After almost 25 years serving the global children and family entertainment space Toonz Media Group is moving into features with the launch of a division to be led by industry veteran Ariel Veneziano.
The company will work with in-house and third-party content and Veneziano, who served as president of Icon Entertainment International where he oversaw sales on Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ, expects to make further feature announcements in the run-up to Cannes.
Toonz is in production on Isabella Blanco’s family animated adventure feature Little Emma, which it is co-producing with Gold Valley Entertainment, China. The story follows a miniature girl adopted by animal parents who longs to discover the truth about her human origins.
It is also involved in The Canterville Ghost, the Oscar Wilde adaptation which it co-produces with Robert Chandler’s Space Age Films and Align Pictures US Inc. Cinema Management Group handles worldwide sales.
Veneziano’s previous posts include director of sales and distribution at Alliance Atlantis, and president of Gold Valley Films International.
“Toonz is a highly recognisable brand in the kids and family space, having established relationships with exceptional creators of content,” said Veneziano. “I look forward to helping the group capitalise on the many opportunities in the feature film world, with an initial focus on high-end animated movies for the theatrical marketplace.”
“Having firmly established Toonz as the worldwide leader in animation and kid’s entertainment, I feel this is the right time to launch the feature film division headed by a dynamic leader,” said Toonz Media Group CEO P Jayakumar. “Post-Berlin, Ariel will announce additions to his team along with new projects currently under development. He is tasked with making Toonz a global force in the feature film world.”
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