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MONTREAL — It was musical-chairs time in the executive suites of the two leading Canuck exhibitors Wednesday, with key changes at Famous Players and Cineplex Odeon Canada.

Michael Kennedy, formerly senior vice president and head film buyer at Cineplex, has ankled his position to join rival Famous Players as exec veep and head film buyer for the Viacom-owned company.

Film biz veteran Tony Cianciotta, most recently president of Vancouver distrib Red Sky Entertainment, has taken over Kennedy’s position at Cineplex as senior VP, film.

Kennedy, who will start work at Famous Players on Monday, will assume the film-buying responsibilities previously held by senior vice president Joe Strebinger, who entered into a consulting agreement with Famous Players in May. Kennedy will report directly to Michael McCartney, the Los Angeles-based executive VP of film programming at Famous Players.

“Our ability to secure the best films available is at the heart of the Famous Players big difference,” said Famous Players prexy John Bailey. “Michael’s extensive experience and relationships will be a great complement to our team and ensure we continue to be the leading film exhibitor in Canada.”

Kennedy worked as a booker and national sales manager at Astral Video/Film Distribution before moving to Norstar Releasing in 1986 as general sales manager. He joined Cineplex Odeon in 1987 as a film buyer and was appointed senior vice-president and head film buyer in 1996.

Cianciotta will be responsible for negotiating and securing agreements for all films exhibited by Cineplex Odeon Canada. Cianciotta began his career in 1965 with the J. Arthur Rank Organization, a company that ultimately became Cineplex Odeon in 1980.