Lauren Hastie has beenpromoted to theatrical acquisitions and marketing manager at Magna Pacific, oneof the few independent Australian distributors interested in releasingpredominantly mainstream fare into cinemas.

Hastie has been with the company fortwo years and was involved in such recent Australian rights deals as theUS/Canadian romantic comedy Just Friends and the futuristic vampire thrillerPerfect Creature from New Zealand.

She also had a hand in the most recentacquisition, the romantic comedy Because I Said So, Magna Pacific's largesttheatrical title to date.

It stars Diane Keaton as a neurotic mother and isdirected by the Australian-born Gillian Armstrong.

Hastie has worked on thelaunches of films such as Spiderman and The Great Raid for various companies,and she has had exhibition experience via Australian Multiplex Cinemas andHoyts.

The first market she will attend with her new hat on will be the TorontoInternational Film Festival in September, alongside executive chair LeonConingham.

The appointment comes six months after the publicly-listed companyannounced it was going it alone in theatrical distribution; it was previously apartner in Becker Films.

A number of Australian companies have recently jumpedinto the theatrical business from a solid DVD distribution base.

Magna Pacificaims to release a dozen or so films per year in Australia and New Zealand.

Other upcoming titles include It's All Gone Pete Tong, and Deaths Of Ian.