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Steve Stark reveals creative team for new prodco Toluca Pictures

Former MGM/UA president Steve Stark, whose credits include dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale, has unveiled the senior creative team at his recently launched prodco Toluca Pictures.

Steve Stark

Stacey Levin, who was previously senior VP of scripted television at MGM/UA, reporting into Stark, has been named president of Toluca, responsible for overseeing development across the company’s broad slate of premium series.

At MGM Studios, Levin was responsible for developing, packaging and selling scripted projects. She also brought in several first-look deals to the studio, including Renée Zellweger’s Big Picture Co, Sam Rockwell’s Play Hooky Productions and Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler’s Killer Films. They will all continue to work with Stark and Levin at Toluca Pictures through their deal with MGM.

Stacey Levin

Prior to that, Levin held executive positions including senior VP of television at IM Global Television/Global Road Entertainment and senior VP of television at Valhalla Motion Pictures.

Meanwhile, Elena Blekhter has been appointed VP of Toluca, joining the firm from Spotify where she was a consultant in the scripted podcast division.

Previously, Blekhter was head of TV & Film at Frolic Media and director of scripted content at Dynamic Television. Before that, she worked at NBC, RBEL Agency and ICM.

Stark founded Toluca in spring after spending nine years at MGM/UA Television. He joined MGM in 2011 as head of scripted television production and development, before being promoted to president of new label MGM/UA Television in 2020.

Elena Blekhter

Stark continues his ongoing partnership with MGM, executive producing series he developed and launched during his run at the studio, including The Handmaid’s Tale, FX’s Fargo and new series in production such as Netflix’s upcoming Vikings: Valhalla.

Toluca Pictures will focus on premium scripted series but also has a feature, an animated series and an international production currently in development.

The firm is also in production with Tadmor Entertainment and MGM on its first documentary, Eichmann – The Devil Speaks, which exposes the missing recordings of Adolph Eichmann, the architect of Hitler’s ‘final solution’.

Stark, founder and executive producer of Toluca Pictures, said: “I’m so proud, if not a little stunned, at how fast we’ve hit the ground running with a dynamic slate of projects we’re extremely passionate about.

“It’s always been my mission to curate riveting, moving stories that can help reveal the world in interesting, unexpected ways. Stacey and Elena bring their incredibly accomplished backgrounds and eclectic taste to this same mission, as well as their fresh take on content which is ushering in a new era in our business.”


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