After almost a quarter of a century in global kids and family entertainment space, Toonz Media Group has announced its entry into feature films with the launch of a new division which will be involved in a full spectrum of activities within the group, on its in-house created content, as well as titles from other partners and third party productions.
The global kids and family entertainment major also named Mr. Ariel Veneziano, a veteran entertainment executive, as President Toonz’ feature film division. One of the leading professionals in international distribution, Ariel served as President of Icon Entertainment International where he oversaw sales of the most successful independent film of all time, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.
During his tenure at Alliance Atlantis Communication as Director of Sales and Distribution, he handled international distribution on Michael Moore’s award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine, and America’s most watched television show, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Ariel has also served as President of Gold Valley Films International where he helped arrange partnerships with top theatrical distributors.
“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. 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,” P Jayakumar, Chief Executive Officer of Toonz Media Group commented.
Sharing his vision, Mr. Ariel Veneziano, President of Toonz Feature Film Division said: “Toonz is a highly recognizable brand in the kids and family space, having established relationships with exceptional creators of content. I look forward to helping the group capitalize on the many opportunities in the feature film world, with an initial focus on high end animated movies for the theatrical marketplace.”
Toonz’ new feature film division is in production on the animated feature film titled Little Emma, a co-production between Toonz and Gold Valley Entertainment, China. Directed by Isabella Blanco, the family adventure is about a miniature human girl adopted by animal parents who is yearning to find the truth about her human roots.
Toonz is already involved in animated feature film productions including THE CANTERVILLE GHOST, which is the animated adaptation of the Oscar Wilde classic of the same name. The animated theatrical feature is being co-produced by Toonz along with Robert Chandler’s Space Age Films (whose The Amazing Maurice was just selected at the Sundance Film Festival) and Los Angeles-based Align Pictures US Inc. The feature will be distributed globally by the American film distributors Cinema Management Group (CMG).
The company is preparing to make some key announcements about new feature films en route to Cannes cementing its position in the feature film market.