EXCLUSIVE: Animal Kingdom, the production company behind Short Term 12 and Paterson and which teamed with Focus Features this year on Jim Jarmusch’s Cannes Film Festival opener The Dead Don’t Die, has launched a representation business. Sam Morrill, the former director of curation at Vimeo, has been hired to run it.
In addition, the Brooklyn-based company said Thursday it has hired Gabby Green as a manager in the department, reporting to Morrill.
“Over the past seven years, Animal Kingdom has prided itself on the work of identifying, supporting and collaborating with emerging talent,” company partners Joshua Astrachan and David Kaplan said. “This expansion into representation is, effectively, Animal Kingdom doubling down on our commitment to that work, and to the elusive idea of attempting to tell
stories that matter.”
A 10-year veteran at Vimeo, Morrill was one of the principal curators of the Staff Picks channel over the past decade, and oversaw Vimeo’s in-house curation team for the last three years. The short-form content featured the early work of the likes of Hiro Murai, Romain Gavras, The Daniels, Jordan Vogt Roberts, Dave Green, Dean Fleischer-Camp, Ari Aster, Crystal Moselle, Kogonada and Julia Pott.
“As a longtime steward of the Staff Picks brand, Sam consistently displayed a keen eye for the sort of original, inventive storytelling that is always in short supply,” Astrachan and Kaplan said. “We feel genuinely fortunate to have found someone with Sam’s curatorial instincts, deep affection for and knowledge of cinema, and humble appreciation for how hard it is to make good and meaningful work. We’re thrilled to have Sam join us to oversee the construction of this new
business within Animal Kingdom.”
Added Morrill: “Much like the work I dedicated myself to while at Vimeo, I’ve long admired Animal Kingdom’s passion for identifying and developing bold and unique voices. Stepping into the management space, with the backing of a company unwaveringly committed to original storytelling, felt like the logical evolution and expansion upon the work that I’ve done my entire career.”
Animal Kingdom, whose credits include It Follows, Leon’s Tramps, It Comes at Night and Beach Rats, is now in post-production on an untitled feature by writer-director Adam Leon that stars Vanessa Kirby (Green is a producer on the pic). Last fall, it pacted with BRON Ventures in a deal that included an investment and strategic partnership.