Former ParamountClassics co-head Ruth Vitale has joined First Look Studios as president.

Reporting tostudio chief executive officer Henry Winterstern, Vitale will oversee thetheatrical division, working closely with First Look International and FirstLook Home Entertainment.

Vitale's arrivalcomes during a period of ramping-up for the company, which recently brought inKen DuBow as executive vice president of worldwide sales and Andy Gruenberg asexecutive vice president of theatrical distribution.

The company hasalso acquired DEJ Productions in a move that expands its library to nearly 700titles.

First LookStudios' 2006 theatrical slate includes Nick Mastandrea's horror picture TheBreed, John Hillcoat's TheProposition, which willplay at Sundance, and Larry Clark's Wassup Rockers, which will open Slamdance.

"Ruth Vitale isone of the key pieces that complete the assemblage of a world class executiveteam," Winterstern said. "Ruth has been at the forefront of independentproduction and distribution for the past two decades and her experience andknowledge fit perfectly in the achievement our goals."

"To be a partFirst Look as they experience this great deal of growth is very exciting,"Vitale added. "Under Henry's leadership we intend on positioning the company asthe premiere force in independent film."

Vitale served asco-president of Paramount Classics for eight years, overseeing a release slatethat included Hustle And Flow,Mad Hot Ballroom and YouCan Count on Me. Priorto Paramount Classics she served at Fine Line Features.