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Par Classics flags Israel

Hire is Lesher's first since taking over as prexy

Paramount Classics has tapped Amy Israel exec veep of production and acquisitions.

Hire is John Lesher’s first since taking over as prexy of the specialty film label in November. Word is that Lesher is close to making another significant hire in London.

Israel comes to Par Classics directly from the Orphanage, where she served as head of production/producer since 2003. She is credited with having built the Orphanage’s original production division and producing its first feature, “Griffin and Phoenix.” Though involved in film, television and animation, the Orphanage is better known as a high-end visual effects outfit.

Israel’s former boss, the Orphanage’s Scott Stewart, will oversee the company’s production division until a replacement is named. “While we’re sad to see her go, Amy has left the division in great shape,” Stewart said.

Before joining the Orphanage, Israel spent several years working as an independent producer with partner Jason Blum. She co-exec produced “Shall We Dance” for Miramax and produced “Hysterical Blindness” for HBO.

Prior to producing, Israel was co-head and senior veep of acquisitions and co-productions at Miramax. During her eight years there, she is credited with key roles on such films as “The Others, “The Postman,” “Kids,” “Swingers,” and “Sling Blade.”

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