NEON’s Ayo Kepher-Maat to co-run Decal with Sara Castillo

DECAL announced today that Ayo Kepher-Maat has been tapped as SVP of Acquisitions to spearhead day-to-day operations of the newly launched label alongside Sara Castillo, SVP of Marketing and Distribution.  DECAL, the full-service home entertainment distributor, is ramping up its executive team, also appointing Lilly Stuecklen as Distribution Manager.  The joint venture from independent distributors NEON and Bleecker Street is handling distribution deals on the home entertainment rights to both of the outfit’s curated slate of high-profile, thought-provoking films.

“Ayo is a leader in her field, and we can’t wait to see what exciting films she is able to bring into the DECAL fold,” said NEON’s Andrew Brown and Bleecker’s Kent Sanderson in a joint statement. “With her, Sara, and now Lilly on the team, we look forward to seeing DECAL grow into the preeminent independent brand in the home entertainment space.”

Kepher-Maat, previously Director of Acquisitions at NEON, most recently oversaw the acquisition of Sundance 2021 breakout documentaries Jamila Wignot’s Ailey and Theo Anthony’s All Light Everywhere. Other recent acquisitions facilitated by Kepher-Maat include Oscar-shortlisted Dear Comrades! and Independent Spirit John Cassavetes’ nominated Killing of Two Lovers,set to release May 14 theatrically by NEONKepher-Maat has previously held positions at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, The Film Arcade, and Creative Artists Agency.

Stuecklen has most recently worked as the Post-Production/Delivery and Exhibition Marketing Coordinator at Bleecker Street since 2018.  She helped launch 20+ theatrical films nationwide including Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace and Kitty Green’s The Assistant, both nominated for multiple Independent Spirit Awards. She is a member of BAFTA’s Young Professionals program as well as Women in Animation. Prior to Bleecker, Stuecklen graduated from Syracuse University’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse program. 

DECAL is also in market seeking new content as its own standalone entity, and will be acquiring additional third-party content as part of their growth and expansion. The joint venture recently made its first acquisition with Jaco Bouwer’s critically acclaimed Gaia, which just made its debut in the Midnight section of SXSW, and will hit theaters on June 18th and VOD on June 25th.