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Cinepix Film morphs into Lions Gate Ent.

New parent company also ups exec veep Sackman to prexy

NEW YORK — Cinepix Film Properties has been renamed Lions Gate Films Inc. by its new parent company, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., which also named former CFP exec vice president Jeff Sackman president of Lions Gate Films.

CFP founders Andre Link and John Dunning will retain their positions as CEO and chairman, respectively, of Lions Gate Films.

“We are aggressively building on our base of renowned and respected entertainment companies,” said Frank Giustra, chairman and CEO of Lions Gate Entertainment, which acquired CFP in the summer of 1997. “The name change to Lions Gate Films reflects our ongoing goal of creating a solid brand identity which audiences will come to recognize.”

With offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal, Lions Gate Films is a leading indie producer and distributor of English- and French-language films with budgets between $3 million and $10 million.

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The company is currently in production on four projects — “Johnny Skidmarks” starring Frances McDormand, John Lithgrow and Peter Gallagher; “Vig,” a drama scripted by playwright/screenwriter Paul Hapenny starring Lauren Holly and Timothy Hutton; “Hi-Life” starring Eric Stoltz and Darryl Hannah; and “Dog Park” starring Janeane Garafolo and Natasha Henstridge.

Lions Gate Films has two entries in the dramatic competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — Saul Rubinek’s “Jerry and Tom” and Vincent Gallo’s “Buffalo 66.” The company’s 1998 distribution slate includes “Love and Death on Long Island” and “Junk Mail,” both of which screened at the 1997 Cannes Intl. Film Festival.