Short film distributor Shorts International announced on Tuesday that it has hired industry veteran Jeff Allen as president of its American TV network ShortsTV, which has also agreed to a master license agreement with the American Film Institute Conservatory.
Allen was previously vice president of operations at Hallmark Labs, overseeing Hallmark’s digital operations including Hallmark Movies Now and Hallmark eCards. Allen will report to Shorts International CEO Carter Pilcher within the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Shorts Entertainment Network, and oversee all operations for ShortsTV and its Latin American counterpart TVCortos.
“As Shorts International continues to evolve and grow globally, I couldn’t think of a better fit than Jeff to spearhead the ShortsTV and TVCortos efforts,” said Pilcher in a statement. “Jeff brings a vast amount of experience across many industry verticals, from both an operational and creative standpoint, and will play a critical role on our team.”
“I’ve been a longtime fan of ShortsTV and I am very passionate about our product and mission. It’s impressive what the team has already accomplished over the last couple of decades to secure a global foothold in the short form entertainment category. I am grateful for the opportunity to join the ranks and leverage my experience in the industry to contribute to growth in the U.S. and Latin America,” said Allen. “We’re seeing a significant rise in short form consumption globally and I’m thrilled to join the team during such an exciting time in this space.”
In addition, ShortsTV will air over 100 short films made by filmmakers who participated in the AFI Conservatory’s educational programs thanks to a new licensing agreement made with the film school. Among the titles are short films with big Hollywood stars like “Wild Horses” starring Brooke Shields and Mireille Enos as well as “Interstate” starring Gina Rodriguez. Oscar-winning short films will also be included in the deal as well as winners of Student Oscars, Emmys and BAFTAS.
“Alumni from our educational programs have gone on to shape the industry and push the boundaries of storytelling – and they got their start here at AFI making short films,” said Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and Executive Vice President of the American Film Institute. “We look forward to sharing their award-winning and critically acclaimed AFI films with a wider audience through this partnership with ShortsTV.”