Entering third year, Lion Forge Animation initiates leadership moves sighting studio growth

David Steward II’s Lion Forge Animation studio (Academy Award-winning Hair Love) is expanding its leadership team as the company, known for championing diversity, authenticity, and underrepresented communities, continues to scale production and development activity in just its third year.

Two-time Emmy-award winning animation director and creative visionary Saxton Moore has been promoted to VP of Production for Lion Forge Animation after joining and serving as Executive Creative Director for the last year. Moore has worked with notable animation and entertainment companies throughout his career, including Netflix, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, FUSEtv, A+E, and brings over 20-years of experience to the role. 

Saxton Moore

Neely Shamam has been hired to serve as the studio’s VP of Development. Shamam is an experienced creative executive with over 15 years of developing, producing, and programming quality content for an array of platforms and networks. Shamam has worked in creative leadership roles at Disney and Maker Studios, Zone TV, and Ficto.

In addition to the hiring of Saxton and Neely, the company is adding several director and producer level talent to further enhance its production and development capabilities. Carl Reed, Lion Forge Animation’s Chief Creative Officer will be shifting his focus to providing executive producer services and focusing his work with Lion Forge Animation on several key projects.

Lion Forge Animation founder David Steward II said, “Our incredible growth trajectory can be attributed, in large part, to the best-in-class team executing our distinct vision. Saxton is an instinctive leader with tremendous creative acumen and a powerful ability to deliver.  Equally, Neely is an executive producer with a penchant for unique storytelling and a strategic eye for talent and material that translates to great TV series, movies, and digital properties.”

Lion Forge Animation sits within Steward II’s holding company Polarity, a diversified global media company with a mission to bring authentic content to a diverse global audience. To create a richer content experience and offering, the company believes in the value of embracing diversity and highlighting previously unheard voices, as well as new and emerging views and voices. The Polarity portfolio includes Illustrated Syndicate and Magnetic Press, as well as Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group.

In the company’s two and a half years of operation, Lion Forge Animation has been generating significant momentum.

Neely Shamam

“The company built several high-profile content partnerships (Imagine Kids + Family, BRON, Bento Box and Polygram among them), delivered on multiple productions (the latest with Disney), has established key entertainment industry alliances, and has scaled the IP portfolio,” said Polarity president Edward Hamati. “The latest leadership and subsequent team hires complement and enhance the company’s profile and capabilities. We are excited and have some upcoming announcements which we think the industry will find compelling.”

With Polarity, David Steward II added, “Authenticity matters across Polarity’s portfolio of companies. Our expanding leadership teams are taking the reins of brands with a singular, unique mandate to deliver diverse, authentic content representing underserved cultures, communities, voices and groups. We’re proud of what the teams are accomplishing and thrilled as Lion Forge Animation enters an exciting growth phase.”

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