NEW YORK: Columbia Pictures veteran Dennis Higgins has secured top
billing at Miramax, joining as SVP and co-head of publicity.
Higgins will be based in New York, and will work alongside Janet Hill,
who will hold the same title. Hill is based in Los Angeles, and had been
acting department head since the departure of Marcy Granata earlier this
year. Granata had spearheaded the promotion of approximately 35 films a
year for Miramax since 1994.
Higgins will report directly to chairman Harvey Weinstein, and is
expected to begin strategizing Oscar campaigns, for which Miramax is
The company's huge promotion campaign behind Shakespeare in Love in 1999
helped it pick up Oscars for best picture, best screenplay, and best
actress for Gwyneth Paltrow.
Miramax will be pulling out all the stops in the run-up to the Oscars
next year, since 2001 was a poor year for the studio's main release,
Chocolat, which failed to take home an award despite unprecedented
Higgins' main responsibilities for Miramax will be in the theatrical
area, as the company is likely to focus its firepower on its upcoming
slate of movies including Gangs of New York, Serendipity, Iron Monkey,
and Amelie. Other upcoming releases include The Shipping News and In the
Higgins will also supervise a publicity department that includes local
and field promotions, special events, and audiovisual personnel, as well
Higgins has worked at Columbia Pictures for the past 11 years, and was
most recently SVP of publicity. He has also run Columbia's New York
publicity office, and worked at 20th Century Fox and MGM/UA.