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Bold Films Promotes Four Executives as Part of Company Expansion (EXCLUSIVE)

Bold Films, the maker of “Nightcrawler” and “Whiplash,” has promoted a quartet of executives as part of a company-wide expansion, Variety has learned.

Karen Barna has been upped to executive vice president of business and legal affairs, while Santho Goonewardene has been named vice president of development and production. Barna has been with Bold Films for two years, where she oversaw day to day corporate matters related to production and distribution for the company, and negotiated deals with filmmakers and talent. Prior to joining Bold, she worked for 10 years at Summit Entertainment, helping to guide the Twilight franchise to screens. Goonewardene joined the company in 2015 as a production executive and has been working on post production for “Shot Caller,” an American crime thriller from Ric Roman Waugh, as well as on the production of “Stronger,” a drama with Jake Gyllenhaal. Prior to joining Bold, she worked in production on “2 Guns,” “True Detective,” and “The Black Box.”

Bold boasts a staff of 15 with offices in Los Angeles and London. Gary Michael Walters, the company’s CEO, said that Bold has been expanding the size and number of projects it backs, including signing first-look deals with Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories production company and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour. The company is also backing a number of films geared toward female audiences, including a drama about the writer Colette and a biopic about Ruth Handler — the creator of Barbie and the founder of Mattel.

“Bold has been on a slow, steady growth track for a long time,” Walters said. “It’s resulted in us being in position to generate a steady stream of commercial and prestige projects in the indie space. As we’ve grown, I’ve needed to grow my team.”

Also promoted were Mark Svenningsen to vice president of finance and Pili Allen to director of digital. Svenningsen has been with Bold for seven years and will continue to work on production finance for Bold’s future slate and overall financial operations for the company. Allen joined Bold in 2014 and will oversee digital content development.

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