Paramount Pictures announced the creation of a new specialty division named Paramount Vantage. The label is expected to release approximately 8-10 films annually and will focus on a broad range of titles, from sophisticated films with a strong art-house sensibility, as well as smaller budgeted comedy and horror films.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film Babel, which will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23rd, will be the first release under the new label. Other films expected to be released under the Paramount Vantage label in 2007 include: The Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, Noah Baumbach's Untitled Project starring Nicole Kidman, Jack Black and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mike White's Year of the Dog, and the Untitled Pastor Project.

"We hope that Paramount Vantage will be a strong addition to the vibrant independent film market," said John Lesher, President of Paramount Vantage and Paramount Classics. "Investing in a specialty division so that we can become competitive in this area has been a part of Brad Grey's overall vision for turning around the studio. Vantage will define itself by the quality of the films it releases and the kind of filmmakers who create our slate."

Paramount Classics will remain a label within the specialty division, releasing an existing slate of movies including Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth, on May 24th, and Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan, on September 15th. In 2007 and beyond, Paramount Classics will focus on smaller, review-driven films including foreign-language acquisitions and documentaries.