Social storytelling platform Wattpad Studios has made its first European hire with Paris-based Carla Zeller.
Zeller joins as development executive for Europe. Based in Paris, she will focus on building Wattpad’s TV and film slate in Europe, overseeing productions as they move from Wattpad to screens. She will report to Eric Lehrman, Wattpad’s head of content development and production.
Zeller joins Wattpad from beleaguered distributor Mars Films, where she was part of the acquisitions and development team, working on French acquisitions of movies including I, Tonya and If Beale Street Could Talk. She also developed Mars’ original projects like Nothing To Hide and Love At Second Sight.
“Entertainment execs and studios around the world have seen the power of our audience-first and data-backed approach to finding and developing new stories,” said Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios. “We now work with entertainment companies from LA to Berlin, Seoul, and everywhere in between. We’re expanding our team and our global bench strength to keep up with the incredible demand to be part of our vision for the future of entertainment.”
Wattpad has staff in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Also joining the fold is Muriel Rosilio as director of business development. Rosilio began working with the company on a consultative basis in 2018 and now joins as a permanent member of the team. Since joining she has helped secure publishing and entertainment partnerships in Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Joining from Farrago Media, she is based in Wattpad’s Toronto HQ, where she reports to Levitz.
The firm says it currently has 50 TV and film projects in development. In Europe, the company has deals with Bavaria Fiction in Germany, Lagardere Studios in France, Mediaset in Italy, Endemol Shine’s NL Film in the Netherlands, and Banijay Studios. Internationally, Wattpad has deals and projects in development with Sony Pictures Television, UCP, SYFY, AwesomenessTV, and Picturestart in the US; Wise Entertainment in Brazil and Turner Latin America’s Particular Crowd; eOne and the CBC in Canada; Huayi Bros in Korea; and Mediacorp in Singapore.
The company claims that close to one thousand Wattpad stories have been published as books or turned into TV shows, films and digital media projects. Recently announced projects include, adaptations of Wattpad stories She’s With Me and The Last She, which Wattpad is developing with Sony Pictures Television; and Slow Dancing, a six-episode series based on the Wattpad story of the same name. Wattpad and Mediacorp are developing the project, which will premiere in August 2020.
Other recent projects include Wattpad’s film After, which won a People’s Choice Award for Best Drama Film and three Teen Choice Awards; Emmy-nominated series Light As A Feather, which Wattpad, AwesomenessTV and Grammnet produce for Hulu. Netflix hit The Kissing Booth also began as a Wattpad story.