Following his departure from The Walt Disney Company, Jean-François Camilleri has joined the French production company Echo Studio as president. The Paris-based independent company was launched two years ago and is dedicated to producing internationally-driven content with political, social and environmental themes in a similar vein as Participant Media.
One of France’s most respected industry figures, Camilleri was executive vice president and country manager for The Walt Disney Company France, Benelux and French-speaking Africa; he also founded and ran the distribution label Disneynature. He started working for Buena Vista International in 1990, and shortly after participated in the creation of Gaumont Buena Vista International in Paris.
At Echo Studio, Camilleri will develop Echo Studio activities, including content production, distribution, social impact campaigns, digital and experiences.
Following Jean-François’ departure from Disney, it seemed natural for us to ask him to join Echo Studio adventure as our partner and as President. His enthusiasm and his expertise in producing and distributing impact contents will be incredibly valuable for our development,” said Serge Hayat, the former president of Echo Studio who remains a partner in the company along with Yves Darondeau, Emmanuel Priou, Alliance Entreprendre and Philippe de Bourbon.
Camilleri said “Echo Studio is the perfect home to develop impact production with exciting projects, powerful storytelling and high production value.”
“Several months ago, I took the decision to give a new direction to my professional life and invest myself fully in order to contribute to a meaningful futur. I know the strength of images and the power of cinema,” said Camilleri.
For each of its production, Echo works with NGOs, worldwide institutions and foundations to create powerful impact campaigns and experiences in order to inspire change and engagement.
The company’s current slate includes Rodd Rathjen’s “Buoyancy,” a film inspired by a true-story of modern slavery on fishermen boats in Thailand; and Gilles de Maistre’s “Demain est à nous,” a feature film about children around the world who are advocating for social justice causes. The film will be released in France by Apollo Film on Sept. 25. Both “Buoyancy” and “Demain est à nous” are being sold by Charades.
The banner’s production roster includes Sabrina van Tassel’s (“The Silenced Walls”) investigative documentary “The State of Texas vs. Melissa,” a heart-wrenching and sprawling character study of a woman who has been sentenced to death for killing her 2-year-old daughter. Isaac Sharry from Vito Films is producing “The State of Texas vs. Melissa” with Echo Studio.
Echo Studio is also on board of “Walking on Water,” the feature debut of Dakar-born French actress Aissa Maiga. Echo Studio and Bonne Pioche are producing the feature.