Paramount Classics president John Lesher announced the appointment of Amy Israel as executive vice president of production and acquisitions at the studio's specialty film label. Israel joins Paramount Classics from The Orphanage, a film, TV, animation VFX company, where she has served as head of production and as a producer since 2003. She recently produced "Griffin & Phoenix," directed by Ed Stone. Israel recently co-executive produced "Shall We Dance" for Miramax Films, directed by Peter Chelsom and "Hysterical Blindness" for HBO, directed by Mira Nair. Prior to becoming a producer, Israel was co-head and senior vice president of the acquisitions and co-production department at Miramax Films where she worked for eight years (1992-2000). "Amy's extensive background and stellar reputation makes her an ideal choice to help us create a wholly new, dynamic production and acquisition-driven film business," Lesher said in a statement. "Her expertise as a producer, and her involvement in some of the most successful independent films of the last decade speak volumes about her leadership and the direction we want to take our new specialty film label." [Brian Brooks]