Katz tops prod'n at Film Dept.

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Robert Katz has been named president of production at the Film Department, the new indie finance, production and international sales company (HR 6/28).

Katz will report to CEO Mark Gill and president and COO Neil Sacker and be based in the company's West Hollywood offices.

The Film Department, which has launched with $200 million in initial capital, plans to produce six films per year budgeted from $10 million-$35 million.

Gill and Sacker lauded Katz as "the rare production executive who has strong creative skills and a wealth of knowledge and experience in physically producing quality films at reasonable budgets."

"We're grateful for his efforts in helping to found the company and look forward to building our slate of films together."

Katz most recently was executive vp production at the Yari Film Group, where he oversaw production on 18 films, including "Crash," "The Illusionist" and "The Painted Veil."

Before the Yari Film Group, Katz worked in production on such films as "Seabiscuit" and "One Hour Photo." He started his career in the film industry in 1987 as a location manager and moved up to production manager, associate producer, co-producer, executive producer and producer on a variety of projects.

Most recently, he produced "Slipstream," directed by and starring Anthony Hopkins, and "Blackwater Transit," directed by Tony Kaye and starring Laurence Fishburne, Karl Urban and Aisha Tyler.
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