Young Armenians currently making waves in the entertainment industry were recognized this week in year-end rankings in top industry publications Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
Aram Yacoubian, who is Netfilx’s 31-year-old Director of Animation Film was recognized in Variety’s “Hollywood’s New Leaders of 2021” list published on Thursday. Last week, The Hollywood Reporter published its “Next Gen 2021: The Hollywood Reporter’s 35 Rising Executives 35 and Under” that included 34-year-old co-founder of Proximity Media Sev Ohanian and his entertainment attorney sister, 31-year-old Ramela Ohanian, who is an Associate at Sheppard Mullin.
Yacoubian has been working in Netflix’s animation unit since its early days. He now co-leads its independent animation division, overseeing sourcing, development and production of independent animation producers. He brokered a deal with Aardman Animation, with “Chicken Run 2” on deck; brought in catalog titles from Studio Ghibli; and developed global hit “Mighty Little Bheem,” Variety reported.
“Animation had a major impact on me as a kid. It opened my eyes to a much larger world than I thought existed and encouraged my imagination to run wild,” Yacoubian told Variety. “As I grew older, and my perspective began to expand and I developed a new appreciation for the sophistication of animated storytelling. There are endless possibilities in the medium.”
As outside counsel to Amazon Studios, Ramela Ohanian handled overalls and first-looks for Jordan Peele, Barry Jenkins and John Krasinski.
After studying philosophy at UCLA, she went on to Loyola Law School, then landed a job as a production attorney at Awesomeness TV in 2016. When the company called to request an interview, she already had two competing offers on the table and persuaded Awesomeness to let her come in that day. That drive quickly caught the attention of Sheppard Mullin, one of several places she had interned, and she’s been there ever since. In addition to her work for Amazon Studios, the Los Angeles native counts Nickelodeon, Keshet Studios and Gunpowder & Sky among her clients.
She told The Hollywood Reporter that she is “dying to work with” her brother, fellow 2021 Next Gen honoree Sev Ohanian. “We each made it into the industry on our own, but we’d love to work together one day,” she said.
After working with Ryan Coogler on Fruitvale Station, Sev Ohanian is now building a slate that includes “Space Jam: A New Legacy and Creed III.”
The Hollywood Reporter called him, “a rare exec who can negotiate with business affairs and punch up dialogue.”
Ohanian has traveled to Sundance with films he’s produced (2013’s Fruitvale) and written (2018’s Searching). The L.A. native skipped out on the last year of his graduate program at USC’s film school to produce Coogler’s breakout Fruitvale Station.
“I had a hard time being taken seriously and getting attached to good scripts,” Ohanian told The Hollywood Reporter. So he co-wrote Searching with Aneesh Chaganty and produced it with his now wife, Natalie Qasabian.
He was asked by The Hollywood Reporter with whom would he trade places for a day, and he responded, “My sister,” fellow 2021 Next Gen honoree Remela Ohanian. “So I could find out what it’s like to be my parents’ favorite.”