Manulis exits Chestnut Hill

This article was corrected on March 28, 1994,. John Bard Manulis will produce “The Basketball Diaries,” an Island Pictures production. The company name was wrong in a story Wednesday about Manulis’ departure from the senior executive ranks at Chestnut Hill Prods.

John Bard Manulis has confirmed that he is ankling as Chestnut Hill Prods. senior veepee of production to set up shop as an independent producer.

He will continue to work with Jeffrey Lurie’s Chestnut Hill on a non-exclusive basis, but will spearhead the development and production of independent pix through his Santa Monica-based Foundation Entertainment.

Manulis’ credits as a producer include Hollywood Pictures’ “Swing Kids” and HBO Showcase’s Cuba Gooding Jr./Moira Kelly/Martha Plimpton-starrer “Daybreak.” He also co-executive produced the Kathleen Turner project “V.I. Warshawski.”

In forming Foundation, Manulis outlined three projects on thefledgling company’s development slate, including the John Olive/Mark Brunet screenplay “Minnesota Moon.”

Foundation also has the Robin Saex/Kelli Pryor screenplay “The Spark” rounding toward production with Saex attached as director.

The company has also recentlyacquired rights to Robert Franklin Leslie’s novella “In the Shadow of a Rainbow,” which has “Earth and the American Dream” helmer Bill Couturie attached as director.

“Moon” has Norman Jewison attached as executive producer and Chris Cook attached as co-producer. The project, originally a one-act play, is currently out to casting. Manulis said the goal is to have “Moon” in production this summer.

The project is an example of Manulis’ theater background translating to film. He was originally a director and casting director with New York’s Off Broadway Circle Repertory Co., and continues to be active in the legit scene.

Most recently, he produced the Mary McDonnell/Malcolm-Jamal Warner stage production “Three Ways Home” at the Astor Place Theater in New York.

Manulis’ departure follows the greenlight on Chestnut Hill’s production of the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “Basketball Diaries,” which is in production in New York City.

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