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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  • MICHELLE RAIMO-KOUYATE NAMED PRESIDENT OF PRODUCTION FOR SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
  • CULVER CITY, Calif., November 11, 2010 — Michelle Raimo-Kouyate has been named president of production for Sony Pictures Animation, it was announced today by Bob Osher, President of Digital Productions for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

    The respected industry veteran joins SPA from Dreamworks Animation, where she was serving as executive producer for the upcoming feature Puss in Boots, a spin-off of the blockbuster Shrek.

    "Michelle is an extraordinarily talented executive who loves both the art and artistry of animation and understands that superior storytelling must always come first," said Osher. "Michelle and I worked together for many years at Miramax. She earns the respect of her peers through her leadership and is someone who candidly speaks her mind. Because of her extensive experience in both live action and animation, she is the perfect choice for this position, especially as we produce both all-CG features and hybrid productions like The Smurfs. We have an outstanding slate in place at Sony Pictures Animation and know she will provide great creative direction as we continue to grow and nurture the best CGI artists and storytellers in the business."

    "I am so thankful to Bob, as well as Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal for this exciting opportunity. Sony Pictures Animation is home to some of the best creative and innovative minds in the business and I am looking forward to working alongside them to continue the tradition of great storytelling for which Sony is so well known. I am especially thrilled to be working once again with Bob."

    Raimo-Kouyate began her career in the film business 14 years ago when she joined Miramax Films, rising through the development and production ranks from an assistant to Senior Vice President of Development and Production. During her tenure at the studio, Kouyate was responsible for executive producing and overseeing the development and production of numerous feature film projects, including the Academy Award® nominee Chocolat, as well as The Shipping News, Ella Enchanted, The Great Raid and An Unfinished Life. Her responsibilities also included negotiating various deals for entertainment properties and talent (writers, directors, actors, and musicians) with the largest and most diversified talent and literary agencies, as well as assessing independent films with an eye for acquisitions and distribution.

    In 2005, Raimo-Kouyate relocated from New York to Los Angeles to serve briefly as senior vice president of production at Paramount Pictures, where she was responsible for overseeing the acquisition, development and production of feature film projects as well as specific producer accounts, including Nickelodeon, MTV Films, Lynda Obst Productions, and Foxxhole. In early 2006, she transitioned to Nickelodeon Movies to serve in the same capacity until the end of 2006.

    In the coming weeks, Raimo-Kouyate will work closely with SPA's president of production Hannah Minghella as Minghella transitions to her new role at Columbia Pictures as president of production. The two executives are longtime colleagues and friends who worked together for many years at Miramax and their strong relationship will ensure the seamless transition of all SPA projects where Minghella will continue to remain actively engaged.

    Raimo-Kouyate grew up in New York City and currently lives in Los Angeles. She received her B.S. from St. John's University and her M.F.A. from USC School of Cinema.

    ABOUT SONY PICTURES ANIMATION

    Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its 2009 worldwide hit, the mouth-watering 3D comedy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and the 2007 Academy Award® nominated Surf's Up with a full slate of feature films including the live-action/animation hybrid film The Smurfs (3D) and the family comedy, Hotel Transylvania (3D). The division is also in production with Aardman Animations on their next two feature films, the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D) and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! (3D). Open Season 3, the third adventure in Sony Pictures Animation's successful Open Season franchise, is slated for release on DVD and Blu-Ray January 2011. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.

    ABOUT SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

    Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 140 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

    Steve Elzer
    Senior Vice President, Media Relations
    Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
    (310) 244-7142
    steve_elzer@spe.sony.com