Former Miramaxacquisition executive Amy Israel is joining Paramount Classics as executivevice president of production and acquisitions. The appointment is one of thefirst made by John Lesher, named president of the Paramount specialty label twomonths ago.

Israel worked atMiramax for eight years during the nineties and was responsible for theacquisition and co-production of films including Kevin Smith's Clerks, Danny Boyle's Trainspotting, Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine, Wong Kar-Wai's Chungking Express, Alejandro Amenabar's The Others and Michael Radford's Il Postino.

More recently sheoperated as a producer on such films as Hysterical Blindness and the US remake of Shall We Dance. Since 2003 she has also been head ofproduction at The Orphanage, a film, TV, animation and high-end VFX company.She recently produced Griffin & Phoenix, starring Amanda Peet and DermotMulroney, for the company.

In a statement,Lesher said that Israel's "extensive background and stellar reputation makesher an ideal choice to help us create a wholly new, dynamic production andacquisition-driven film business."

Orphanageco-founder Scott Stewart will be taking over the reins of his company'sproduction division until a replacement for Israel is found.