Kessel most recently worked as evp production and acquisitions at Overture Films.
He will work closely with Tolmach, the former Columbia Pictures co-head who left the studio last year to transition into a producer role on The Amazing Spider-Man and other projects.
The Matt Tolmach Productions development slate includes Frankenstein, The Slackfi Project and Kitchen Sink.
At Overture, Kessel oversaw production on Let Me In and acquisitions of such films as The Visitor and Sunshine Cleaning.
Prior to Overture Kessel was a partner and production head for seven years at Hart Sharp Entertainment and before that served as vp of acquisitions at Miramax.