Jamie Kezlarian Bolio, an industry artist-turned-consultant who helped give independent animation global exposure, has died after a short illness. Her brother announced the news on Facebook.
Through her company 62 George Street, Bolio helped orchestrate award campaigns for animated films. Fourteen went on to secure Oscar nominations, among them several features from distributor GKIDS (including Song of the Sea, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and Mirai) and shorts from the National Film Board of Canada (Animal Behaviour, Blind Vaysha).
Bolio represented studios and distributors in various capacities, working to connect them to projects and talent. She had a close connection to Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon, which she represented in the U.S. In recent years, she moved from L.A. to Amsterdam and served as head of recruitment, talent outreach, and artist development for Dutch studio Submarine.
Beside these roles, Bolio also worked for two years with Craft, an online library and streaming platform that offered tutorials and behind-the-scenes materials from the worlds of animation, gaming, and comics. She curated screenings, masterclasses, and other events. When she lived in L.A., she served for many years on the board of ASIFA-Hollywood.
Before establishing herself at the heart of the indie animation world, Bolio worked as a clean-up artist and assistant animator in Hollywood. She worked at studios including Disney, Dreamworks, Amblimation, and Nickelodeon, picking up credits on The Lion King, Pocahontas, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, The Illusionist, Rocko’s Modern Life, and many more.
News of her death has prompted an outpouring of tributes from the industry. In a Facebook post, Song of the Sea director Tomm Moore wrote, “I’m just in shock — love to all her many, many friends in the animation world — she championed the craft with such thoughtfulness and integrity. My thoughts are also with her family whom she adored and always spoke so fondly of when away from them on her travels. Jamie honestly changed my life in so many ways, she will be terribly missed.”
David Fine, co-director of Animal Behaviour, posted: “I learn of another shocking loss today, but this one someone we worked with quite recently on publicity for Animal Behaviour. Jamie Kezlarian Bolio was sweet and charming and way, way too young to go. I am so sorry for her friends, colleagues, and family who I’m sure will miss her dearly.”
GKIDS CEO Eric Beckman also paid tribute: “I am just hearing this news. I am so deeply in shock. I can’t believe it’s really true. Jamie was such a big part of our lives and was filled with so much love that it sometimes got in her way. It feels incomprehensible. She has been part of the GKIDS family since the earliest days of GKIDS and just such an open hearted and loyal friend.”