Busy Mandate firms up exec ranks

Company changes for former Senator's staffers

Mandate Pictures, formerly Senator Intl., is beefing up its ranks, announcing a slew of hirings and promotions associated with its buyout from Senator Entertainment last January.

Since then, the shingle has had an influx of new business, including three major film deals with Sony via a multi-picture distribution deal with the studio.

Under prexy Joe Drake the company is continuing its production slate, which includes five pics scheduled for the next year.

Leading the shuffle is Rob McEntegart, who’s been promoted to exec VP of business affairs. McEntegart will oversee rights and talent deals for development and production, as well as select distribution deals.

Prior to joining Mandate, McEntegart was senior VP of business affairs for Intermedia Films, where his projects included “The Quiet American,” “K-19: The Widowmaker” and “The Life of David Gale.”

Joining Mandate’s business and legal affairs department are industry vets John Biondo, who’s been hired as VP, business and legal affairs, and Meredith Grindlinger, who’s been brought on as director of business and legal affairs.

Biondo was VP of business and legal affairs for Infinity Media.

Grindlinger comes from the Yari Film Group, where she was counsel, business and legal affairs.

On Mandate’s production and development side, Kelli Konop has been hired as VP of physical production and Matthew Milam has been promoted to story editor.

Konop previously worked as a producer. Her credits include “Bring It on Again,” Universal’s “Beethoven’s 3rd and 4th” and “The Breed” for Sony Screen Gems.

Milam previously was exec assistant to Mandate’s head of production Nathan Kahane.

The staffing changes come as Mandate is moving forward on films such as Marc Forster’s “Stranger Than Fiction,” starring Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Thorough Ghost House Pictures, Mandate’s jointly owned label with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, is producing Sebastian Gutierrez’s “Rise,” starring Lucy Liu; an untitled horror project directed by brothers Danny and Oxide Pang; and Takashi Shimizu’s “The Grudge 2.”

Mandate is led by Drake, Kahane and chief financial officer Brian Goldsmith.