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Jerry Focuses His Sights On Publicity
When Things are Meant to Be
As far as Jerry Rojas can remember, he's always had a passion for the arts and entertainment. "I've always been drawn to the work of great artists in the worlds of music & film, and I knew I had to find a way to work in the industry." Back in 2005, when he first saw film Brokeback Mountain, produced by Focus CEO, James Schamus, it became clear to Jerry that he had a particular love for specialty films. "I realized at that moment that I loved films that moved and challenged audiences." A year later, while working a premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, he met the head of Publicity at Focus Features by coincidence, and she remembered his calm professionalism. That was the beginning of Jerry's journey with Focus Features.
When You Love What You Do
Working at Focus Features means wearing many hats. Every day is unique and dynamic. Publicity is a 24/7 job, especially in this new world of social media where news breaks every minute. Jerry is especially busy during the awards season when he manages the awards activities out of the LA office, acts as the studio's liaison with the HFPA, and helps with the below-the-line campaigns. He also oversees premieres, special events and festival activities for Focus throughout the year. Jerry explains, "At times, it feels like we are running a presidential campaign... the strategy and planning that goes into each film still impresses me."
“I'm very proud to work at a film studio that promotes and accepts diversity and allows filmmakers from each corner of the world to share their stories and show everyone how we're all connected.”
Dreams Come True
One of Jerry's new responsibilities has been to develop and strengthen relationships with potential sponsors and partners to underwrite events, special screenings, and festival activities. He is determined to find ways to promote Focus films by finding partners who value the Focus brand and the Focus moviegoer. Jerry also helps manage the publicity campaigns for below the line talent, including recently Oscar Nominated composers such as Dario Marianelli and Alberto Iglesias. “There's no better feeling than picking up the phone and calling someone you've worked closely with for so many months and letting them know they just received an Academy nomination." He is very happy to work at a company that celebrates independent filmmaking and allows for executives and junior staff to contribute ideas and participate actively in brainstorming sessions about film campaigns.