Paramount Hires Fox Searchlight’s Russell Nelson To Run Awards Campaigns

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline hears that Paramount has tapped Russell Nelson as their Vice President of Awards.

Russell joins Paramount following 12 years at Fox Searchlight, where he worked on campaigns for 14 Academy Award Best Picture nominees including Best Picture winners Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), and The Shape of Water. 

In the new role, Russell will oversee all aspects of awards campaigns for Paramount titles, and work in conjunction with Tim Menke, who handles HFPA for the International Publicity team.

In regards to Paramount’s slate this year, A Quiet Place immediately generated heat out of its SXSW world premiere continuing on to make $332.6M at the global box office off a $17M production cost. Among live-action original IP properties at the box office, it’s the highest grossing title since Warner Bros.’ Gravity. A Quiet Place director John Krasinski is already writing a sequel which the studio dated yesterday for May 15, 2020. Paramount also had an older-skewing sleeper in the Diane Keaton-Jane Fonda-Mary Steenburgen-Candice Bergen comedy Book Club which made close to $70M stateside. Paramount also has great below-the-line work in such films as their half billion-plus grossing hit Mission: Impossible – Fallout and the upcoming Bumblebee.

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