Paramount unveiled its new division Paramount Vantage at a high-profile reception heretonight.
Vantage willencompass Paramount Classics and will release approximately 8-10 films each year said John Lesher, who heads up both divisions.
The first Vantagerelease will be Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel,which receives its world premiere here on Tuesday and opens in North America on Oct 6.
Vantage's slate includes The Coen Brother's No Country For Old Men, PaulThomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, and Noah Baumbach'suntitled project starring Nicole Kidman, Jack Black and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Mike White's Year Of The Dog and the untitledPastor Brothers project round out the initial slate.
ParamountClassics will focus on smaller foreign-language pick-ups and documentaries. Its existing slate includes Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth - the Sundance acquisition that marked the first under Lesher's tenure - and Craig Brewer's Hustle & Flow follow-up BlackSnake Moan.
"I want to make films that have an impact and are marketed boldly," Lesher said. "Babel suggests what I would like to do with the label. I love the idea of world cinema and it's super-important to me that all of our films are seen worldwide."
Going forward, international releases will mostly be handled by Paramount's new London-based international distribution arm, which officially launches in January 2007.
Lesher said some titles would be fully financed and others wouldinvolve private equity partners. Sean Penn's Into The Wild, forexample, is being co-financed with Bill Pohlad's River RoadEntertainment and private equity and is being sold in selectterritories through Focus Features International.
Both No Country For Old Men and There Will be Blood will be released internationally through Miramax International.
"There's a lot to learn," Lesher added. "What's also super-cool is wehave the chance to shape the company and it's great to hand-pick ateam."