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Skydance Media Boosts Animation Division With New Hires (EXCLUSIVE)

David Ellison’s Skydance Media is boosting its year-old animated division with the addition of four new executives, Variety has learned exclusively.

Bill Damaschke, president of animation and family entertainment, named Holly Edwards as head of production, animation; Kim Mackey as head of talent acquisitions and talent development; Jessie Carbonaro as director of talent acquisitions and talent development; and Matthew Burke as director of finance.

“With this accomplished team in place, Skydance is now well positioned to achieve our goal of producing a bold, original slate of both animated and family programming,” Damaschke said. “Holly, Kim, Jessie, and Matt have the wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills to lead our creative teams and bring together talented artists to build an animation studio that is a destination for top storytellers in the industry.”

Edwards will work closely with Damaschke and individual producers to oversee all aspects of production for the animation projects at the studio, as well as help establish the plan for growth at the studio. Edwards is a 20-year veteran of feature films and television. She joined DreamWorks Animation in 2002 and has credits on “Trolls,” “Penguins of Madagascar,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” and “Megamind.”

Mackey is a 22-year veteran of the animation industry and, most recently, was the global head of recruiting for DreamWorks Animation. As a studio executive, she managed resource needs across the entire studio’s production slate, including the studio’s biggest franchises: “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar,” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Carbonaro was part of DreamWorks Animation for nearly 13 years, where she started her career in television as a producer and writer. She spent 10 years as a production supervisor working on projects such as the “Madagascar” and “Shrek” movies.

Prior to joining Skydance, Burke spent 14 years as finance lead on multiple animated features at DreamWorks Animation. Before DreamWorks, he worked for more than 10 years at Walt Disney Imagineering’s film division as senior production accountant.

Skydance Media recently hired “Tangled” director Nathan Greno to helm the upcoming animated feature film tentatively titled “Powerless.” He’s also signed a multi-year deal to consult on projects currently in development. Skydance formed an animation division last year to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television series in partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios. Skydance’s first two animated features are “Luck,” which hits theaters on March 19, 2021, and “Split.”

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