Tom Ortenberg to join Weinstein Co.

Veteran will serve as president of theatrical films

Lionsgate veteran Tom Ortenberg is leaving the mini-major to join the Weinstein Co., where he will serve as president of theatrical films.

The newly created position will involve such areas as distribution, acquisition, marketing and publicity, with Ortenberg working closely with Harvey and Bob Weinstein on all TWC and Dimension releases. He begins next week and will remain based in Los Angeles.

"I'm joining the Weinstein Co. at an opportune time," Ortenberg said. "We'll be working on awards contenders and genre films and everything in between."

The Weinsteins and Ortenberg have a history; TWC and Lionsgate partnered on the release of Michael Moore films including "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko" and on the Kevin Smith pic "Dogma."

"It's been a dream of mine for years to work with Harvey and Bob," Ortenberg said.

Under Ortenberg -- who founded Lionsgate's Los Angeles office 12 years ago and was president of theatrical films -- Lionsgate released a host of moneymaking franchises including "Saw" and such award winners as "Crash" and "Monster's Ball." Lionsgate co-COO Joe Drake said he and Ortenberg "sat down and made the decision together" on the exec's role.

The Weinsteins touted Ortenberg's "instincts, wide knowledge of all parts of the industry and impeccable track record."