A global pandemic isn’t stopping Gaumont from making two key hires in the kids and family space. Cyrial Le Pesant (pictured left) joined the company this month as the new head of animation and family for Gaumont Animation in Paris. The company has also tapped Karen Vermeulen (pictured right), who left her role as head of global content strategy and co-production at Cloudco Entertainment, to be the SVP of global co-production, financing and business development at Gaumont.
Based in Paris, Le Pesant will report to Nicolas Atlan, president of animation and family for Gaumont Animation. Le Pesant will work with with the animation and family teams in the US and UK to source IPs, co-productions, development and production. His primary focus will be on running the Paris studio, with all staff members there reporting directly to him. Prior to the move to Gaumont, Le Pesant served as CEO and producer at the studio he co-founded, Knightworks.
Vermeulen, meanwhile, will join Gaumont in August in its London offices. She will work closely with Terry Kalagian (SVP of creative development, animation and family) and her own team to handle the funding models and partners needed for Gaumont’s current development slate. She will also be looking for new co-pro projects and future opportunities. VP of creative development Courtney Arumugam will report to Vermeulen and continue developing and producing in the UK.
Before joining Gaumont, Vermeulen was the head of global content strategy and co-production, as well as the managing director of the UK office of Cloudco Entertainment. She oversaw the financing and distribution and served as an executive producer on several projects, such as Care Bears-Unlock the Magic, Tinpo and Holly Hobbie.
Gaumont has been building up its kids slate with several celebrity-fronted series recently, including Do, Re, & Mi starring Kristen Bell (Frozen) for Amazon Prime Video and animated feature High in the Clouds for Netflix (with Paul McCartney).