Veteran animation executive Steven Wendland has been appointed as president of Discreet Arts USA, the newly-launched offshoot of Indian animation firm Discreet Arts. The new unit is based in Burbank, California.
He is expected to expand the company’s work-for-hire business while also developing a slate of original productions. These may be based on Discreet Arts’ existing IP and new properties.
Until last year, Wendland was VP of animation and head of creative development at Technicolor’s L.A. office. Among the projects developed and produced under his guidance were Mark Drop and Jerry Leibowitz’s “Atomic Puppet,” Tom Taylor and James Brouwer’s “The Deep,” for which he earned Emmy- and BAFTA-nominations. He helped develop a line of “The Deep” toys with Simba Toys, and story-edited a series of four-chapter books of “The Deep,” published by Bloomsbury. Prior to joining Technicolor, Wendland worked at Canada’s Mainframe Entertainment (later Rainmaker Entertainment).
Founded by current CEO Srikanth Pottekula, Hyderabad-based Discreet Arts focuses on 2D and CGI-animated services for children’s and family content across film, television, gaming, apps, and interactive publishing. Its clients have included Technicolor, Anima Estudios, Titmouse, MEG Toys, Studio 100, 6 Point Harness, Telegael, WildBrain Studios, Byju’s, and Bento Box Entertainment, giving rise to film credits including “Top Cat Begins” and “Norm of the North,” and series credits including “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and “Tarzan and Jane.” In several cases, the company has also invested in projects.
“Now is the opportune time to further expand our operations by establishing a U.S. presence to build upon our strong relationships and attract new business,” said Pottekula. “Steven brings years of solid expertise in animation production and creative and possesses all of the tools to drive our growth in our original IP and work-for-hire businesses.”
“We will continue to expand the work-for-hire business by establishing new direct relationships with studios, animation production companies, broadcasters and streamers, and provide a front-end office link to the India studio,” said Wendland.