Matthew Berkowitz named Chief Creative Officer;
Kristin Cummings and Aaron Behl appointed VP Originals at Atomic Cartoons
VANCOUVER, March 29, 2019 /CNW/ - Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV:TBRD) ("Thunderbird" or the "Company"), a global multiplatform entertainment company, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Matthew Berkowitz to the role of Chief Creative Officer (CCO) of Thunderbird Entertainment and Atomic Cartoons. It has also appointed Kristin Cummings and Aaron Behl to jointly serve as VP Originals at Atomic Cartoons, Thunderbird's kids division. All three roles will be based in Los Angeles.
As CCO, Berkowitz will oversee the development, production and acquisitions of intellectual properties (IP) across Thunderbird Entertainment and Atomic Cartoons. Berkowitz will be instrumental to Thunderbird's long-term growth strategy, which will focus on the continued expansion and development of its IP library. Thunderbird currently owns more than 600 hours of IP and has 15 shows in production (including both owned IP and service projects), with total production budgets well in excess of $100 million.
In their new roles serving jointly as VP Originals, Cummings and Behl will focus on leading both the kids and family portfolio at Atomic, as well as developing its fledgling adult animation slate.
"I am beyond thrilled that Matt's talent, creativity and work ethic are being recognized by this elevation to the role of CCO. I am also excited to welcome Kristin Cummings to our team as co-VP Originals Atomic, alongside Aaron Behl, who has proved himself as a valued member of our team for the past year," says Jennifer Twiner McCarron, Chief Executive Officer of Thunderbird and Atomic Cartoons. "Since joining our team, Matt has been key to the growth of Thunderbird and I am consistently impressed with his capacity to attract and develop top quality IP's, such as Savannah Guthrie's and Allison Oppenheim's Princesses Wear Pants, Max Brallier's The Last Kids on Earth, and tokidoki's Mermicornos line. And by welcoming Kristin and Aaron into their new, and hugely important roles, I am confident we will continue to identify, develop and creatively grow the business across all our divisions, including animated, live-action, scripted and factual productions."
Most recently, Berkowitz served as VP Originals at Atomic Cartoons and Executive Producer on Atomic's IP productions, a role he gained when Atomic opened its Los Angeles office in 2016. From there, Berkowitz has coordinated Atomic's three-pronged, international, cross-country production structure. Alongside his role at Thunderbird and Atomic, Berkowitz is also a producer on the upcoming animated feature film Extinct, directed by David Silverman, who also directed The Simpsons Movie. Prior to joining Atomic, Berkowitz spent seven years at Arc Productions, where he oversaw the studio's IP slate and established production relationships with Sony Animation, DreamWorks Animation, Amazon Studios, LEGO and Zodiak. Berkowitz's experience also includes positions at Film Roman and Strike Entertainment.
Before joining Atomic, Cummings served as Director of Development at NBC Universal and DreamWorks Animation, a role which focused on the acquisition and development of IP for both pre-school children and young adults. Among a range of projects, Cummings collaborated to develop Rhyme Time Town, a pre-school series coming soon to Netflix. Prior to DreamWorks, Cummings worked at Nickelodeon on recent hits such as The Loud House. She was also the Creative Executive on Nickelodeon's 2014 animated shorts program.
Behl joined Atomic Cartoons in early 2018 as Director of Development. Behl has been instrumental in the production of the studio's upcoming series for Netflix, The Last Kids on Earth, which is based on the best-selling book series by Max Brallier. Prior to joining Atomic, Behl worked for the digital ad crowdsourcing agency, Tongal, where he specialized in producing digital children's and adult animated content for brands such as Mattel (Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends), Riot Games (League of Legends), and Uninterrupted (Becoming Bobby Feeno). His video "How to Play League of Legends as told by Nevercake" was nominated as a YouTube gaming ad of the year and has earned over 26 million views to date.
"I'm honored by the opportunity to work alongside such incredible folks as Mark Miller and Jennifer Twiner McCarron. I'm also thrilled to welcome Kristin Cummings and Aaron Behl to their new roles at Atomic Cartoons," says Berkowitz. "It is a privilege to team up with such talented individuals and we hope to produce top quality content that inspires audiences around the world."
About Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group is a Vancouver-based global multiplatform entertainment company with offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottawa and London. Thunderbird creates award-winning scripted, unscripted and animated programming for the world's leading digital platforms, as well as Canadian and international broadcasters. Thunderbird's vision is to produce high quality, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place. The company develops, produces and distributes animated, factual and scripted content through its various divisions, including Atomic Cartoons, Great Pacific Television, Thunderbird Productions and Thunderbird Releasing Limited.
About Atomic Cartoons, Thunderbird's Kids Division
Atomic Cartoons is the kids division of Thunderbird Entertainment Group. Recognized internationally as one of the leading animation studios in North America, Atomic employs 500+ artists in Vancouver and Ottawa. Since its founding more than 20 years ago, Atomic has worked with partners such as Marvel Animation, Netflix, Disney, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros., Lego, Mattel, Spin Master and Nelvana to name a few. Atomic's productions include the Emmy-award winning Beat Bugs, the upcoming Netflix series The Last Kids on Earth, the upcoming Disney show 101 Dalmatian Street, Counterfeit Cat, Minecraft Mini Series, Marvel's Avengers Assemble, Max & Ruby and LEGO Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit.
For more information: http://atomiccartoons.com/.
SOURCE Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.
For further information: Investor Relations Contacts: Lucas Cahill and Freddie Leigh, Phone: + 1 604.683.3555, Email: [email protected]; Media Relations Contact: Julia Smith, Finch Media, Phone: +1 604.803.0897, Email: [email protected]