‘Hair Love’ firm Lion Forge names Imagine’s Stephanie Sperber as CCO & president amid push into live-action

Stephanie Sperber

Lion Forge Animation, the US-based studio behind the Oscar-winning Hair Love, has appointed Imagine alum Stephanie Sperber as president and chief content officer and rebranded to Lion Forge Entertainment.

The move comes as the company, which is producing an adaptation of the graphic novel series Iyanu: Child Of Wonder for HBO Max and Cartoon Network, looks to begin developing and producing live action kids & family content alongside its existing animation focus.

In this newly created role, Sperber will build global transmedia franchises around Lion Forge IP, as well as expand production and distribution partnerships, spearheading licensing and merchandising initiatives, and oversee all aspects of the company’s new live-action film and TV division.

She will report to founder and CEO David Steward II and COO Edward Hamati.

Sperber, who exited her role as president of Imagine Kids+Family earlier this month, will however continue in her role as executive producer on The Tiny Chef Show for Imagine Entertainment.

The exec was responsible for launching Imagine Kids+Family during her time at the company, to extend Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment into the kids’ space for the first time as a dedicated business.

As head of Imagine Kids+Family, Sperber oversaw all aspects of creative IP development and production across animated and live action shows including The Tiny Chef Show and Bossy Bear, both on Nick Jr. She also produced the live-action series The Astronauts for Nickelodeon.

David Steward II commented: “We’re so thrilled to have Stephanie join the Lion Forge family in this key expansionary moment. An accomplished leader in the family entertainment space, Stephanie is uniquely equipped to build deep and layered franchises and run a multidimensional business unit supporting them though all correlating verticals.

“Her unparalleled experience, creative instincts, industry relationships, business acumen, and work ethos will be a driving force for Lion Forge and pave the way for us to enter exciting new frontiers.”

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