HIT Entertainment launches movie division

MUMBAI: HIT Entertainment has launched HIT Movies, a new division dedicated to making family-oriented movies out of HIT’s library of children’s properties. Additionally, the division will identify and develope new stories and characters for future HIT family movies.

The launch is part of a far-ranging effort by the company to expand the reach of HIT Entertainment properties across a variety of entertainment platforms, and use films as a means to introduce new HIT stories and characters to a family audience.

To head HIT’s Los Angeles office and film division, HIT Entertainment president and CEO Jeff Dunn has tapped long time industry veteran Julia Pistor to run HIT Movies. Most recently, Pistor served as Nickelodeon EVP for Movies.

The new film division will initially focus on developing family film franchises based on HIT’s properties, such as Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina and Rainbow Magic. These features will expand on the essence of these world-renowned HIT brands, and will target a broad family audience.

As part of the expansion, HIT Entertainment has signed talent and literary agency United Talent Agency to help create new opportunities in film, television and digital entertainment. UTA will also assist in establishing new brand extensions and corporate partnerships for HIT Entertainment properties, which have achieved phenomenal success worldwide in toys, books, television, home entertainment and live events. Additionally, UTA will work closely with HIT Movies’ Julia Pistor to ramp up its feature film development slate.

"Julia brings to HIT a wonderful sensibility for family entertainment. She understands how to translate some of the world’s best-loved children’s properties into family events for the big screen, creating rich stories that are entertaining to both kids and parents alike. She’s smart, creative, easy to work with and a wonderful human being. Just as HIT Entertainment is synonymous with trusted, high quality entertainment for children, HIT Movies – under Julia’s direction and with the vast and impressive talents of UTA — will help expand the world of HIT Entertainment and build properties and franchises that resonate with parent and kids worldwide," said HIT Entertainment president & CEO Jeff Dunn.

Pistor added, "I am delighted to help launch new family movie franchises, based off of HIT characters and worlds. At the heart of all of HIT’s properties is rich storytelling, and in the case of Thomas, Angelina and Rainbow Magic, a robust publishing history. Using this strong storytelling tradition, mixed with the positive values and timeless lessons that each character stands for, HIT Movies will expand the essence of these properties and build on their long term franchises. Millions of people around the world have grown up watching Thomas and Bob on TV, playing with the toys or reading the books. These characters are part of the fabric of childhood. More than simply creating long episodes of the TV shows, I see this as an opportunity to build on the existing creative sensibilities of these powerhouse brands and translate them for the big screen."

"We believe that HIT Movies, under Jeff and Julia’s leadership, is poised to be a major force in the growing family film genre. Thomas, Barney, Bob and Angelina are among the biggest stars in family entertainment and we’re thrilled to be onboard to create new opportunities in media and entertainment for these iconic characters, and to help HIT build even greater audiences worldwide," said United Talent Agency co-founder and board member Jeremy Zimmer.