Jon Amiel set to direct heist film

Producer Paul Schiff is joining forces with year-old Hollywood Studios Intl. Films in a producing deal, launching with the heist film “Masterwork,” with Jon Amiel (“Entrapment”) attached to direct.

HSI chairman-CEO Steven Saxton said the comprehensive deal includes bringing in material and projects through Paul Schiff Prods. and coming aboard HSI projects already in the pipeline.

Schiff has more than two dozen producing credits, including “Rushmore,” “Maid in Manhattan,” “Solitary Man,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “Walking Tall,” “The Vanishing” and both “Young Guns” pics.

Schiff and Tai Duncan are producing “Masterwork.” Script by Marc Gottleib (“Joust”) centers on an art thief planning his perfect heist — his own masterwork — in the newest and most secure museum in the world, the new Louvre Abu Dhabi. But the spurned woman who knows him better than anybody and the Interpol agent who has made it his life’s work to catch him launch their own plan to bring him down while preventing the theft of the most famous painting in the world: the Mona Lisa.

“The beauty of the deal is that I will be working on HSI’s slate at a macro/strategic level and also focusing on select projects as a producer to help ensure that the production process is well managed and designed to foster a healthy, creative environment for filmmakers,” Schiff said.

Schiff will work closely with HSI Films prexy Eric Christenson as well as the Artist Intl. team led by Joel Newton and Dave Brown.

“As we gear up for what we believe will be a major growth year for the company, we’re entrusting Paul to build the foundation of our ambitious film slate,” Saxton said. “Paul’s track record speaks for itself.”

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