Independent animation distributor’s current slate of Oscar hopefuls includes ‘My Life as a Zucchini,’ ‘Miss Hokusai,’ ‘April and the Extraordinary World,’ ‘Phantom Boy’ and ‘Mune.’
Independent animation distributor GKIDS has promoted senior VP of distribution David Jesteadt to the role of president, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.
“Dave has been my partner since GKIDS was a startup and we worked elbow to elbow in an 8’x12’ office,” GKIDS founder and CEO Eric Beckman reportedly said in a statement on Wednesday. “He has been a crucial component of the company’s success to date. As much as anything, this new title is merely an acknowledgment of the role he is already serving -- and I look forward to Dave’s continued leadership and innovative thinking as the company looks to grow in exciting new directions over the coming years.”
Jesteadt joined GKIDS in 2007. Since then, the studio has received eight Academy Award nominations in the best animated feature category for animated features including The Secret of Kells and Ernest and Celestine. This season, the company’s animated feature awards hopefuls include My Life as a Zucchini (also the Swiss foreign-language Oscar submission), Miss Hokusai, April and the Extraordinary World, Phantom Boy and Mune.
The studio has also produced English-language versions of some of its foreign language titles. Most recently, GKIDS presented nationwide rereleases of Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.
Jesteadt’s new role comes as GKIDS looks towards a 2017 release slate that includes My Life as a Zucchini, American comedy My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, featuring the voices of Jason Schwartzman and Lena Dunham, and The Breadwinner from Cartoon Saloon (Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells), which is executive produced by Angelina Jolie as well as Beckman and Jesteadt.