Mandalay gears up for indies

New division will finance specialty films

Mandalay Entertainment is spinning off a new division to finance indie films.

Celine Rattray is leaving Plum Pictures to head up the new venture, dubbed Mandalay Vision. In her new post as president, Rattray will begin staffing up the Gotham-based offices with production and financing executives.

Flush with its own coin, Mandalay Entertainment has a long history in the film financing, production and international distribution sphere. Mandalay Vision will focus its efforts on developing and producing features with budgets up to $16 million.

Rattray will report to Mandalay board members Peter Guber, Paul Schaeffer, Cathy Schulman and Peter Strauss.

As a partner in Plum Pictures, Rattray has been a regular on the festival circuit and has produced such pics as “New York, I Love You,” “Afterlife,” “The Winning Season,” “Diminished Capacity,” “Birds of America,” “Grace Is Gone,” “Dedication” and “Lonesome Jim.”

Rattray has earned a reputation for raising and delivering financing steadily despite the economic downturn as well as fewer distribution opportunities for indie pictures.

Mandalay Vision’s initial film slate includes “Salvation Boulevard,” an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Larry Beinhart (“Wag the Dog”) that Mandalay Pictures optioned in 2009. George Ratliff will direct from a script he penned with Douglas Stone. Among slate titles are “The Kids Are All Right,” directed by Lisa Cholodenko, starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo and premiering at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival; and the Larysa Kondracki-helmed drama “The Whistleblower,” starring Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave and David Strathairn.

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