Lion prod’n duo slides to Col

MGM vets stay in the hunt as part of studio's production team

In the wake of the acquisition of MGM by Sony and a consortium of investors, former Lion execs Elizabeth Cantillon and DeVon Franklin are officially joining the Columbia Pictures production team.

Both execs’ moves were first reported in April (Daily Variety, April 11).

At Sony, Cantillon and Franklin will retain their former titles — exec VP of production and creative exec, respectively — and will oversee the transition of MGM development and library properties. They will report to Col prexys of production Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach.

For the past four years, Cantillon served as exec VP of motion pictures at MGM, where she supervised pics including “Be Cool,” “Good Boy!” and “Uptown Girls” and the upcoming “Into the Blue” and “Yours, Mine and Ours.”

Before joining MGM, she was prexy of production for Mark Johnson Prods. and produced “The Banger Sisters” with Johnson. She came to Johnson after having been exec VP at Turner Pictures and, before that, prexy of Jersey Films.

As an independent producer she produced “Sunset Park” in 1996 and was an exec producer on “Galaxy Quest.” She co-produced the 1989 pic “How I Got Into College” with producer Michael Shamberg.

Cantillon began her entertainment career at Showtime, where, during her four-year stay, she rose to director of development. Projects she supervised include “Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theater” and several cable telepics. She then moved to Embassy Pictures Television as VP of comedy development and oversaw the long-running series “227.”

She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in film theory and criticism.

Franklin began his professional career at Overbrook Entertainment and Edmonds Entertainment before joining MGM as a creative exec. At the studio he worked on such films as “Be Cool” and “Beauty Shop.”

In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Franklin is a Christian minister and motivational speaker. He has traveled throughout North America preaching for various churches and other organizations.

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