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New Line will line up kidpix

Division unveils new line of 'smart' youth-oriented fare

This article was corrected on July 31, 2002.

NEW YORK — New Line Cinema likes kids, too.

The company has launched a division to make films targeted at young audiences, with vet exec Mark Kaufman on board to run the show.

New Line has unveiled an initial slate of four pics to be made under the division, including “Secondhand Lines,” a previously announced pic to star Haley Joel Osment, Michael Caine and Robert Duvall.

“Mark and I want to make the kinds of films that we, like most movie junkies, fell in love with at an early age,” said prexy of production Toby Emmerich. “We hope to draw on the type of films that have been successful for New Line — movies that appeal to children but are smart and entertaining and are also films that appeal to older audiences.”

Kaufman, who joined New Line in 1992 and serves as veep of production and senior veep of music affairs, is also a writer.

His produced credits include the TV movies “Toothless,” starring Kirstie Alley and Lynn Redgrave, and “The Dogwalker” (aka “A Walk in the Park”), starring Jane Krakowski and George Eads, both of which aired on ABC Family.

His script “Keys to the Girls’ Locker Room” is in development at New Line. He will continue to oversee the music licensing department along with his production duties.

The first kidpic to move forward is “Secondhand Lines,” penned and to be directed by Tim McCanlies (“The Iron Giant”). Kaufman will oversee the film along with VP of creative affairs Janis Rothbard Chaskin and creative exec Cale Boyter.

David Kirschner (“Frailty”) and Digital Domain Prods. chairman and CEO Scott Ross will produce with New Line. The film tells the story of a young boy sent to live with his two reluctant and aging uncles, who prove to be the best guardians the boy has ever known.

Slacker tale

Company will also make “Maggie,” a comedy pitched by Modern Humorist’s editors John Aboud and Michael Colton. Story centers on a 20-year-old slacker who unknowingly enlists the services of a Mary Poppins-type nanny in her 60s.

Using unconventional methods, the nanny manages to help the slacker turn his troubled life around. Kaufman oversees this pic with veep Renee Witt and story editor Dori Howard.

Also lined up at the division is the teen music drama “Heart of Summer,” to be produced by Sara Risher through ChickFlicks, with director Jim Fall (“Trick”) on board to direct from a script by first-time scribe Sam Shriver.

Based on a story idea from Mitch Rotter, New Line’s veep of soundtracks and music development, “Heart” follows a small-town teen to Gotham, where she spends the summer attending a music school and learning to believe in her talent and dreams. Kaufman shepherds the pic with exec veep Lynn Harris.

Car-racing comedy “Debutante,” from writers Gregg Rossen and Brian Sawyer, centers on a twentysomething debutante who inherits a losing race car team only to become the lead driver and turn the team’s fortunes around. Pic will be produced by Urban Entertainment. Kaufman will oversee the project along with production exec Stephanie Striegel.

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