Carol, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, Paul King’s Paddington, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Garth Davis’ Lion, and Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold, on which he was an executive producer. Mr. Walak was a major force behind TWC’s move into scripted television and was an executive producer on its epic miniseries collaboration with the BBC, War and Peace, directed by Tom Harper.
He was previously Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Production at Alliance Films/Momentum Pictures, which was acquired by eOne in 2013, shepherding projects for acquisition and co-financing/production for the U.K./Spain/Canada. Among these were Tom Hooper’s Best Picture Academy Award winner The King’s Speech, James Watkins’ The Woman in Black, Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the Twilight franchise. He was an executive producer on Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now, John McDonagh’s Calvary, and Steve McQueen’s Shame. Earlier in his career, he worked in business development at Endemol and was a producer at MTV Europe.
Mr. Walak holds a Masters in Film & Television from the University of Amsterdam.