Donna Gigliotti and longtime film development executive Renee Witt have joined New York-based Levantine Films.

Gigliotti will assume the newly created role of president and Witt vice-president at the finance, development and production company.

Levantine Films aims to develop, fully finance and produce character-driven films in the $15-30m range in the vein of The Reader, The Notebook andTwo Lovers.

The company, backed by Texas-based investor Crest Investments, was established in 2009 and served as executive producer on Cherien Dabis’ Amreeka.

Gigliotti won the best picture Oscar in 1998 for Shakespeare In Love and her credits include Silver Linings Playbook and The Reader.

She has served as president of production at The Weinstein Company, evp of production at Miramax Films, and president of production at USA Films.

Witt begin her career at William Morris and transitioned into development and production where she has spent the last 16 years scouting the New York and European publishing communities for feature properties. 

Her acquisitions include About A Boy, A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Notebook and Silver Lining Playbook.

She served close to a decade at New Line Cinema, where she rose to vice-president of development and production, and was svp at Laura Ziskin Productions and evp of development and production at The Weinstein Company.