Award Winning Xilam Animation Appoints Former-Disney Executive Caterina Gonnelli as Executive Vice President of Content
Former-Disney exec joining on 13 January to work across company’s growing slate
Award-winning French animation studio Xilam Animation has appointed Caterina Gonnelli, Disney’s former Director of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for the Disney Channels EMEA, as EVP, Content for the company’s rapidly growing slate of projects. Joining the company on Monday 13 January, Gonnelli will work alongside Xilam’s EVP, Content Jean Brune to oversee all editorial aspects of Xilam’s content and will be responsible for increasing the company’s slate, as well as conducting development to address the market needs. Caterina’s expertise of the fast-changing worldwide market of kids’ content will help Xilam strengthen its reach across all distribution channels and platforms in the five continents. Gonnelli will be based in Xilam’s head office in Paris and will report to CEO Marc du Pontavice.
Prior to Xilam, Caterina Gonnelli joined The Walt Disney Company in 2012 with an initial remit focused on local acquisitions and productions for the French market, which expanded over the years to include multi-territory pre-buys and co-productions across the EMEA region for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior from the identification of new third-party content to negotiation. Gonnelli previously held positions including Development Executive and Creative Producer at independent French production companies.
Marc du Pontavice, CEO at Xilam Animation said “We are thrilled to add such a remarkable talent to Xilam’s top executives. Caterina has built a very strong profile over the years from development to production, from acquisition to programming, at one of the world’s most prominent kids’ studios. Such invaluable expertise will boost Xilam’s response to a very fast-growing market towards premium kids’ content.”
Caterina Gonnelli added “Xilam Animation has established an impressive, diverse and engaging slate of projects for kids and their families. I’m thrilled to be joining Marc and the team at this exciting time of growth as the company gears up for major new series launches, including Oggy Oggy for Netflix, and to continue shaping the company’s vision and content offering.”
Xilam is one of Europe’s leading animation companies, creating, producing and distributing original children’s and family entertainment content across TV, film and digital media platforms.
Founded in 1999 by Marc du Pontavice, Xilam owns a catalogue of more than 2,000 animated episodes and four feature films. The company’s portfolio includes the multi award-winning animated feature I Lost my Body which won the Nespresso Grand Prize at the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes Film Festival 2019 in addition to the Cristal for a Feature Film and Audience Award at Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2019, alongside internationally successful brands such as Oggy & the Cockroaches, Zig & Sharko, The Daltons and its first pre-school series, Paprika.
Broadcast in over 190 countries on all the major TV networks and digital platforms, including YouTube with over 600 million video views monthly, Xilam’s programme catalogue makes the company one of the top global content providers in animation.
Xilam employs more than 400 people, including 300 artists, who are based across its four studios located in Paris, Lyon, Angoulême and Ho-Chi-Minh City in Vietnam.