CWM films taps topper

Berenson previously worked on 'Hamilton,' 'Day Care'

HOLLYWOOD — Veteran exec Matt Berenson has come aboard as prexy of Carsey-Werner-Mandabach Films after 2½ years as exec VP of Red Wagon Entertainment.

Berenson fills the slot vacated in March by Carr D’Angleo, who ankled to form Unpainted Pictures with spouse and screenwriter Susan Avallone.

During his stint at Red Wagon, Berenson made “Win a Date With Tad Hamilton” for DreamWorks and produced Revolution/Sony’s “Daddy Day Care” with John Davis. He also sold and helped develop “The Lone Ranger” and “RV” at Sony.

Berenson was also an independent producer with a deal at Davis Entertainment and co-produced “Whatever It Takes” with Paul Schiff. He served as VP at Jersey Films.

“Matt is one of the great ones,” said Caryn Mandabach. “He’s smart, he’s film literate and he gets the big joke.”

CWM Films was formed in late 2002 to co-produce comedies with Paramount via split financing. The sitcom specialists signed a three-year first-look deal with Par, which has been placing more emphasis on comedies as part of its strategy to take more risks creatively and financially.

CWM Films has developed a “Wedding Video” project being written by Steve Mazur and a dance parody project written by Phil Beauman.

Partner Tom Werner told Daily Variety he expects the shingle to move more quickly with an emphasis on moderately priced comedies such as Par’s “Mean Girls” and “School of Rock.”

Berenson said he anticipates CWM Films will become more active and continue to focus on comedies in two areas — emerging star vehicles, and prestige projects from writers and writer-directors.

CWM Films will continue to operate out of the company’s Los Angeles offices.

Berenson plans to hire a creative exec shortly.

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