Lions Gate Productions, a division of Lions Gate Entertainment, has hired Marc Butan, the former president of Ignite Entertainment, as executive vice president of production. Reporting to Michael Paseornek, president of production at Lions Gate, Butan will oversee production of the company's film projects and run its development activities.

Butan will help Lions Gate step up its own development activities; it says that it plans to aggressively pursue scripts, pitches and other source material, focusing on thrillers, actioners, horror movies and character-driven comedies with budgets between $5m and $20m.

Butan's credits at Ignite include Get Over It for Miramax Films and But I'm A Cheerleader which was released domestically by Lions Gate Films.

Lions Gate Productions has recently wrapped principal photography on Monster's Ball starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry, The Wash with Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg and American Psycho II with Mila Kunis.