Rainmaker Entertainment Inc. announced today that CEO Warren Franklin has left the company. His responsibilities will be assumed by Catherine Winder, president and executive producer for the Vancouver-based CG animation studio. The company will take a $1 million charge on its fourth-quarter earnings to reflect the departure.

The studio said that Franklin had been key to integrating Mainframe Entertainment following its acquisition in 2006, and that it now was well positioned for its initiatives as a brand development studio.

Rainmaker currently is working on several DVDs based on Mattel characters and a slate of other productions that include shorts and game cinematics and trailers. It additionally lists Lionsgate, Sony, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and MTV among its clients.

In making the announcement, Tim McElvaine, chairman of the board, stated: “On behalf of the Board, we wish Warren well in his future endeavors. We are confident in the continued success of Rainmaker Entertainment under the leadership of president and executive producer Catherine Winder who over the past two years has done a fantastic job in transforming the company into a creatively focused cost-effective studio.”

Meanwhile, the $50 million lawsuit filed by Tony Leech (co-director and co-writer of Hoodwinked!) and Brian Inerfeld against The Weinstein Company over Escape from Planet Earth (pictured), which names Rainmaker Entertainment, is still wending its way through the courts. The plaintiffs basically accuse The Weinstein Co. of sabotaging the production in the detailed complaint, which can be read here [PDF].

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