French animation studio Xilam Animation has upped Safaa Benazzouz to the position of EVP Distribution, effective September 1, 2023. Previously Deputy EVP Distribution, Benazzouz will replace the company’s outgoing EVP Distribution, Morgann Favennec.
In her new role, Benazzouz will lead the worldwide distribution strategies across Xilam’s new and forthcoming productions, including “Karate Sheep,” “Oggy Oggy” and “Buddybot,” and its existing catalogue, which includes “Oggy and the Cockroaches,” “Zig & Sharko,” “Where’s Chicky?” and “Athleticus.” Additionally, she will be responsible for driving sales across the United States, UK, Ireland, Germany, South Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America; and managing the four teams within Xilam’s distribution department: international sales, digital, licensing and marketing. She will continue to be based in Xilam’s head office in Paris and will now report into the company’s Founder and CEO, Marc du Pontavice.
Safaa Benazzouz first joined Xilam as SVP Media Sales Distribution (Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe) in February 2019 from French kids’ distribution company Superights. In January 2022, Benazzouz was elevated to Deputy EVP Distribution and, working alongside Favennec, she helped implement new processes and systems within the Xilam Group. Additionally, Benazzouz participated in the strategic development of the department, including Xilam’s new preschool property “Oggy Oggy” (156x7’), which launched simultaneously across Netflix, international broadcasters and social media, alongside a dedicated consumer products e-shop.
“Since joining us, Safaa has established herself as an integral part of the Xilam team and played an instrumental role in driving the success of our distribution business globally. We are thrilled to now be recognizing her skills and achievements through this well-deserved promotion and are confident that with her strategic mindset, determined attitude and team-player spirit, she is ideally placed to spearhead Xilam’s distribution business. We would also like to thank Morgann for her remarkable leadership and the valuable contribution she has made to the company – and wish her all the very best for the next chapter,” Marc du Pontavice said.
Meanwhile, Safaa Benazzouz declared: “I feel honoured to be taking on this new role at Xilam and that Marc and the leadership team have placed their confidence in me. As we continue building upon our robust slate of treasured franchises and new properties for both kids and adult audiences, I look forward to continuing to work with all the talented and passionate people across the company to drive the success of our portfolio for the long-term. I also would like to warmly thank Morgann for being a great mentor since we first met in 2013 and wish her well on her new adventure.”