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Goldstein to spearhead production efforts

HBO Films is ramping up its theatrical production efforts, hiring veteran Miramax producer Julie Goldstein as a senior veep and Gotham point person.

While the division has maintained a small Gotham office, the move creates the highest-ranking exec the company has in the city.

HBO Films topper Colin Callender told Daily Variety that the shingle will be “significantly increasing our production of theatrical movies,” a mission Goldstein will oversee.

A longtime vet of Miramax, Goldstein counts “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago,” “Finding Neverland” and “Serendipity” among her many credits.

Goldstein has spent the last two years as an independent producer, working on HBO Films’ “Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel” and the HBO Films and BBC co-production “Longford,” among others.

Callender said one of Goldstein’s mandates would be to increase development for the shingle. “We want to be proactive in initiating projects rather than finding scripts that are out there in the marketplace,” he said.

Other staff members could be added, Callender said.

Decision to ramp up production is motivated in part by the ascendance of Gotham-based Picturehouse, the Bob Berney-run distribution outlet founded in 2005 that is now the theatrical pipeline for HBO Films titles.

HBO Films produced “Starter for Ten,” “The Half Life of Timofey Berezin” and Sundance buzz pic “Rocket Science,” all of which will be distribbed to theaters this year by Picturehouse.

In addition to her development role, Goldstein will serve as HBO Films’ liaison with Picturehouse.

Callender added that it was too soon to know the type or quantity of projects Goldstein would work on, but noted that Jeffrey Blitz’s poignant account of a boy who stutters, in “Rocket Science,” was a good template. “It’s emblematic of the areas we’re going to be looking at: exciting new directors with new voices who are working in a very contemporary idiom.”

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