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XYZ Films Ups James Emanuel Shapiro To President Of Domestic Distribution; Alex Williams Also Promoted

EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of EFM 2024, XYZ Films has promoted James Emanuel Shapiro to President of Domestic Distribution, upping Alex Williams to Sr. Manager, Acquisitions and Development.

Shapiro, formerly the Executive Vice President of U.S. Distribution, reports to XYZ CEO Nick Spicer and Partner Nate Bolotin. The promotions come following XYZ’s recent hiring of Celine Lin for the role of Senior VP of International Sales.

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XYZ launched its domestic distribution arm in 2021 and has since then released films from Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (Something in the Dirt), Nic Cassavetes (God Is a Bullet) and Michelle Garza (Huesera: The Bone Woman).

Said the Partners at XYZ in a joint statement, “These are well deserved promotions and we couldn’t be happier for James and Alex. James has done a terrific job launching the division, with strong support from Alex, and we’re excited about our upcoming slate.”

Prior to his time at XYZ Films, Shapiro served as COO of both Drafthouse Films and Neon, helping to both esteemed distribution companies from the ground up. Previously, he’s worked on Academy Awards campaigns for films like Bullhead, The Act of Killing, The Look of Silence and I, Tonya. He also started the analytics department and helped build the booking department at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Williams began his career as an intern at XYZ before joining the creative team in 2018. In 2021, he was promoted to Manager of Acquisitions & Development, working across XYZ’s production and distribution divisions. Born and raised in Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in Radio-Television-Film in 2014.

Founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian, indie studio XYZ Films is coming off the Sundance premieres of its Netflix-acquired documentary Skywalkers: A Love Story and horror comedy Krazy House starring Alicia Silverstone and Nick Frost. Before the end of the festival, the former title was swooped on by Netflix.

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