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Avnet/Kerner taps Neesan senior veep

Prod'n, development exec to help find 'tentpole' films

Paul Neesan has been named senior veep of production and development at Jon Avnet and Jordan Kerner’s Disney-based the Avnet/Kerner Co.

Neesan last worked for Universal-based Mostow/Lieberman Prods., where he supervised such projects as “Mexicali,” written and directed by Roger Avery and headed for production Oct. 1 via Destination Films. He also supervised Jonathan Mostow’s remake of “Seconds” for Paramount.

“Paul will be an important addition to the producing side of Avnet/Kerner,” Kerner said. “This is critical in the finding and producing of ‘tentpole’ films for Disney as well as (other films) anywhere on a budget.”

Added Avnet: “Anybody who survived working at Universal and for Hal Liberman will be a welcome addition to our company. We welcome Paul and hope his jump shot stays steady.”

Neesan said he was “honored to have been chosen to work with producers of Jordan’s and Jon’s stature. My learning curve is going to sky-rocket under their guidance.”

Neesan began his career in 1994 at David Entertainment, where he co-produced the Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan starrer “Courage Under Fire,” helmed by Ed Zwick. At Davis, he also helped develop “Dr. Doolitle,” starring Eddie Murphy.

From 1995-97, Neesan worked under then-Universal prexy Lieberman as veep of production. During that time, he supervised production on “Dante’s Peak” starring Pierce Brosnan.