EXCLUSIVE: Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak’s production company Pastel has hired Kiva Reardon as VP Film, appointing Karolina Peysakhov as VP Television. Both have already started working out of Pastel’s Los Angeles office.
Prior to joining Pastel, Reardon served as Associate Director of Film Programs at the Academy Museum, and Lead Programmer of Contemporary World Cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival. She also previously worked with the Miami International Film Festival, Hot Docs, and the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and in 2013 founded cléo journal, an online publication dedicated to creating space for feminist voices in film criticism, which ran until 2019. Reardon has spoken on numerous panels and served on festival juries around the world.
Peysakhov most recently served as VP Film and Television at Blue Harp, where she helped set up projects for Netflix, Amazon, Showtime, FX, Lionsgate, Sony, UCP, Peacock and Gaumont. Prior to her time there, she worked in UTA’s Film Finance division, having begun her career at the San Francisco Film Society. Peysakhov is currently a co-producer on Netflix’s upcoming limited series Painkiller, from writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, and director Peter Berg.
“We’re five years into the experiment we call PASTEL and getting pretty sick of each other, which clearly means it’s time to add to the family,” said Jenkins, Romanski and Ceryak in a joint statement. “We have found our dream team in Karolina and Kiva, two women with exquisite taste and killer vibes who will boldly take us into the future.”
“I greatly admire Barry, Adele and Mark’s work,” said Reardon. “It’s an honor to contribute alongside them to PASTEL’s boundary-pushing vision.”
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining Pastel,” added Peysakhov, “a haven for authorial and uncompromising artists who Mark, Adele, and Barry tirelessly champion each day.”
Pastel was founded as a home for artists to create work in film, television and beyond. In addition to developing in-house for Jenkins, the company is incubating an eclectic slate of projects from new voices that furthers the mandate set forth by his 2017 Best Picture winner, Moonlight. Past projects include Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk, Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always, and Jenkins’ award-winning limited series The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, for Amazon Prime Video. Upcoming projects include Charlotte Wells’ feature directorial debut Aftersun, which is set to premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival; Raven Jackson’s debut feature All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt for A24; a biopic of Alvin Ailey for Searchlight Pictures; and Jenkins’ first foray into virtual production with the as-yet-untitled Lion King prequel for The Walt Disney Studios.
Pastel also produced Alberto Mielgo’s The Windshield Wiper, which premiered at Cannes in 2021 and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The company currently has a first-look television deal with HBO, HBO Max and A24.
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