Country Of Honour
NEWS 2 Tuesday 16 October 2018
MEDIA MASTERMIND KEYNOTE
AMC president and chief executive Josh Sapan
WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENING
Beta Film’s The Pier
MIPCOM OPENING PARTY – CHINA NIGHT
Fan Weiping, of China’s National Radio & TV Administration
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Source: Nielsen NTI. Based on A18-49 L+SD Ratings, 2018-19 STD thru 10/7/18; regular series, original episodes.
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My Brilliant Friend 8 x 1 hour | Produced by Wildside for HBO and Rai
The highly anticipated adaptation of the internationally best-selling novel by Elena Ferrante and the producers of The Young Pope.
Baghdad Central 6 x 1 hour | Produced by Euston Films for Channel 4
A crime thriller set in the ruins of post-war Baghdad – as seen through the eyes of an Iraqi ex-police officer.
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Beecham House 6 x 1 hour | Produced by Bend It Television for ITV
An epic drama following the fortunes of the owner and staff of a splendid precolonial India mansion, from BAFTA nominated Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham, Viceroy’s House).
Dublin Murders 8 x 1 hour | Produced by Euston Films for BBC One
An atmospheric, psychological thriller adapted from Tana French’s awardwinning novels.
Extr ordinary drama www.fmscreenings.com
©2018 A+E Networks. Claimed marks are the trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC protected in the United States and other countries in the world.
©2018 A+E Networks. Claimed marks are the trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC protected in the United States and other countries in the world.
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F R O F R M O AM C A D C A E D M EY M AY W AA W R A DR -W D I- N W NI NI NN GI N PG R P O R DO UD C U E R C E R ®
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65 PRODUCT NEWS
Stars walk the red carpet; conference and keynote reports; deals done in Cannes; star profiles; and more...
Multiplatform content from around the world brought to Cannes
77 FULL CONFERENCE PROGRAMME
Actor, producer, writer and director, Ben Stiller, in Cannes last night for the MIPCOM World Premiere TV Screening of Escape At Dannemora. The eight-part drama series marks Stiller’s TV directorial debut
The dream comes true Broadcasters are on the lookout for channel-defining content
The shows that do all the work Factual entertainment can work right across the schedule
Small people, big rewards Taking pre-school from screen to retail requires creativity
BBC AND LIONSGATE TARGET US MARKET BBC STUDIOS and Lionsgate Television are to co-create content and scripted formats for the US market. Under the first-look deal, the parties will identify, co-develop and co-fund original series and draw upon the BBC’s extensive format catalogue. The partnership will extend the reach of both BBC Studios and Lionsgate by combining the best of UK creativity with Lionsgate’s experience in delivering scripted content to multiple US platforms. Matt Forde, BBC Studios’ managing director of international production and formats, said the UK public broadcaster was known “for showcasing the best content with British DNA”. The BBC Studios production unit in Los Angeles has produced a string of US hits, including Getting On for HBO, Dancing With The Stars for ABC and Life Below Zero for National Geographic Channel. Lionsgate Television group chairman Kevin Beggs and group president Sandra Stern welcomed the opportunity to “marshal our complementary resources and expertise” to bring the BBC brand to the US. More news inside...
WILL IT BE LOVE AT FIRST DANCE?
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE DANCING LOVERS
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MIPCOM News 2 •
• 16 October 2018
VISIT US AT MIPCOM AT OUR STAND P4.C18
Jenna Coleman from BBC’s The Cry
Guests walked the red carpet following last night’s World Premiere TV Screening of CBS International’s new drama series Escape At Dannemora. The red carpet led to the MIPCOM Opening Party — China Night, held in partnership cast from Beta Film’s The Pier: Veronica Sanchez Calderon (left), Alvaro Morte and with China, Country Of Honour The Irene Arcos
Fear The Walking Dead’s Colman Domingo (left) with Reed MIDEM’s Paul Zilk
Smurfette, IMPS executives Veronique Culliford and Brigitte Ickmans, with Clumsy from The Smurfs
MIPCOM News 2 •
• 16 October 2018
“SMASH HIT” DEADLINE
TODAY 3 :30 pm 16 OCTOBER 2018 ESTEREL, PALAIS D E S F E S T I VA L S
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A+E Networks executives Ellen Lovejoy (left), Heather Jones, Elizabeth Vargas, Carolina Godayol, YoungSun Soh, Liz Soriano and Hannah Carrady
Birkan Sokullu and Songul Oden from Fox LatAm’s This Is Us
Maria Bopp from Call Me Bruna, Alfonso Herrera from Sitiados, Lali Esposito from Talento Fox and Adrian Suar from The Host, all in town with Fox LatAm
Trigger stars Maksim Matveev and Victoria Maslova Yudai Chiba from Nippon TV’s Way To Kawaii!
The cast of Project Blue Book with A+E Networks executives
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Visit us at MIPCOM Stand P3.B38 bbcstudios.com/sales
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6 x 60’ or 7 x 52’ or 8 x 45’ A Lookout Point and BBC Studios co-production for BBC One and Masterpiece
Davie says BBC merger is all about making things happen “NOW BBC Studios is no longer just a BBC supplier, we have huge opportunities to make outstanding content with people,” said CEO Tim Davie at his Media Mastermind Keynote. He said the changes disrupting the TV industry were seismic, even for a player of the size and reputation of the BBC, and that the key rationale behind the merger of BBC Worldwide and the BBC’s in-house production units under the BBC Studios name was to attract and retain talent. “The best way to do this is to have a system which enables you to come up with an idea, get it made, get the funding together and come to the market quickly. So you can talk all the technical things about vertical integration, all the business-school stuff but
at the end of the day it’s about making things happen,” he said. At BBC Studios they now talk about “British Bold Creativity”. “We’re focused on high-end British creativity of the finest quality underpinned by the editorial values we care about,” he added. Davie referenced the deal, announced yesterday, between BBC Studios and Netflix to make a 3 x 90 mins mini-series of Dracula, written by Steven Moffat. He also treated his audience to sneak peeks at the Andrew Daviespenned Les Miserables; MotherFatherSon, a contemporary drama starring Richard Gere; and Dynasties, the latest natural history series with David Attenborough. Dynasties will be co-produced with Chinese streaming service Tencent, who will have behindthe-scenes access for short-form content and more. But the big drama will be following five animal families struggling to survive. “It’s pure Shakespeare, it really is,” Davie said.
BBC Studios’ Tim Davie
Women keep up pressure for change
Taking the stage at the Women In Global Entertainment Power Lunch
ONE YEAR after the start of the #MeToo movement, a new generation of women activists are taking the lead in redefining how the media represents women. And to make the point, two of them wore shorts to the 2018 Women In Global Entertainment Power Lunch at the Majestic hotel. “We are change,” said French social-media activists Elise Goldfarb and Julia Layani. They explained how their Facebook interviews with powerful women sent their socials through the roof.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS Paul Zilk MARKETING DIRECTOR Mathieu Regnault
Country Of Honour
NEWS 2 Tuesday 16 October 2018 www.mipcom.com
And when big brands wanted to advertise with them, they used their power to take ads from those that promote positive images of women — and not from those that don’t. Headline speaker Elizabeth Vargas, acclaimed host of A&E Investigates, said “change is coming but we need to keep up the pressure”. She called on women to support each other, mentor one another, and be the change we want to see. The 2018 Women In Global Entertainment Power Lunch was held in partnership with A+E Networks.
THE MIPCOM NEWSROOM IS LOCATED IN PALAIS 1
EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Editor in Chief Julian Newby Managing Editor Debbie Lincoln Reporters Stuart Braun, Ben Cooper, Andy Fry, Juliana Koranteng, Isobel Lee, Max Leonard, Rachel Murrell, Gary Smith, Joanna Stephens, Editorial Assistant Hannah Stephens Sub Editors Clive Bull, Neil Churchman, Nigel Willmott Web and Social Media Sunnie Newby Editorial Management Boutique Editions Head of Graphic Studio Herve Traisnel Graphic Studio Manager Frederic Beauseigneur Graphic Designers Muriel Betrancourt, Veronique Duthille, Carole Peres Head of Photographers Yann Coatsaliou / 360 Media Photographers Christian Alminana, Phyrass Haidar, Olivier Houeix, Michel Johner PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT Publishing Director Martin Screpel Publishing Manager Amrane Lamiri Printer Riccobono Imprimeurs, Le Muy (France). ADVERTISING CONTACT IN CANNES Silvia Ferreira: +33 7 78 35 43 99 Reed MIDEM, a joint stock company (SAS), with a capital of €310.000, 662 003 557 R.C.S. NANTERRE, having offices located at 27-33 Quai Alphonse Le Gallo - 92100 BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT (FRANCE), VAT number FR91 662 003 557. Contents © 2018, Reed MIDEM Market Publications. Publication registered 4th quarter 2018. Printed on PEFC Certified Paper.
MIPCOM News 2 • 16 • 16 October 2018
MIPCOM stand no. P-1.L2, P-1.M1 zdf-enterprises.de
ITV’s McCall addresses new business reality in Keynote ITV IS in an interesting position with some of its newest and biggest shows: recently the political thriller Bodyguard, made by ITV Studios’ World Productions, beat ITV (the channel’s) costume drama Vanity Fair in the Sunday-night ratings war. Bodyguard has since been sold to Netflix and Vanity Fair can be seen on Amazon Prime outside the UK. Yet Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO, said that she was at home with the complexities of the modern TV business, in a bullish Keynote yesterday. “Spotify and Netflix have said [to consumers], if you want this, you have to pay. When I was at The Guardian, nobody was willing to pay for anything. That has been a positive thing, and the whole drive for content has
ITV CEO Carolyn McCall
Jamie Oliver urges new TV recipe IN HIS years in the TV business, Jamie Oliver has ‘reformulated’ a lot of things. First, as a young man, he reformulated the cooking show, helping guys conquer their prejudices about the kitchen: “The Naked Chef changed the moment from ‘cooking is for girls’ to ‘cooking can get you girls’,” he said during his MIPCOM Keynote. Then he reformulated how stars deal with television, creating his own production company backed by Fremantle and striking an exclusive UK deal with Channel 4. Then he reformulated the way TV worked in society, with Jamie’s School Dinners and Sugar Rush, documentaries that resulted in new rules around school meals and laws reducing the amount of sugar in fizzy drinks: “If there’s one thing we’re really good at,”
he said, “it’s making a genuine, legitimate, measurable campaign, with content, and getting social change.” Oliver confessed he had a lot of respect for broadcasters, likening scheduling to DJs choosing records that keep people dancing. But he foresaw a conflict ahead, between broadcasters’ reliance on big bucks from junk-food ads and their social responsibilities. “We’ve got to a scenario where people are actually saying, ‘we can’t make killer drama without selling shit to kids’.” He added: “We know that, as a concept, reformulating ingredients in the same packet of crisps, reformulating our workplaces, or our cities, works. So reformulation, of course it goes to drama, to content.” “This is the challenge of the next 10 years,” he said. “If you
look at 20 years of my work, all I am is a weather gauge of what’s
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been positive,” she said. ITV Studios represents around 40% of the company’s business, but about 30% of its revenues, she said. “Studios remains an incredibly important part of what we do, it’s our way of ensuring we have a diversified group. But we wouldn’t be making the right shifts in the world around us if we weren’t trying to engage more directly with the consumer.” ITV Hub (its AVOD catchup ser vice) is becoming a personalised destination, and there will also be a new SVOD service, which will not be “a UK Netflix. It will be ITV-led, and it will be British-originated content,” she said, adding that direct-to-consumer was, “a completely new revenue pool”. The new business reality, she said, is about speed: “It’s about agility, it’s about moving in the right direction but it’s about listening to your consumers. We will use algorithms but we always have that human connection.”
going to happen anyway in three years’ time. So my question to the leaders is, are you going to be proactive or reactive? Are you going to have clarity and be honest or be told what to do?”
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AMC Network’s Josh Sapan on creating and curating content
THE ABUNDANCE and pace of new content and formats in the digital era accentuates the need for broadcasters and creators to be discerning about making shows, the head of one of the largest specialist TV networks in the US has said. Speaking to MIPCOM News, AMC Networks president and chief executive Josh Sapan said that as companies grow and adopt new algorithms to source content, there is a danger of becoming driven by “facility and volume” rather than being focused on quality content with a human touch. Sapan — who will address delegates at a Media Mastermind Keynote session this morning alongside Colman Domingo, star of AMC original series Fear The Walking Dead — said that his company is committed to “curating content, like a boutique, as the world gets larger and more content is out there”. “There’s space for everyone to do their thing,” Sapan said, “but we want to find content that is really for our viewers. We’ve moved positively into making original content; we take great pains with everything that we are involved with. When the creative genetics are wonderful and if an idea is treated properly it can find a very wide audience, but I feel that is increasingly less common today.” The company is in Cannes to showcase a slate of original programming, including Lodge 49, a major new series which counts Paul Giamatti among its executive producers, and upcoming comedy State Of The Union, which is being distributed by AMC subsidiary Sundance TV. AMC, which operates BBC America through a joint-venture partnership with BBC Studios, produces original content through its production arm, AMC Studios, as well as being a major global distributor via the AMC Networks International brand. Sapan and Domingo will appear on stage in the Grand Auditorium at 11.00 this morning.
AMC Networks’ Josh Sapan
Endeavor’s Emanuel collects award ARI EMANUEL, CEO of Endeavor, was in Cannes this week to receive the Variety Vanguard Award, acknowledging his outstanding contribution to the international television business. He also delivered a MIPCOM Media Mastermind Keynote in which he stressed the importance of “staying curious about the business” and having “emotional endurance”. Endeavor was launched in 1995 as a start-up talent agency by four former ICM agents. Today it is a multi-billion-dollar business that
has absorbed IMG, UFC and William Morris Agency, among others, and forged powerful links with the brand-marketing community. The one thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its focus on clients, says Emanuel: “We have built a business that is all about complementing the needs of writers, directors, actors, authors, musicians and advertisers.” Big changes in recent years have included the creation of Endeavor Content, a financing and distribution unit that has backed
scripted series including Killing Eve, Little Drummer Girl, Britannia and The First. Asked if this represents a potential conflict of interests with the company’s agency division WME, he said “it might have done in 1957, but the world has changed significantly. Everything we are doing is about creating opportunities for clients and giving them ownership.” On the subject of content, Emanuel said Endeavor no longer thinks purely in terms of film, TV and music. “Podcasts,
MIPCOM News 2 • 20 • 16 October 2018
experiences and education are all forms of content we are interested in,” he said. Endeavor’s business has 200 offices and a head-count running into thousands. According to Emanuel, scale is key to survival and he didn’t rule out further acquisitions. However he stressed that expansion meant the management have to pay attention to corporate culture. “Companies don’t die through one big cut, they die by a 1,000 small cuts. So we are putting a lot of effort in to redefining our architecture in a way that continues the traditional and captures the new.”
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SIXTIES ICON BACK WITH APPLE PIE AND INSTAGRAM
Ruby Jay plays Holly Hobbie
HOLLY Hobbie, the iconic 1960s character, has been reimagined for the 21st century in a new 10 x 30 mins live-action series co-produced by Cloudco Entertainment (formerly American Greetings Entertainment), Toronto’s Aircraft Pictures and Wexworks Media. Holly — who has previously featured in animated TV series and films — is a 13-yearold girl growing up in smalltown America. She is played by singer-songwriter Ruby Jay and she has a best friend, a love of country music … and an Instagram account. Hulu and Universal Kids both invested. “Cloudco’s pitch had nostalgia, wholesomeness and sweetness, and it expresses the original IP really well,” Hulu’s director of content acquisition Andrew Thomas said. “We wanted something a little outside the core expectation of a live-action half-hour series. Content that would stand out and be unique.” Part of Holly’s appeal to today’s kids is her social conscience, showrunner Sarah Glinski said: if someone’s in trouble, she can’t help but get involved. “She’s a superhero without a cape or superpowers,” Glinski added. “She proves that if you can dream it — and if you can get your parents to drive you there — you can be the change.” Holly Hobbie launches in the US on November 16, in time for Thanksgiving.
How to get creativity on screen — strong stories and soft money STREAMING services are not only disrupting traditional programming: with payment sometimes staged over three years following delivery of the programme — they’re also disrupting TV finance. The Funding Creativity: What Investors Want panel explored the ways in which creativity, faced with this scenario, could avoid being disrupted itself. Speakers ranged from those with a distribution background, such as Keshet International, to local production specialists. “We work with local partners, distributors and producers rather than imposing our IP in a territory,” Globalgate Entertainment’s Meg Thomson said. Also represented were financing companies that are switching focus from theatrical to high-end TV drama. Many speakers emphasised the desire for strong storylines and
Globalgate Entertainment’s Meg Thomson
talent, and — in the case of Bron Studios, Keshet International and Ingenious Media —ideally with a lead broadcaster attached. Barclays, however, was content to act just as a bank and simply plug funding gaps: “We look at projects fully financed by other people, and we’ll swell the cash so you can pay your costs upfront, before tax credits and other things,” Barclays’ Thomas Dods said.
Singapore-based Aurora Media Holdings fill financing gaps in the creativity-rich Asia region: “We know how to put together deals with producers accessing soft money,” the company’s Justin Deimen said. Anton Corp’s Sebastien Raybaud said the firm was also looking at shorter-form content, and was working with Clerkenwell Films, producers of the 8 x 25 mins hit, The End Of The F***ing World.
Europe leads the way in 4K uptake WESTERN Europe has become the surprising frontrunner in the growing demand for 4K UHD TV, according to speakers at the Monday panel, Ultra HD Opening Session And Global Update. “Globally, it is Europe that is currently fastest growing with the highest number of channels adopting 4K,” said Yoshiaki Joe Nakata, head of brand design platform at Sony Corp, which has hosted the 4K sessions at MIPCOM and MIPTV for the past four years. “Europe has the highest number of channels, with 76 in 46 countries,” Michel Chabrol, Eutelsat’s senior vice-president new TV formats, said. “Western Europe is the region that leads in market share,” said Paul Gray, IHS Markit research director, during his State Of
The UHD Market presentation. “Some 60% of TV shipments in Western Europe during the second quarter of 2018 had 4K resolution.” He predicted that by 2022, 40% of Western European homes will have UHD. But developments are taking place elsewhere too. Speakers estimated that despite the lack of interoperability among the different international transmission standards, the number of homes that are 4K UHD and HDR (high-dynamic range) compatible will triple globally by 2022. China remains the biggest market in terms of the number of 4K TV shipments, and Japan is the most advanced in terms of content availability, the technology and the screen resolution, as it prepares for the 2020 Tokyo
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Olympic Games. Japan’s five major broadcasters have started broadcasting in 4K. China’s first domestic 4K channel launched this month. Stuart Smitherman, president of US-based Vivicast Media, added: “In the next 18 months, we shall see a huge growth rate in North America.”
IHS Markit’s Paul Gray
ZDF Enterprises celebrates its traditional ‘Sundowner’ with cast of drama highlights OVER WATER and STHLM REQUIEM Fred Burcksen (ZDF Enterprises’ President and CEO, second from right) with the cast and crew of ‘Over Water’: Paul Baeten Gronda, Tom Lenaerts, Kato Maes, Natali Broods and Tom Dewispelaere.
Among the company’s novelties are the Flemish psychological drama series ‘Over Water’ (10x45’) and the Nordic Noir ‘Sthlm Requiem’ (5x90’ or 10x50’), which were presented in the presence of cast and crew. ‘Over Water’ tells the story of a man with a troubled past, faced with old demons and new temptations, who receives a second chance to do right. The original Swedish crime series ‘Sthlm Requiem’ is an adaptation of Kristina Ohlsson’s trilogy of best-selling novels, set in the shadows of Stockholm. ZDFE.unscripted presents the documentary series ‘History of Weapons’ (10x50’), which uncovers the dynamics that shaped several millennia of human fate. A new series for youngsters comes from ZDFE.junior, the no. 1 address for successful live action programs. ‘The Athena’ (26x26’) follows the journey of Nyela Malik - a young model who wins a place at The Athena, London’s most prestigious art school.
Sarah Eichenlaub (Director ZDFE.drama, ZDF Enterprises, second from left) with the cast and crew of ’Sthlm Requiem’: Piodor Gustafsson, Liv Mjönes, Karin Fahlén and Alexej Manvelov.
Our long-standing partner and friend Jonathan M. Shiff, honoree of the Kids Trendsetter Award of MIPJunior 2018 for driving innovation in children’s programming with Nicole Keeb (Head of International Coproductions and Acquisitions, Children and Youth Programs, ZDF), Kathrin Pietzsch (Director ZDFE.junior, ZDF Enterprises), Arne Lohmann (ZDF Enterprises’ VP ZDFE.junior) and Michael Stumpf (Head of Children & Youth Main Editorial Department, ZDF).
Kateryna Vyshnevska (Film.UA Group) and Kristina Frajtic (Blitz Film) with Mirela Nastase (Director ZDFE.drama, ZDF Enterprises).
Jan-Frederik Maul (Director ZDFE.junior, ZDF Enterprises) with Ben Butterworth (First Light Entertainment Ltd).
Tapaas Chakravarti, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DQ Entertainment, with his daughter Shona (Vice President and Executive Producer of Intellectual Properties, DQ Entertainment) and members of his team from DQ Entertainment.
Arne Lohmann (VP ZDFE.junior, ZDF Enterprises), Nico Keeb (Head of International Coproductions and Acquisitions, Children and Youth Programs, ZDF) with Luca Milano (Director of RAI RAGAZZI).
Kathrin Pietzsch (Director ZDFE.junior, ZDF Enterprises, second from right) with VRT’s Dorien Laseure, Maarten Janssen and Telidja Klai.
Margarita Garcia (Director ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises, center) with Red Bull Media’s Christine Bömmel and Silke Wilfinger (SilkWay Films).
West One International’s Ieva Balciute and Carl Hall with JTBC Contents Hub’s Timo Gehrke, Yuliya Hreben (Director ZDFE.drama, ZDF Enterprises) and Christophe Goldberger (Managing Director GoldBee).
Ralf Rueckauer (VP ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises) with Felix Feng (Youku/Alibaba), Anya Durling and Kyle Murdoch (both NHNZ).
BROADCASTERS TO OUTLINE OTT RESISTANCE PLANS AROUND THE world, traditional broadcasters are facing annihilation by OTT giants such as Amazon and Netflix. In this morning’s conference session Rethinking Streaming three broadcasters will talk about how they are fighting back. Ahead of the session, panel moderator Adam Cunningham, chief digital officer at Allied Global Marketing, told MIPCOM News why he thinks we should all be paying attention. “I don’t know a more urgent issue in media today than how traditional broadcasters can compete with global media companies that have more data, more customers, more cash and more content than ever before,” he said. “If they don’t figure this out, they risk becoming production companies for Netflix.” One member of the “European resistance” is Soumya Sriraman, president of the BBC Studios/ITV subscription video-on-demand service BritBox. RTVE’s director of technology innovation and information systems Pere Vila is banking on aggregating content that is uniquely Spanish. And DR’s head of planning and scheduling Peter Rosberg believes total transparency will help the producers of world-beating Danish drama to do it even better.
China ‘bursting with potential’, says iQIYI founder Yu Gong TODAY AT 16.40 in the Grand Auditorium, Yu Gong, founder and CEO of Chinese internet video-streaming and entertainment service iQIYI, will be sharing his thoughts on entertainment and innovation in China, a country that he believes is bursting with untapped potential as it transitions from the offline to the online world. “Currently in China, people spend most of their time on communication apps, closely followed by online videos,” he said. Gong will also be examining the growing importance of premium and original content, and how to boost revenue generation through differing revenue streams in first, second and third windows. “Ads that are seamlessly embed-
Yu Gong, founder and CEO of iQIYI
ded into the production of our premium original content can facilitate a more natural and uninterrupted viewing experience. Original content also has long-
term value as it can be broadcast and monetised in multiple periods of its lifetime,” he said. He added: “We can generate revenues from subscription fees in the first window, and from ads in the second window for all users. During the third window, we can convert the content back to paid content to retain the existing paying members.” He also believes that user and advertiser behaviour will continue to change as both online and offline worlds evolve: “With online and offline markets merging, online penetration as a percentage of China’s total entertainment industry is expected to grow from 15% in 2016 to 25% by 2022. As more people migrate to online entertainment, advertisers’ ad dollars will move in the same direction.”
Mouseler turns eye on format trends
Virigina Mouseler reveals The Wit’s latest findings to the MIPCOM audience
Allied Global Marketing’s Adam Cunningham
VIRGINIA Mouseler, CEO of The Wit, offered a round-up of global production and format trends to a packed Grand Auditorium yesterday. Her presentation included a summary of some of the many hugely popular dance shows and
their use of technology like super slow-motion to spot technique. She also offered a glimpse of several formats in production based around couples and relationships that also make use of similar technology to read body language. And she looked at the vogue
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for shows that compare rich to poor in series including Born Famous, where globally famous names like Spice Girl Mel B and chef Gordon Ramsay take their kids to the modest houses they grew up in and reminisce about the lives they led as children.
BINGE YOUR HEAD OFF
AMC GLOBAL PREMIERE
Mad Men meets X-Files in America’s hunt for UFOs
Michael Malarkey (left), with Laura Mennell and Aidan Gillen
AN ALL-STAR cast headed by Aidan Gillen is at MIPCOM this week for the premiere screening of A+E Studios’ new 10-part thriller Project Blue Book. Produced by Robert Zemeckis, the show focuses on the US Air Force’s true-life investigations of UFO sightings in the 1950s. Gillen, most recently seen in Game Of Thrones and Peaky Blinders, plays real-life astrophysicist Dr Allen Hynek. Recruited to take part in a top-secret UFO hunting programme, Hynek gradually
comes to realise he is at the centre of a dangerous cover-up. Speaking to MIPCOM News, Gillen said: “The show is set in a fascinating period. You have the emergence of the UFO phenomenon, rapid technological advances and post-war trauma and optimism. Combine that with great writing and Hynek’s character, and it was a tantalising prospect for me.” Gillen’s spouse in the show, Mimi, is played by Laura Mennell, most recently seen in the offbeat comedy Loudermilk. She was drawn in
by “the beautifully developed characters and scripts. Allen Hynek was such an interesting figure, because he was not your stereotypical UFO enthusiast. He’s intelligent, meticulous and credible.” Acting as a foil to Gillen is Michael Malarkey, who plays Captain Michael Quinn. He is, Malarkey said, “an airforce guy who does things by the book. But as the show progresses, he becomes more open in his thinking. For me, the attraction was the script and characters. I love the music and
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style of this period. It has a Mad Men meets The X-Files vibe.” The pilot was written by David O’ Leary, who then went on to lead the writing of the series, alongside showrunner Sean Jablonski. Jablonski said: “I had been intrigued by this area for a long time, so David had me with his pilot. But as a writer it was also really fascinating to deal with a character who goes on a journey from sceptic to believer.” Despite its period setting, Jablonksi believes the show’s subject matter has contemporary relevance. “An agency created by government to tell people they didn’t see what they saw in the guise of protecting us … Concerns about nuclear war on the horizon … People wanting to understand what is ‘out there’ — they all seem like resurgent themes,” he said. Both Gillen and Malarkey have just come off the back of longrunning TV franchises — and look like they might be entering another. For Malarkey, who featured in the final seasons of The Vampire Diaries, “it’s exciting to start something right from the outset”. As for Gillen, who played Petyr Baelish in Game Of Thrones: “I really like the changeover period, it’s really liberating. But I don’t think about the long-term commitment. It’s important to focus on the moment. It’s what you do in every tiny piece of the jigsaw that makes it work.” Filming took place in and around Vancouver during a cold, rainy winter. The location was useful, says Jablonksi, because it could double for many of the different UFO sighting locations in the story. Mennell adds that “the weather also played well into the noir-ish mood of the show”. The Zemeckis involvement was also exciting for the cast, adds Gillen. “I think we all know him as a master storyteller, but he has also always been a pioneer in terms of effects — used in a subtle way. “I’d also give a shout out to the production design which was fantastic. As an actor, it does a huge amount in terms of putting you in the time and place.”
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F O R S P O N S O R S H I P O P P O R T U N I T I E S , C O N TAC T K A S E Y C H A M P I O N : KC H A M P I O N @ P M C .C O M
GUSTO COOKS UP A STORM WITH SBS GUSTO Worldwide Media has confirmed at MIPCOM the sale of over 40 hours of original programming to SBS Food in Australia. The deal includes five cooking shows — a total of 86 episodes. All series will be available to over four million viewers on SBS Food, the first and only free-to-air 24/7 food channel in Australia and later on SBS On Demand for Australian audiences to view any time. The content in this deal reflects SBS’ commitment to deliver multicultural programming to Australians. The sale includes One World Kitchen (28 x 30 mins); Bonacini’s Italy (15 x 30 mins); The Urban Vegetarian (15 x 30 mins); The Latin Kitchen (15 x 30 mins); and Spencer’s BIG 30 (13 x 30 mins) “SBS and Gusto Worldwide Media share the same global sensibility when it comes to food television,” said Corey Caplan, senior director of international sales, Gusto Worldwide Media. “Our diverse, multicultural programming is a great fit for SBS Food and we look forward to bringing our original series to millions of food lovers in Australia.”
One World Kitchen — part of Gusto’s cooking-show line-up
TV Asahi takes partners for romance and reality format TV ASAHI is joining forces with Chinese production studio Yi Zuo Yi You and Jiangsu TV to close a format deal for Falling In Love Like A Romantic TV Drama, an original romantic reality show created by Japanese internet broadcaster Abema TV — a 2016 joint venture between TV Asahi and leading Japanese internet conglomerate CyberAgent. The original format, which is
pitched to young audiences, sees eight upcoming young actors gather for three months with a single mission — to produce their own romantic drama. But as the participants perform their roles as professional actors, the format captures how private emotions and intrigues spill into the creation of the romantic programme. “The concept of this reality show is fresh, catchy, and comes
Toru Takeda, senior executive director at TV Asahi (left); Judy Lu, senior director of content acquisition at Youku; Tatsuhiko Taniguchi, head of production of Youku; and Fei Han of Yi Zuo Yi You
Cineflix seals key European deals CINEFLIX Rights comes to MIPCOM on the back of multiple sales across CEE. Some 330 hours of content has been sold into the region following deals with NC+ in Poland, Czech TV, RTL Croatia, AMC Networks and Fox Networks Group. NC+ has acquired newly launched blue-chip documentaries The Day We Walked On
with a unique twist,” said Fei Han of Yi Zuo Yi You. Following the format’s success in Japan “we are certain that this will attract a big young audience in China,” he added. The Chinese remake of the original Japanese format is scheduled for release next year by Youku, a multiscreen online video-sharing and streaming platform in China owned by Alibaba Group.
The Moon, The Cold Blue and Going To War for its Planete+ channel. The Polish broadcaster has also taken 115 hours of Property Brothers content for its Domo+ channel. The Day We Walked On The Moon and The Cold Blue are also headed for Czech TV, which has also bought Alcatraz: The Greatest Escapes and sea-
son 18 of Mayday: Air Disaster. RTL Croatia’s 96-hour package includes My Family And The Galapagos, Border Security: America’s Front Line, two Property Brothers titles and Mayday: Air Disaster. AMC Networks International Central and Northern Europe has taken Going To War and Alcatraz: The Greatest Es-
MIPCOM News 2 • 30 • 16 October 2018
capes for its Spektrum channels in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It has also acquired Property Brothers and Flipping Virgin for its Spektrum Home channels in the same territories. Lastly, Fox Networks Group has taken 50 hours of programming, including Alcatraz: The Greatest Escapes, Expecting and Rocky Mountain Railroad for its National Geographic channels in Central Europe.
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SHERLOCK DUO TO TAKE ON DRACULA THE BBC has inked a deal that will see production start on a new drama based around classic horror novel Dracula, to be written and produced by the creators of hit detective series Sherlock. Hartswood Films, which produced Sherlock for the BBC, has been commissioned to produce the three-part mini-series, reuniting key members from the same team including executive producers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Susan Vertue. Commenting on the deal, Vertue said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be back at the BBC, and also delighted that Netflix are coming on board with Dracula. There’s nothing like fresh blood.” The new adaptation will be set in the Transylvania of Bram Stoker’s classic novel, in the last years of the 19th century. It will be shown on BBC1 in the UK, and on Netflix outside of the UK. Piers Wenger, controller of BBC drama, who commissioned the series jointly with Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, said: “Steven and Mark’s ingenious vision for Dracula is as clever as it is chilling. In their talented hands the fans will experience the power of Bram Stoker’s creation as if completely anew. We are thrilled to be collaborating with them and the brilliant team at Hartswood on yet another iconic British series.” International distribution of the show will be managed by BBC Studios Distribution.
Key sale for The Pier as series makes world debut in Cannes ON THE eve of MIPCOM, distributor Beta Film secured a landmark sale for the Movistar+ Spanish-language series The Pier to French commercial broadcaster TF1. The deal is a strong start for the series, which gets its World Premiere TV Screening today at 18.45 in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais des Festivals. The Pier is an offbeat romantic thriller from showrunner team Alex Pina and Esther Martinez Lobato, best known for the hit show Money Heist (Casa De Papel). Fabrice Bailly, head of programmes and acquisitions at TF1 Group, said: “After the excellent performances of Good Doctor and The Handmaid’s Tale on our channels, we are sure that The Pier will add to our success.” Pina and Martinez Lobato told the MIPCOM News that the story begins with a man leading a romantic double-life who dies in the first episode. “From this starting point, we tried to develop the story from a non-conventional point of view — working on the ambiguity between good and evil. We tore down ethical, moral prejudice and we intro-
A scene from The Pier
duced a triangle from a wholly new perspective. The series talks about the duality that every person carries within them.” The Pier is one of several high-profile scripted series on Beta Film’s MIPCOM slate. Others include Trigger, from Russian producer Sreda, and Medici – The Magnificent, an
English-language production, from Lux Vide, Rai Fiction, Altice Group and Big Light, about a young Lorenzo de Medici. There is also M – A City Hunts A Murderer (6 x 60 mins/Superfilm for ORF and RTL Crime); Victor Hugo – Enemy Of The State; and Pagan Peak (8 x 60 mins/Sky Germany).
Breakthrough deal for Indian drama MUMBAI-based One Life Studios has signed a deal with Hulu Japan to air its ambitious historical drama series Porus on the premium OTT platform. The sale of the title, which depicts the battle of the legendary Indian warrior Porus against Alexander the Great, marks a first in Indian programme-making. “Porus is the first Indian series to be aired in Japan,” said Siddharth Kumar Tewary, writer, director and producer of Porus. “This is really special for all of us. We had dreamt to make Po-
rus India’s first global series, and are now covering 11 countries and 14 territories. We are moving in the right direction.” Kazufumi Nagasawa, chief content officer of Hulu Japan, added: “We are thrilled to introduce our first acquisition of an Indian drama series to our audience in Japan. We are keen to introduce unique and outstanding shows which the Japanese audience would not have a chance to watch if Hulu Japan does not exist.” Rahul Kumar Tewary, managing
director of One Life Studios, said he was delighted the show was “the first premier Indian television content to be associated with one of the top premier OTT platforms in Japan”. “It proves that quality content can be of any language,” Tewary added. “If made well, audiences worldwide can relate. We are sure our audience in Japan will appreciate Porus.” Hulu Japan is currently one of the leading online SVOD services with over 1.7 million paying subscribers.
MIPCOM News 2 • 34 • 16 October 2018
Siddharth Kumar Tewary (left) writer, director and producer of Porus; Kazufumi Nagasawa, Hulu Japan; and Rahul Kumar Tewary, One Life Studios
“I don’t need to work. I want to take on challenges like this” Richard Gere stars in MotherFatherSon
ACTOR Richard Gere said yesterday at MIPCOM that his new original BBC drama, MotherFatherSon, was an attempt to “tell a story that relates to this crazy moment on the planet”, adding that “you can’t compete with how crazy someone like Trump is, and many of these tribalist nationalists”. The eight-part series, broadcasting in 2019 in the UK, is a political and emotional thriller exploring the social and economic power wielded by Gere’s character Max, an American media mogul with businesses in London and around the world. But it is also a look at secrets and lies “and the abuse of power within a family”, said Hilary Salmon, executive producer for BBC Studios Drama London. Written by Tom Rob Smith, the story also features Helen McCrory as Kathryn, a British heiress estranged from Max following the breakdown of their marriage some years before. Their 30-year-old son Caden (Billy Howle), runs Max’s UK newspaper and is primed to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the most powerful men in the world. But when Caden’s self-destructive lifestyle spirals out of control, the devastating consequences threaten the future of the family, its empire, and a country on the brink of change. “Tom has created a dysfunctional family drama about good-hearted people trying to be the best they can, allowing us actors to play with the rich emotions of that, exploring power in general,” Gere said. “I feel comfortable calling it a neo-Shakespearean story.” He added: “The reality-show President we have highlights the real stuff even more. We have become accustomed to see lies and artiﬁce. When you see something that is honest and heartfelt, with a desire to make things better, it’s even more powerful.” “We wanted to make a really bold and ambitious piece of television that matches the ambitions of Tom’s script and we’re really proud of the way it looks. There hasn’t been a time when it’s been more pertinent to examine the nature of power, how it’s obtained, and why we are so drawn to it. And it’s probably become more pertinent in the time we’ve been ﬁlming it,” added Salmon.
Gere said that the show was also a chance to contrast US and UK culture, describing a scene where his “trashy, tabloid mogul is throwing money at a traditional, establishment British newspaper” which he wants to buy. “I have to remind them that there are no other bids on the table, and they compromise and sell it to me,” he said. “It’s an extraordinary monologue,” writer Tom Rob Smith said. “He’s dancing around the establishment, he’s not bullying, but seductive and perceptive.” According to Howle, his UK-raised character clashes time and time again with his American father who is also his boss. “There is love there, but they are at loggerheads for the differences in their belief systems.” “It’s such a dense script,” Gere said, calling the writing team “acrobats with language”. “The three actors are simply extraordinary and very different,” Smith said. “This is a showcase, it’s really a masterclass in acting. We just sit back with the scenes and let them run.” Gere also paid homage to Howle, describing him as “one of the best actors that I’ve ever worked with — and I’ve been around a long time. This kid is extraordinary. He will really blow your mind.” Gere said the series was his ﬁrst real foray into television, adding, “this is where the most interesting work is being done by actors right now. The world is so turned upside down in terms of movies.” He said that the project felt like “an eight-hour movie. It’s telling a very deep, dense story.” When asked if the experience had inspired Gere to take on further television roles he quipped “not this year!” alluding to the series as “a huge artistic challenge”. “The stamina you need is very different to movies. But at this stage in my career, that’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “I don’t need to work. I want to take on challenges like this.” Salmon said that while the series had been designed as a mini-series, there was an opening for it to come back, depending on “how the audience responds to it”.
MIPCOM News 2 • 36 • 16 October 2018
Lauren loves fearless Frankie FRANKIE Drake may have lived in 1920s Toronto, but there’s nothing old fashioned about the star of CBC original series Frankie Drake Mysteries, the second season of which launches in Cannes this week. “She’s a kick-ass female character who has no fear or reservations and who succeeds against all odds,” said Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape Of Water), who plays the feisty, gin-drinking, motorbikeriding private investigator who takes on cases the police don’t want to touch. “What I love about Frankie Drake is that it’s pure entertainment. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and the result is a great family show that’s inclusive, touches on interesting topics, looks magnificent and transports you to another world.” Lee Smith is in Cannes to help promote the critically acclaimed
drama, produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, and represented internationally by Kew Media Distribution. In the run-up to MIPCOM, US arts network Ovation acquired both seasons of the show (31 x 60 mins), which it will air from June 2019. Deals have also been closed for the 10-part second series with Viasat (CEE), Globosat (Brazil), Sky (New Zealand), Dazzler (UK) and YLE (Finland). Frankie Drake Mysteries also plays to the global demand for dramas with strong female leads. “The show also has an all-female supporting cast, as well as female showrunners, writers, producers and directors,” Lee Smith said. Frankie Drake is assisted in her investigations by fellow detective Trudy (Chantel Riley), officer Mary Shaw (Rebecca Liddiard) and morgue attendant Flo
Chakowitz (Sharron Matthews). Lee Smith added that series about women, featur ing women and made by women are increasingly the norm: “These days, it’s becoming a non-issue. And I think that’s where we want to get.”
Lauren Lee Smith: “a kickass female character”
Is this your first time at MIPCOM? A “First Timers’ Welcome Corner” manned by our dedicated team is available throughout MIPCOM in the Participants’ Club Green (Palais -1) with a daily programme to meet peers at the market. Please pop in and say ‘Hello’.
Tuesday 16 October 09:30 & 16:00 First Timers’ tours on demand. Upon request WELCOME at the First Timers’ Welcome Corner in the Participants’ Club Green (Palais -1).
Tuesday 16 Wednesday 17 October 08:30-10:00 First Timers’ Welcome Breakfast, Participants’ Club Green, Palais -1
MIPCOM News 2 • 38 • 16 October 2018
Why kawaii is the way to go TODAY’s MIPCOM Asian World Premiere TV Screening, Way Too Kawaii!, is a fun but thoughtful look at pop culture from Nippon TV, produced by Arisa Mori and starring Yudai Chiba Art meets life in the new romantic-comedy series, which centres on an ambitious editor called Nankichi, who works in the literary department of a publishing house. When he is transferred to one of the company’s fashion titles –— a publication dripping with female-targeted cuteness — Nankichi faces the professional challenge of his life. Kawaii, the Japanese word for pretty or cute, has become synonymous with trends ranging from Japanese anime and manga to Lolita fashion. “Nankichi, the character I play, is a tough and ambitious man who simply doesn’t appreciate kawaii,” Chiba said. As Nankichi begins to observe the genuine skills of the models, photographers, stylists and editors, his professionalism kicks in and he starts to grow into his new role. Unsurprisingly, romance follows. For Chiba the show presents a shot at international stardom. “As a result of Way Too Kawaii! being rolled out globally, I definitely believe there will be positive influences in terms of how I will be able to approach new roles,” he said. “When I see the reactions of the international viewers, I know I will realise how I could have done certain things differently and will get ideas on how to improve. I have no doubt this experience will enable me to step up to the next level.” The show is an important vehicle for Nippon TV as well. “I get the impression the directing team put quite a bit of effort into creating the drama to attract the attention of global viewers,” Chiba said. “When you watch it, you will notice that the computer graphics and sound effects are colourful and pop. I was surprised that it ended up being so pop when I saw the finished version. But actually, I think it helps make the show easy to watch.” He added: “Kawaii is one of the better known Japanese words abroad, but I can’t think of any dramas that have depicted the people who create kawaii. The movie The Devil Wears Prada has a similar theme, but it takes place in Vogue, which is not even remotely close to the teen fashion magazine featured in this series.” One of the show’s greatest production challenges was filming in Tokyo’s hectic fashion district Harajuku, which is crammed with stores selling kawaii-inspired clothing and accessories. “It’s really difficult to film in Harajuku because the streets are packed,” Chiba said. “There were a lot of difficult moments, but I’m happy we are able to share the essence of what Tokyo is like at this moment in time. Just by watching the scenes, you get an unfiltered experience of Japanese culture.” For Chiba, coming to MIPCOM means not only serving as an ambassador for Japanese culture, but also being exposed to international trends. “I’ve always loved learning about foreign cultures and I dreamed of studying abroad, so it’s such an honour to have this opportunity in my career,” he added. “I hope Cannes will become a second home to me as a result of this world premiere.” MIPCOM News 2 • 40 • 16 October 2018
2018 Emmy Kids Awards nominees announced NOMINATIONS for the International Emmy Kids Awards were unveiled on Monday at MIPCOM by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The 28 nominees in seven categories span 13 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Sweden and the UK. “The geographic spread and wealth of topics addressed in this year’s nominated pro-
International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences president and CEO Bruce Paisner congratulated “the vibrancy and quality of children’s television”
2018 International Emmy Kids Awards Nominees Kids: Preschool Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten: Planet Willi (The Show with the Elephant) Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln/Trickstudio Lutterbeck Germany Hey Duggee - Season 2 Studio AKA United Kingdom Lily’s Driftwood Bay Season 2 Sixteen South Studios United Kingdom Luo Bao Bei Magic Mall/Cloth Cat/9 Story Distribution International PR China Kids: Animation Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed CBBC United Kingdom Kop op (Heads Together) Viking Film/VPRO Television/ Job, Joris & Marieke Netherlands Mini Beat Power Rockers Discovery Kids Latin America/Mundo Loco Animation Studios Argentina Oddbods - Season 2 One Animation Singapore Kids: Digital # On the Night of August 31st NHK Japan
Jenter - Season 8 (Young Girls) NRK Norway Overgrep (Sexual abuse awareness week) NRK Bivrost Norway Secret Life of Boys - Season 2 Zodiak Kids Studios/CBBC/ ABC Australia United Kingdom Kids: Factual Good Host Oak 3 Films/Mediacorp TV Singapore Singapore Kroppen Min eier Jeg (My Body belongs to Me) Bivrost film & tv Norway Las Mil y Una Notas (Thousand and One Notes) Orquesta Filarmonica de Toluca / Ballet Clasico del Instituto de Cultura del Estado de Mexico Mexico My Life: Born to Vlog Blakeway North United Kingdom Kids: Non-Scripted Entertainment Ali-A’s Superchargers Endemol Shine North United Kingdom Fixa Bröllopet (Marrying mum and dad) Fremantlemedia Sverige AB Sweden
Little Masters Shanghai Canxing Culture & Media Co. Limited (Canxing Production) PR China The Voice Kids - Season 2 TV Globo Brazil Kids: Series Die Pfefferkoerner - Season 14 (The Peppercorns) Letterbox Filmproduktion / NDR / ARD Germany Jenny Productions Avenida Inc. Canada Malhacao - Viva a Diferenca (Young Hearts) TV Globo Brazil Mustangs FC Matchbox Pictures Australia Kids: TV Movie/Mini-Series A Grande Viagem (The Great Journey) Aurora Filmes / Haikai Filmes Brazil Dschermeni Tellux Film / Sad ORIGAMI Production / ZDF Germany Fairy Tales in Court NHK Japan Ratburger King Bert Productions United Kingdom
MIPCOM News 2 • 42 • 16 October 2018
grammes attests to the vibrancy and quality of children’s television throughout the world,” said Bruce Paisner, president & CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “We congratulate the nominees for setting a high bar for young viewers worldwide.” Winners will receive their award in Cannes on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 during MIPTV. The International Emmy Kids Awards presenting partners are Ernst & Young, MIPTV and TV Kids.
OCON PUTS FAITH IN SEABELIEVERS KOREAN animation studio Ocon, specialising in CGI and 3D animation, has struck a deal with the US’ SeaBelievers Corp for the co-production of the under-the-ocean title SeaBelievers, inking a two season order. The 3D/2D environmentally-conscious animation series is targeted at 4- to 7-year-olds, aiming to make them aware of the serious themes of pollution, especially in the marine environment. The storylines follow the Seababies as they battle against the pollution-loving Mucks in a magical and musical world.
A Seababy celebrates the deal with SeaBelievers founder and creator Brien Arone (centre) and Ocon vice-president Chole Woo
Natural partners: BBC Studios and Tencent sign agreement THE SIGNING of a far-reaching partnership between BBC Studios and China’s leading internet-services provider Tencent took place yesterday at MIPCOM. Under the multi-year collaboration, BBC Studios and Tencent will work together to develop a Chinese fan community called BBC Earth Tribe, as well as enter into a third natural-history co-production for the Sir David Attenborough-fronted series Dynasties. As well as serving as the destination for more than 650 hours of BBC Studios’ natural-history and documentary programming, BBC Earth Tribe will offer unprecedented access to the producers behind this award-winning content. Mini-episodes of the BBC’s natural-history programmes, 360-degree videos and live streamed interviews will also
BBC Studios’ Tim Davie (second left) and Tencent Video’s Suman Wang sign the Dynasties co-production agreement, witnessed by BBC Natural History Unit’s Mike Gunton (left) and Tencent Penguin Pictures’ Lexian Zhu (right)
be available on the BBC Earth Tribe site, which went live on Tencent Video yesterday. Dynasties is BBC Studios’ third natural-history co-production with Tencent, following on
from Blue Planet II in 2017 and Planet Earth II in 2016. Filmed over four years, the five-part series explores the lives of some of the world’s most iconic animals. It will be broadcast in Chi-
Endemol and CCTV share treasures PRODUCER and distributor Endemol Shine Group has launched a new partnership with Chinese broadcaster CCTV to globally distribute a landmark format showcasing national heritage. This partnership will see CCTV and Endemol Shine co-creating an international version of The Nation’s Greatest Treasures which will be available for broadcasters around the world. “The Nation’s Greatest Treasures was a huge hit here in China and we firmly believe our business is positioned to make it a global success,” said William Tan, managing director of Endemol Shine China. The format features a different museum each week and its
landmark treasures. As the series unfolds, viewers are given the chance to vote for each location’s stand-out artefact, with an overall winner revealed in the finale. “We created a unique format which is set to appeal to the world,” said Tang Hao, head of the programme development team at CCTV and executive director of the show. The series debuted on Chinese television in December 2017, commissioned by CCTV and produced by CCTV Documentary International Media Co (CDIMC), a CCTV affiliate. Viewers across linear channel and online platforms reached 800 million, while participating museums recorded an almost
na simultaneously with the UK telecast on Tencent’s v.qq.com platform. Suman Wang, chief editor of Tencent Video and senior vice-president of Tencent Penguin Pictures, said the partnership with BBC Studios would bring Tencent’s customers “unparalleled access to an incredible portfolio of high-quality content and unique interactive experiences”. Kelvin Yau, BBC Studios’ senior vice-president and general manager, Greater China, said the BBC is the most respected platform in the world when it comes to natural-history programming: “People trust us to show them what the natural world is really like.” Yau said that, as China becomes more outward-looking, “Chinese people are starting to care more and more about nature and the environment”. He added that natural-history content also plays an important role in education, helping children to understand the natural world and importance of respecting and protecting it.
50% growth in visitor numbers. The second season is currently planned to broadcast later this year.
“It’s China’s year at MIPCOM,” Tan said. “There are more Chinese here than ever before, and more Chinese shows than ever. China is a hotbed of creative ideas and a nation with a great entrepreneurial spirit.”
William Tan, managing director of Endemol Shine China
Tang Hao, head of the programme development team at CCTV
MIPCOM News 2 • 43 • 16 October 2018
BLAST SHOW BEATS LANGUAGE BARRIER JAPANESE production company Blast will present a new live-action robot science-fiction series called Blader at MIPCOM. The main appeal of the series is a concept called “local visualisation”, a system that obviates the need for subtitles and dubbing by creating characters that can be custom designed for the territory. “The hero can be adapted to the country where the series has been exported,” said series producer, Junya Okabe, the former executive vice-president and creative director at Tsuburaya Productions, which developed the popular Ultraman franchise. “It’s not really a format style,” he said. “What we do is allow the importing country to replace the main characters with those who speak the national language.” The story centres on a 13-year-old boy who suits up as a robot to fight other robots, monsters and various evil forces.
Blast’s Junya Okabe
Avi’s winning format formula keeps the customer satisfied ARMOZA Format’s MIPCOM slate reflects the Israeli format powerhouse’s ability to read the international market and deliver product accordingly. “Our ongoing mission is to meet the challenges of both the changing world of television consumption and the changing world of our clients,” said Avi Armoza, founder and CEO of Armoza Formats. “That means we build our learnings from each MIP market into our lineup for the next.” He cited primetime singing competition The Four, which has sold around the world since its launch at MIPTV. “The Four has been a huge success, but we saw that not all broadcasters have the budget or capacity for big shiny-floor series — they also need stand-alone feel-good shows for their primetime slots.” Armoza’s response to this is MIPCOM headliner Singerella, in which a contestant with an unfilled musical dream is given a fairytale surprise. “It’s a format that’s high impact but low risk and very scalable,” Armoza said. There remains, however, a need for big entertainment shows — a demand that is met by another MIPCOM launch, Dance Revolution. “It’s a new spin on the
Armoza Format’s Avi Armoza
classic dance format,” Armoza said. “It features state-of-theart technology, which gives the judges a 360-degree view of the dancers.” He added that Dance Revolution also comes with an innovative financing model, under which broadcasters receive production funding in return for unsold air time: “In today’s market, you need to be as creative in your deal-making as you do on-screen.” Another new format that responds to the challenge confronting the entire TV industry — how to connect with young audiences
— is Instababe, a short-form drama series (15 x 1 min) for teens, which created a “huge buzz” when it aired in Israel. Meanwhile, it has been announced that Armoza Formats is again sponsoring and organising the 2019 Formagination at MIPFormats International Format Pitch. “We believe it’s important for established players like Armoza Formats to generate and foster creativity by giving opportunities to rising talent,” Armoza said. “And what better place to do that than MIPFormats?”
Finding Quebec’s next big thing MEDIA RANCH, the Montreal-based TV production and distribution company, has launched Horsepower, the first ever French-Canadian format incubator programme, in partnership with Quebecor Content. The initiative will invite creative individuals from Quebec to apply to join the scheme, where they will develop an original unscripted TV format tailored to broadcaster TVA Group’s needs, with strong domestic and
international appeal. The programme aims to boost the creation of original, exportable TV formats by nurturing local talent in Quebec and creating new local expertise. Running from January to June 2019, Horsepower will support between six and eight participants. Shortlisted candidates will benefit from ongoing development, editorial support and mentorship with format expert, producer and distributor
Sophie Ferron, Media Ranch’s president. The submission process opens on November 10 and closes on December 1. Shortlisted candidates will be announced and informed on December 15. “This is a fantastic opportunity for budding local creatives to get discovered. Together with our partners at Quebecor Content, we are incredibly excited to start our search and ensure that the next big format hails from Quebec,” Ferron said.
MIPCOM News 2 • 44 • 16 October 2018
Media Ranch’s Sophie Ferron
THE VOICE HEADS FOR THAILAND TALPA Media reports a three-year deal with PPTV HD 36 in Thailand for The Voice franchise, which consists of The Voice, The Voice Kids and latest brand extension The Voice Senior. The primetime singing format, which has now spawned 110 iterations, is slated to air in Thailand in the third quarter of this year, followed by the sixth season of The Voice Kids in early 2019. Thailand’s senior singing talent will roll out early next year. Thailand is the first Asian country to license The Voice Senior, which has already been adapted in Belgium, Spain, Russia and Germany, following its successful first season in the Netherlands. In the new spin-off, four celebrity coaches compete to pick their favourite senior singers via the blind auditions that have become The Voice’s USP. Surin Krittayaphongphun, president of Bangkok Media & Broadcasting, said PPTV HD 36 aimed to “penetrate new audiences through the variety genre”.
The Voice Senior (Talpa Media)
Adi Hasak teams with Red Arrow and Universal for The Last Cop WRITER and producer Adi Hasak, the creator of the hit NBC series Shades Of Blue, has inked a deal with Red Arrow Studios International and Universal Television to develop a US version of the popular German series The Last Cop (Der Letzte Bulle), under his Adi TV Studios banner. Hasak will write the pilot script and serve as executive producer and showrunner. Dean Parisot, who directed episodes of last year’s NBC hit Good Girls, will direct the pilot and serve as executive producer. Other executive producers include Philipp Steffens, and for Red Arrow Studios International, Jan David Frouman and Shirley Bowers. The Last Cop tells the story of an alpha male detective, who wakes up from a 25-year coma and struggles to find his identity as a man, husband and father in a world he neither recognises or understands.
The award-winning series was originally written and developed by Robert Dannenberg and Stefan Scheich and created and produced by ITV Studios Germany for Sat.1, where 60 one-hour episodes have aired. Red Arrow Studios International distributes the format of The Last Cop worldwide and local versions include a current hit production called Falco in Mexico for Amazon Latin America. The Last Cop won Best Scripted Format at the 2017 International Format Awards at MIPTV in Cannes. Henrik Pabst, president of Red Arrow Studios International, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with prolific writer/producer Adi Hasak and Universal Television to develop The Last Cop for the US. We are proud of the success of the format internationally and are looking forward to seeing the development of this next local version.”
The Last Cop is the third format Hasak has set up in the US in as many years, most recently he teamed up with Dynamic TV for a US version of another German series Tempel, which is being packaged straight to series. Prior to Tempel, Hasak adapted the Norwegian format Eyewitness (NRK).
Adi TV Studios’ Adi Hasak
How Life Of Brian was saved A DRAMATIC last-minute intervention by George Harrison to save iconic Monty Python movie Life Of Brian is the subject of a new documentary released for international sales this week. An Accidental Studio tells the remarkable real-life story of how the former Beatle stepped in to provide financial backing for the movie, even mortgaging his house and office in the process, in a bold leap of faith which paid off and eventually led to the establishment of legendary production company, HandMade Films. The documentary special, which runs over 95 minutes, is the result of a collaborative creative project between AMC Networks International (AMCNI), DCD Rights, Bill & Ben Productions and Propellor films.
It features interviews and rare previously unreleased interviews and footage of Harrison, members of the Monty Python team and Richard E Grant, who starred in cult classic HandMade production Withnail And I in 1987. An Accidental Studio has this week
been released for international sales by AMCNI and DCD Rights. DCD Rights CEO Nicky Davies Williams and Harold Gronenthal, executive vice-president for programming and operations at AMCNI, are in Cannes to celebrate the show’s international launch.
AMCNI’s Pablo Corona (left); AMCNI’s Alina Florea; DCD Rights’ Nicky Davies Williams; and AMCNI’s Harold Gronenthal
MIPCOM News 2 • 46 • 16 October 2018
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‘Always have a plan B’ BRITISH ﬁlmmaker, educator and Labour peer Lord David Puttnam and the dean of screen at the London College of Communication, UAL, Larra Anderson, chose MIPCOM for the international launch of a new educational initiative for the screen industries, yesterday. Leading to an executive MBA (EMBA), the course embraces ﬁlm, television, animation, post-production, visual effects, sound and music for the moving image, games and immersive realities. Speaking to MIPCOM News, Puttnam said his early experiences in the industry fueled his desire to establish the initiative. “I actually went to night school at the London College of Printing for four years [now the London College of Communication, a part of UAL] so there are romantic attachments to this.” He later took a year out to study copyright law which turned out to be “the greatest investment” he ever made. “After that I never felt embarrassed in front of a lawyer. To have that kind of understanding is worth everything when you are in a negotiation.” The problem for creative people, Puttnam said, is that “if you have great talent, if you have great ideas, the last thing you want to be is a suit. But if you don’t understand a balance sheet you can lose out.” Resilience is important too. “Always have a plan B, because it helps you deal with disappointment and disappointment happens all the time. If you’re in a negotiation and you know there’s an alternative, it makes you stronger and it shows.” The creative industries have always been “management-light”, he said. “From small animation companies to ﬁlm production companies to companies that thought they could make a killing with Amazon and Netﬂix — even some of the small com-
panies in the fast-growing SFX businesses — they can all face the same problem: an inability to manage growth.” Which is where the EMBA can play a role. “My dream candidate is someone who has worked in a small business, is spotted by the owners as having talent and is given time off to develop management skills. It certainly helped me.” The EMBA also addresses the multiplatform nature of today’s industry, something Puttnam was speaking publicly about as far back as 1981. “A lot of businesses are narrowly structured,” he said. “There are some that only ever made one series or even just one documentary. I would love to emerge from this, savvy men and women who can look sideways and build a broader base, so when there is a problem they can diversify.” And who are looking far into the future: “I’m 77 years old — understand that you are in it for the long haul. You want to be doing some interesting stuff in 30 years’ time. It doesn’t occur to many that this is a long-term business.” Puttnam became an international name early in his career, as producer of the 1981 movie Chariots Of Fire for which he won the Best Picture Oscar, one of the ﬁlm’s four Academy Awards. But if ﬁlm was his ﬁrst love he is acutely aware of the free ﬂow of talent between cinema and TV and across international borders that is sustaining television’s seemingly endless Golden Age — something he maintains his native UK has enjoyed for decades. “ W e
have always had a huge advantage over the Americans in this regard,” he said. “Take acting — and I’m talking about as far back as the 1970s. A good actor could move seamlessly from TV to ﬁlm to stage and record a voiceover for a commercial or a documentary and nobody ever thought anything less of them. Think of Roger Moore or Jeremy Irons. That was very uncommon in America where for years you only did one thing,” he said. “While crossing over was always extremely common to our experience.”
Lord David Puttnam MIPCOM News 2 • 48 • 16 October 2018
So what are some of Lord Puttnam’s observations of today’s barrier-free audiovisual landscape, where disruption of old models is the norm? “Well, one is that data-driven decision making — algorithms that tell us what programmes to make — is not going to lead to excellence. Algorithms can’t spot creativity and won’t produce better TV, because they work backwards.” Another is “how ﬁne the line is between excellence and not particularly good. We all know just how good The Crown was, and now we are seeing knock-offs and actually they are not good. The ﬁne line between excellence and OK is critical, so it’s important to keep people’s heads up and maintain an understanding of what excellence is.”
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BARCA A WINNER FOR ROOFTOP ROOFTOP Content Group has inked several deals for the feature-length sports documentary, Take The Ball Pass The Ball, through its new subsidiary Rooftop Film & TV. Based on the book Barca: The Making Of The Greatest Team In The World, the documentary features legendary footballers such as Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique, Puyol, Valdes, Busquets, Carrick, Capello, Gudjohnsen and Thierry Henry. Studiocanal Germany has picked up the sports doc for Germanspeaking Europe, and Japanese marketing company FieldWorks has acquired the Japanese rights.
Take The Ball Pass The Ball (Rooftop Film & TV)
LIGHTNING PICKS UP THAI THRILLER LIGHTNING International has signed an agreement with Commercial Films Siam covering exclusive distribution (except China) for Thailand’s first Englishlanguage TV series. Eullenia is a psychological thriller tackling wealth, power and abuse in developing countries. Alec Newman (Strike Back, Dune) stars as Marcus Hammond, a banker who establishes a financial base in Asia, but whose financial prowess hides a dark purpose. Co-starring is Vithaya Pansringarm, Thailand’s most famous actor (Only God Forgives). “Eullenia is a great example of the skills and talents that have developed in Asia,” James Ross, CEO of Lightning International, said.
Frankie Drake uncovers a global audience for CBC drama series DETECTIVE drama Frankie Drake Mysteries will significantly expand its worldwide audience, with a host of international broadcasters signing for the second season, which is debuting at MIPCOM as part of Kew Media Distribution’s latest drama slate. Set in 1920s Toronto, the CBC series follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on cases the police won’t touch. In both Canada (CBC) and the UK (Alibi), the first series was the second mostwatched drama across its broadcast season for both channels. Arts network Ovation has signed a two-season deal, with season one set to debut in the US in June 2019. Meanwhile, the new season has been acquired in a pan-territory deal with Viasat for CEE, as well as Globosat in Brazil, Sky in New Zealand, and
Dazzler in the UK (Home Video and DTO). “Frankie Drake Mysteries is the embodiment of artfully told and executed storytelling,” Scott Woodward, executive vice- pres-
ident of programming, Ovation, said. “From the brilliant costume and set design to the jazz-infused soundtrack, the artistic elements enhance the good fun of this series.”
Ovation’s Scott Woodward (left); Christina Jennings, executive producer, Frankie Drake Mysteries; and Jonathan Ford, executive vice-president, sales, at Kew Media Distribution
Blue Ant takes Scariest Hauntings FOR ITS first MIPCOM deal, TCB Media Rights has licensed World’s Scariest Hauntings to Toronto-based Blue Ant Media. Woodcut Media’s chilling paranormal documentary series was originally greenlit by the freeto-air UK channel Pick, and the
deal was brokered by TCB’s sales manager, Simona Argenti, and Blue Ant Media’s acquisitions director, Andrea Harrick. “We all love a good ghost story — as long as the ghosts are haunting somebody else,” Argenti said. “World’s Scariest
TCB Rights’ Simona Argenti (left); Andrea Harrick of Blue Ant Media; and Woodcut Media’s Kate Beal Blyth
MIPCOM News 2 • 50 • 16 October 2018
Hauntings is a meticulously researched show about phenomena that can’t be explained logically or scientifically. It’s deliciously creepy, genuinely intriguing and guaranteed to bring viewers out in goose bumps.” Locations include England’s most haunted inn — The Ancient Ram in Gloucestershire — which dates back to 1145 and has been the scene of devil worship, ritual sacrifice and murder; the Edinburgh Vaults in Scotland, where the ghost of a child has been known to take visitors by the hand; The Merchant’s House in New York City, where the Tredwell family still reside and speak to guests — despite the last family member dying 80 years ago; and Montreal’s Griffintown, haunted by the headless ghost of a prostitute called Mary Gallagher.
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Singapore sets out its stall as the media gateway for Asia A MAJOR delegation of Singaporean talent and decision-makers is in Cannes this week to promote the country’s role in the export of Asian storytelling, and outline its importance as a gateway into the continent. Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is presenting 460 hours of content, including survival series First Man Out, a 4K production from Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific and Beach House Pictures. Also on display is Wasted Earth, a VR documentary from Singapore’s Sora Media. Singapore is an emerging force in animation, with series like Chips And Toons Fox Tales, and One Animation’s Insectibles on show. The latter has been picked up by Germany’s KiKA and Discovery
IMDA’s Howie Lau (left) and SMF’s Rob Gilby
Kids Latin America among others. The IMDA is also involved in a partnership with HBO Asia and producer Zhao Wei Films for Folklore, a horror anthology in which
six Asian directors bring haunting tales to life. Rob Gilby, chairman of Singapore Media Festival’s Advisory Board, said: “An increasing number of
Asian stories have global relevance, such as the movie Crazy Rich Asians, which used 300 Singapore crew. There are numerous examples of Asian talent and stories connecting the dots with the global market.” Howie Lau, IMDA’s chief industry development officer, added: “Not many people realise that companies like Netflix, Disney, Facebook, HBO and Google have HQs in Singapore. When you combine that with the local and regional production talent, it makes Singapore a unique bridge between Asian countries and the West.” An example of the country’s growing global integration is an MOU between Singapore’s Association of Independent Producers and UK’s Pact. Gilby says signature events like the Singapore Media Festival are “stimulating Singapore’s role as an Asian hub”, while the Asia TV Forum has become an “invaluable event” closing $1bn of transactions in the last four years.
RUSSIAN drama An Ordinary Woman from distributor Cineflix Rights has been screened to international buyers at MIPCOM. While the story of a seemingly run-of-the-mill florist (Marina) who secretly peddles prostitution via social media is set in a very particular Moscow milieu, it also carries a broader theme, Julien Leroux, senior vice-president for global scripted co-productions at Cineflix Rights, said. “This character is so universal. It could be your next-door neighbour. This is something that will travel really well. It’s about women today.” Russian broadcaster TB3 is premiering the series on October 29, with the 8 x 60 mins programmes running over two weeks. “It’s a story you really want to binge on,” said Ekaterina Dunaeva of TB3. Director Boris Khlebnikov said he was initially surprised how a very Russian story “resonates with so many women in the world”. Pictured are Cineflix Rights’ Julien Leroux (left); TB3’s Ekaterina Dunaeva; and director Boris Khlebnikov.
Bernard spearheads French sales drive
France Televisions Distribution’s Julia Schulte (left) and Catherine Bernard
CATHERINE Bernard, France Televisions Distribution’s recently appointed chief operating officer, arrived at her first MIPCOM in her new role with a major deal already under her belt. The company, a subsidiary of French public broadcast group France Televisions, has just sold France 2’s new high-end drama series Chronicles Of The Sun to RTL Belgium. Bernard said the deal was a sign of things to come at the company. “The France Televisions group
and the distribution company are changing,” she said. “We have a strong line-up of shows, especially in drama and documentary and content with greater creativity and high quality.” France Televisions wants all its shows to be accessible via as many platforms and devices as possible, compared to the past, when the shows were centred on its individual channels. It is also developing its VOD strategies, starting with France.tv, the streaming platform
MIPCOM News 2 • 52 • 16 October 2018
featuring catch-up. Bernard is also overseeing the re-vamp of the France Televisions Distribution website dedicated to buyers interested in its programmes. Among the other new titles Bernard’s team has brought to MIPCOM are: Inside, Kepler(s), Crimson Wedding and the third season of Call My Agent. “We are exploring all new developments in the industry. We’ve already developed close relationships with platforms in China,” added Julia Schulte, France Televisions Distribution’s senior vice-president international sales.
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Banijay’s winning Survivor format heads to Germany
Katrin Heller, executive producer, Banijay Productions Germany (left); Kai Storm, head of entertainment at Vox; Moritz Pohl, head of VoD content at RTL Interactive; Arno Schneppenheim, managing director, Banijay Productions Germany; and Knut Kremling, production director, Banijay Productions Germany
BANIJAY Productions yesterday announced the German launch of Survivor after a deal with Vox and TV Now was confirmed. Already with over 40 local format territories worldwide, the adventure-reality format is set to return to the European territory for a new series. Now in its 37th season in the US, the Emmy-winning unscripted hit show has already proved a ratings success worldwide, and the new German instalment will see 18 people sent to a desert island for 40 days with little more than the clothes on their
backs. Split into two tribes, the contestants will battle though a number of challenges in a bid to overcome all that nature and society throws at them to find the ultimate survivor. Kai Sturm, Vox chief editor and entertainment manager, is looking forward to the expanding the network’s portfolio with a format that has had significant success worldwide. Arno Schneppenheim, managing director, Banijay Productions Germany, added: “Since Banijay Group acquired Castaway Productions last year, Survivor has become a crucial brand for the business and we are so pleased to be rolling it out in Germany.” The series will be produced by Banijay Productions Germany and all rights for the Survivor brand are held by Banijay Group.
ITALY’S Atlantyca Entertainment, Australia’s SLR Productions, Ireland’s Telegael and Singapore and India’s Cosmos-Maya have announced in Cannes the co-production of a 52 x 11 mins animated spy-action series, Berry Bees. The high-energy production featuring three talented 10-year-old girls named Bobby, Lola and Juliette will be distributed worldwide by Atlantyca Entertainment. Cosmos-Maya is handling distribution across Asia, SLR Productions is acting for Australia and New Zealand while Telegael is distributing in Ireland and UK. Pictured at the announcement were: Luca Milano, director Rai (left); Caterina Vacchi, Atlantyca’s head of animation and distribution; Alison Hurbert-Burns, Nine’s director of content acquisition and commercial development; Suzanne Ryan, CEO and executive producer for SLR Productions; Paul Cummins CEO, Telegael; and Ketan Mehta, chairman and managing director of Maya Digital Studios.
Studiocanal unveils Russian drama FRENCH distributor Studiocanal has launched its new eight-part thriller, Moscow Noir, in Cannes. The series, set in Russia, follows Swedish financier Tom Blixen played by Adam Palsson (The Bridge), who is drawn into a brutal financial struggle in Moscow as capitalism takes hold after the fall of communism. “The project attracted me from several angles,” Palsson said. “I love the thriller genre. Like any actor, I have this dream of running around like Matt Damon, hiding behind cars while gunshots ring out,” he added. “I’m also interested in modern European history, and this is a very interesting era.”
Writer Paul Leander-Engstrom and actor Adam Palsson
MIPCOM News 2 • 54 • 16 October 2018
Adapted from the acclaimed Moscow Noir trilogy by Camilla Grebe and Paul Leander-Engstrom, the series is being produced by Piodor Gustafsson of ZDF Enterprises. Set in the summer of 1999, when the tide was turning against then Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the title examines a period in Russian history “characterised by the big fight for assets”, said Leander-Engstrom. “Everything was up for grabs in Russia and the oligarchs are carving up the country.” The series was shot in three languages — Russian, Swedish and English — which “created the opportunity to do something completely different”, said Gustafsson. Moscow Noir will be released on Sweden’s TV4 in January.
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ALL3MEDIA SIGNS WITH FIELD DAY ALL3MEDIA International has signed an exclusive multi-year first-look agreement with UK-based independent Field Day Productions. The partnership adds to a host of collaborations with renowned factual producers including Swan Films, Spun Gold and Parable, and comes as All3Media International debuts a wide-ranging slate of new non-scripted content at MIPCOM. Field Day Productions was launched in 2016 by Sally Angel who produced the Emmy, Peabody and RTS award-winning Holocaust documentary Night Will Fall. The deal with All3Media International will focus on creating and developing premium non-scripted returnable content for the global market. The first title to launch through the collaboration will be Inside The American Embassy, a critically acclaimed four-part documentary for Channel 4, which gives a look behind the scenes at the US embassy in London at a pivotal moment in history. “This partnership is part of our ongoing strategy to work with the absolute best creative talent in the industry,” said Ceire Clark, senior acquisitions executive, All3Media International. “We will launch one of our most extensive and diverse factual programming portfolios at MIPCOM, and collaborations with companies such as Field Day are the driving force behind ensuring we continue to be the go-to distributor for premium unscripted content.”
US ambassador Robert Wood Johnson in Inside The American Embassy (All3Media International)
Elephant shows on the march thanks to new Federation deal ELEPHANT and Federation Entertainment have signed a joint distribution agreement for upcoming shows produced by Elephant. This agreement corroborates Elephant’s strategy of developing co-productions and French shows aimed at the international market. Founded by Emmanuel Chain and Thierry Bizot, Elephant has become one of France’s biggest independent fiction producers. The company’s fiction slate includes: Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ca (Desperate Parents/France 2); Le Tueur Du Lac (Killer By The
Lake/TF1); La Stagiaire (The Intern/France 3); WorkinGirls/ Canal+; and Parents Mode D’Emploi (The PIM: Parenthood Instruction Manual/France 2). The international-focussed strategy is a natural evolution according to the company, following the recent arrival at Elephant of experienced fiction producer Sandra Ouaiss. The company also has a branch in Italy — Elephant Italia — which has adapted Desperate Parents for the Italian market, and an English subsidiary named Chalkboard.
Elephant’s Emmanuel Chain
Elephant’s Thierry Bizot
SEASON one of Find Me In Paris, the live-action drama from Cottonwood Media, has been picked up by Nick UK. Sealing the deal this week were: Nickelodeon UK’s Lynsey O’Callaghan (left); Federation Entertainment’s Monica Levy; Cottonwood Media’s David Michel; ZDF Enterprises’ Katharina Pietzsch; Federation Kids & Family’s Sarah Zarka; and Nickelodeon UK’s Louise Bucknole. “It’s a delightful drama series with great storytelling, intrigue and mystery, and it’s perfect for Nickelodeon,” Bucknole said. “We’ve finished shooting Season 2 and are developing Season 3,” Michel added. “We’re working on turning it into a property for licensing too.”
Good call for GoQuest and Mandarina GOQUEST Formats, a division of GoQuest Media Ventures, has struck a deal with Spanish company Mandarina Productions for the street game-show format The Indiscreet Call. The deal gives GoQuest Formats exclusive worldwide distribution rights (excluding Spain, Portugal and Italy) for the 65 x 35 mins entertainment format. Created and produced by Mandarina, The Indiscreet Call enables contestants to win money via their mobile phone and the contacts within it. The candidate must first choose six contacts from his or her phone and answer a personal question about four of them. Each correct answer makes them richer and once the participant gives four correct answers he or she has the
option to put the entire winnings at stake for the bonus question which could win a cash prize of €1,000. However, one of the two remaining contacts must correctly answer a very personal question about the participant. “Adding The Indiscreet Call to
The Indiscreet Call (GoQuest Formats)
MIPCOM News 2 • 56 • 16 October 2018
our portfolio emphasises our commitment to offer quality shows worldwide. We look forward to representing Mandarina’s content with this exclusive deal,” said Jimmy George, vice-president sales and acquisitions, GoQuest Media Ventures.
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CHINA is this year’s MIPCOM Country Of Honour. Here we highlight some of the content coming out of China and targeted at the international market
IX MEDIA STORY Of Yanxi Palace is set in the reign of the 18th-century Emperor Qianlong and chronicles the rise of a royal maid to be the ruler’s most-loved concubine. The show, which was successful across a number of countries in Asia, is brought to Cannes by IX Media.
HUANYU FILM & TELEVISION CULTURE THE LEGEND Of Hao Lan (66 x 45 mins) is an epic historic drama set in a war between Qin Kingdom and Zhao Kingdom. Hao Lan, daughter of the Zhao senior secretary; Yiren, a child from the Qin royal family; and Buwei Lv, a merchant in Wei Kingdom, make an agreement to pursue their ambitions within a romantic triangle. The series is produced by Huanyu Film and Nirvana Pictures, with co-producer Tencent Film. The Legend Of Hao Lan (Huanyu Film & Television Culture)
Story Of Yanxi Palace (IX Media)
TIANMU FILM & TV CULTURE DISTRIBUTION SHANGHAI-based Tianmu Film & TV Culture Distribution brings a range of programming to Cannes. Kun Lun Gui is a science-fiction series depicting love stories between two couples who are human and alien. Go For Gold is a drama about a distinguished ping-pong player, guest-starring wellknown players. Cat’s Lion Reflection is a story of a female president and a jobless guy who form an unlikely couple. My Robot Boyfriend is about a young doctor who dies in an accident and is transformed into artificial intelligence by his scientist father, and his subsequent romance. Kun Lun Gui (Tianmu Film & TV Culture Distribution) A documentary highlight is Shared Fate, which over 24 hours profiles a range of different people with different backgrounds, identities and ages.
HANGZHOU STEAMWORKS CREATIVE MINI Town (52 x 7mins) is a pre-school stop-motion animation series set in a mysterious town in a forest where a group of happy little bear families live, all colours and occupations. The baby bears play in the forest, learning life lessons.
KUKAN CULTURE TWO PRIORITIES for Kukan Culture are: New Horizon, about a group of young people who dream of becoming pilots and their relationship dramas. Xiao Mo is a talented pilot who experiences a tragedy when an accident causes the death of the heir to an aviation empire; and Mr Swimmer is a drama about the life and loves of competitive swimmers and their friends.
JETSEN HUASHI THE TREEHOUSE Stories, produced by Dandelooo and distributed exclusively by Jetsen Huashi in China, will be premiering soon on CCTV children’s channel. The series consists of 49 fairy tales, including Thumbelina 999 Frogs Wake Up and The Little Canned Oil Mermaid.
IMAGINE NEW ANIMATION from Imagine is MengWa, about a magical little clay figurine and her owner Xiaobao. The stories feature the mischievous nature of MengWa and the fun and happiness of her daily life.
HANGZHOU YINUO ANIMATION COMPANY THE WOLO Family: Save The Elf is a 156-episode series about a group of characters — two masters, two apprentices, the Elf and the Golden Treasure left by the Heng Dynasty. Like a game, the masters and apprentices work together to clear five places that represent the elements of gold, wood, water, fire and earth. Their aim is to save the Golden Treasure and maintain the peace of Kung Fu world. With distinctive Chinese martial arts characteristics, this comedy series promotes values of fairness and justice.
The Wolo Family: Save The Elf (Hangzhou Yinuo Animation Company)
MIPCOM News 2 • 58 • 16 October 2018
TWO TITLES top the list for Putao Animation. In Hello PuNebula three friends have their daily lives interrupted by an alien called TaTa and his pet QTee. When one of the friends goes missing the rest team up to find him. Magic Blocks features magical robots that turn into vehicles when people in the town need help.
PANDA And Krash is a Sino-Russian cultural exchange project, brought to Cannes by China’s CCTV. Produced by CCTV Animation and Russian animator The Riki Group, it features toys that wake up at night and create stories with the guidance of a Wonder Wheel. The series expresses the animation styles and national customs of both countries, and encourages kindness, courage and inclusiveness.
Hello PuNebula (Putao Animation)
TENCENT A CANNES priority show for China’s Tencent is The Entomon Academy (52 x 11 mins/2D/3D). Aimed at 5- to 7-year-olds, the animated comedy series is based on nationally popular science books. The series is produced by Tencent, with October Floating World, Deer Pictures and Floating World Animation, and is set to be broadcast next year in China.
LOFT 5 STUDIOS TWEETS is a co-production project between producer/distributors Scared Ghost from Spain and Qingdao Turbo Media China, and brought to Cannes by Loft 5 Studios. Tweet is a little bird who everyday learns something new from her experiences, and every evening writes about it in her diary, including stories of her classmates, her family, her neighbours and friends.
Tweets (Loft 5 Studios)
Panda And Trash (CCTV)
THE CHINA LIVE CHANNEL THE CHINA Live Channel is a collaboration between Guangxi Radio & TV New Media and Nanning FZ Entertainment, which distributes Chinese dramas and entertainment programmes internationally. The catalogue holds nearly 2,000 hours of content including films, TV series and e-sports translated into English and other local languages.
3C MEDIA THE LETTERS (12 x 70 mins) is a studio-based entertainment show, created and produced by China’s 3C Media. The format features celebrities interpreting true stories by reading letters from well-known, as well as unknown, people. Together with the celebrities, the host explores the historical backgrounds of the letters using archive photos, videos and stage effects. The set, a giant wave-shaped construction of cubes, transforms as information is revealed by state-of-the-art 3D and CGI projection to tell each story. A second season has been commissioned by CCTV 1.
GUANGZHOU BLUEARC CULTURE COMMUNICATIONS
BEIJING ESCAPE VELOCITY ANIMATION STUDIO KIM AND Jim’s Wormhole is a science-fiction comedy animation series that follows an ordinary Chinese family through a series of fun and unexpected adventures as they move through the accidentally-created wormhole. The company also brings Wool Wool Town, a picture-book style series aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds, with stories promoting a positive view of environmental issues.
SUZHOU TRACE VISION MEDIA DOCUMENTARY series Living In China (6 x 45 mins) tells the story of different dwellings — their creators, users and inhabitants — and profiles the diverse lifestyles of Chinese people. Aspects of design and lifestyle are explored in terms of wisdom, ethics, taste and dreams. Another highlight is Da Ming Guo Zi Jian (50 x 45 mins), a drama about students at Nanjing National Imperial College from different regions and countries, during the Ming Dynasty.
BROUGHT to Cannes by China’s Guangzhou BlueArc, Dibidogs 2 (104 x 10 mins/four seasons) is a Chinese/Finish co-production project with stories focussed on friendship, togetherness and exploring ways to actively help the environment. Another highlight Dibidogs 2 (Guangzhou BlueArc Culture Communications) is Dragon Force 2 (26 x 25 mins), an animation series about an elite army responsible for maintaining peace on the earth and protecting it from aliens.
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EXPANDING COSMOS GETS INTO GAMES
Cosmos-Maya’s Ketan Mehta
INDIAN production giant Cosmos-Maya is launching several new projects at MIPCOM including the company’s first foray into games. According to company founder, chairman and international filmmaker Ketan Mehta, the time is right for the company to pursue new, much more international objectives. “After 20 years, we are currently producing 35 halfhour shows per month, and we believe that now is the time to expand vertically by moving into working on international animation projects,” Mehta said. “We are making Leo Da Vinci in 3D with co-producers Gruppo Alcuni [Italy] and HR in Germany, plus Atchoo, a 2D production about a young boy who changes into a different animal every time he sneezes.” There are a further five animation series being lined up with announcements expected over the coming months, plus animated feature film Kim, based on the Rudyard Kipling book. “For this project we are also using the very latest technology to create a Kim game using AR and VR,” he said. “Both the film and the game are in pre-production and will be ready for delivery at the end of 2019.”
Beta, Wildside and Zeitsprung join forces for German Moon A NEW Italian/German drama co-production, launched this week at MIPCOM, sees Germany’s Beta Film, Italy’s Wildside and German production outlet Zeitsprung team up for a drama series based on the true stories of the former Nazi scientists behind NASA’s first manned mission to the moon. Israeli writers/creators Nadav Schirman, Ron Leshem and Amit Cohen are attached to German Moon, which is currently in development and due to start shooting in 2019/20. Jan Mojto’s Beta Film and
Wildside share a long-term partnership, having collaborated on political thrillers 1992, 1993 and, most recently, 1994. Zeitsprung, whose credits include Side Effects, Adidas Vs Puma and Mack The Knife: Brecht’s Threepenny Film, is part of Mojto’s group. German Moon marks the first collaboration for Schirman, Leshem and Cohen, whose credits include NBC’s Allegiance (Cohen/Leshem), False Flag (Cohen), HBO’s Euphoria (Leshem), Prisoners Of War (Leshem), The Green Prince
(Schirman) and Gaddafi (Schirman). German Moon starts in 1950, when the sleepy town of Huntsville, Alabama is hit by a wave of immigration in the form of 118 German families. The newcomers, most of whom speak no English, are part of the technological elite of the fallen Nazi regime and they are in America to build missiles for the US army, under the supervision of the CIA. The deal is that, in return for their invaluable scientific knowledge, the Germans can shed their past and begin a new life.
Elephant House cruises into Cannes VIACOM International Studios (VIS), a division of Viacom International Media Networks, is at MIPCOM to announce a new slate of factual content produced by UK-based Elephant House Studios, including the BAFTA-winning documentary series, Cruising With Jane McDonald — which aired on Viacom-owned Channel 5 in the UK. Lauren Marriott, vice-president, international content sales at VIS, and Joe McLusky, vice-president of Elephant House Studios, have announced four new episodes of its landmark travel show to be released in 2019, with McDonald cruising countries from India to Greece. She is also currently shooting a four-part special, Cruising Down Under, which has already been sold to SBS in Australia, TV2 in Denmark and Ananey in Israel, with a major territory deal in progress. Also announced at MIPCOM is a three-part follow-up to Elephant House’s factual series’ Billionaire Babies and Billionaire Kids.
“We’re doing Billionaire Christmas, Billionaire Holidays and Billionaire Birthdays — it’s basically the outrageous spending of the richest people in the world,” McLusky told MIPCOM News. Additions to the Secrets Of The Royals factual series, which pre-
viously focused on royal servants and weddings, are also in production. “We had three specials around the royal wedding earlier this year that sold extensively,” Marriott said. “We find that there’s a big appetite for this content.”
Elephant House Studios’ Joe McLusky and Viacom’s Lauren Marriott
MIPCOM News 2 • 60 • 16 October 2018
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REAL DEAL FOR GRB AND SUPER RTL GRB STUDIOS has signed a deal for factual titles with Super RTL Germany, celebrated at MIPCOM by Super RTL CEO Claude Schmit and GRB Studios senior vice-president, international, Patrice Choghi. “GRB Studios is excited to license our long-running investigative series On The Case, and three intriguing true-crime docs to Super RTL for Germany. We are especially pleased to work with Claude to give this premium content a great home on Super RTL and are confident that German viewers will be as enthralled with these special programmes as others have been around the world,” Choghi said. On The Case explores murder cases through in-depth interviews and the forensic evidence that helped unravel the crimes. The three crime documentaries include: Stalker Files, with chilling tales behind celebrity stalking cases involving Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Steven Spielberg, among others; Nelson Serrano: I’m Innocent, about the Ecuadorian on death row accused of murdering four people in Florida; and Until Proven Innocent: The Hannah Overton Story, about a fouryear-old Texan boy who died mysteriously of salt poisoning. His foster mother, Hannah Overton, was charged with the murder.
Super RTL’s Claude Schmit (left) with GRB Studios’ Patrice Choghi
Neal Street’s thriller Informer is spy story with a difference OVER the last few years, numerous productions have examined the war on terrorism, but Informer, being screened tomorrow at MIPCOM, takes an unusual angle in looking at the relationship between an informer and their handler, rather than at the civil servants and police. The series is set in East London and the UK capital takes on a central role. “The show is a reflection of London as it really is,” Nick Brown, director of film and TV at Neal Street Productions, said. “It has a very strong look that reflects a really beautiful and welcoming part of the city, and surprisingly for a series which deals with terrorism, it also features warmth and humour. That’s partly because it tells the story of a normal kid who gets into trouble and is then recruited, against his will of course. So from that point on he leads a double life and has to penetrate groups of people who live in different areas of Lon-
don. Different neighbourhoods where he is in danger merely by being there.” Alongside a very young cast and a refreshing approach to a global problem, Informer has also proved to be a vehicle for Nabhaan Rizwan, whose portrayal of central character Raza Shah has been widely praised. “He really is the heart of the show,” Brown said. “He’d done some theatre but it was his first screen role, and the way that he managed the
very delicate task of playing a charming and grounded person who then suddenly has to lie to everyone around him is amazing.” Produced by Neal Street Productions for BBC 1, Informer will become available on Amazon Prime Video in the US, following the UK broadcast. The Informer screening, presented by All3Media International and Neal Street Productions, will be at 13.30 tomorrow in the Grand Auditorium.
Nabhaan Rizwan who plays central character Raza Shah
Fogle investigates biodiversity ADVENTURER, broadcaster and writer Ben Fogle is currently shooting a new documentary series, Survival Of The Species With Ben Fogle (10 x 60 mins), which was announced today at MIPCOM by DCD Rights. “Conservation is a big passion of mine,” Fogle told MIPCOM News. “The opportunity to take the continent of Africa and use it as an example of the reality facing humans, flora and fauna is a timely opportunity and an example for the whole world.” Fogle was particularly inspired to highlight the biodiversity crisis. “There’s very few pristine environments left and we’ve got a huge loss of flora and fauna. With this series, what we want to do is to start asking why — and
to start asking what we can do.” His hope is to ultimately impart a “beautiful, positive, empowering message that sparks debate”. “Natural history wildlife filmmaking now has to incorporate the reality of what is happening to the wilderness,” Fogle said. With shooting having started in the summer of 2018, and due for completion in late 2019, each of the episodes has a thematic focus, including the benefits and negatives of big-game hunting; and the way humans relate to and impact shark populations in Africa. “We kill 100 million sharks a year, and obviously we have a very fearful two-way relationship,” Fogle said. The pan-African series incorporates nearly every nation on
MIPCOM News 2 • 62 • 16 October 2018
the continent as Fogle, aided by a team of zoologists and wildlife experts, casts an impartial eye over both poachers and anti-poaching crusaders, hunters and conservationists.
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NEW FACTUAL title Survival Of The Species With Ben Fogle (10 x 60 mins) is brought to MIPCOM by London-based DCD Rights. Adventurer Ben Fogle and a team of zoologists and wildlife experts examine the issues facing species survival and new species discovery, as they travel the African continent.
UKRANIAN channel (TRBC Ukraine) and Media Group Ukraine present the second season of reality makeover show Mission: Beauty! (32 x 45 mins) at MIPCOM. The participants are couples, and the aim is to revive positive feelings of family love using beauty skills. Other priorities include: True Mystery (500 x 45 mins), in which experts investigate mysterious events; and Agents Of Justice (6 seasons/40 x 45 mins), a Russian-language show in which crimes are investigated by a journalist and private detective. All Mission: Beauty! (Media Group Ukraine) shows are available as formats.
Survival Of The Species With Ben Fogle (DCD Rights)
ZDF ENTERPRISES (ZDFE) ZOOM – The White Dolphin (104 x 12 mins) tops the kids slate for ZDFE, about a diving-mad teenager, and his young sister, who live with their oceanographer uncle on the Pacific island Maotou. Other kids titles include: The Adventures Of The Young Marco Polo (26 x 25 mins); and Lassie (26 x 22 mins), with a second season in production. Crime series include: Over Water (10 x 45 mins); Stockholm Requiem (10 x 45 mins/5 x 90 mins); JJ (10 x 60 mins); and London Kills (10 x 60 mins).
GLOBAL SCREEN GLOBAL Screen’s top titles include: After The Crash (4 x 52 mins), a psychological thriller about the search for truth about the sole survivor of a plane crash, a baby girl, 18 years previously; new legal series Rule Of Light (6 x 48 mins), featuring an ambitious blind female lawyer; family series Racko – No Better Friend! (13 x 25 mins), starring an Alpine dog; and the second season of Zombielars.
Zoom – The White Dolphin (ZDFE)
After The Crash (Global Screen)
ZED CO-PRODUCED by Zed, Essential Media, ARTE France and CuriosityStream, Living Universe (4 x 52 mins) profiles the next generation of spaceships to discover the planets beyond our solar system. Other priorities for Zed include: The Secret History Of Our Evolution (2 x 52 mins /4K), which explores how from our DNA to our brain the human body shaped, evolved and adapted through time; Leonardo: The Mystery Of The Lost Portrait (1 x 52 mins/90 mins/4K), a scientific investigation of a painting that may be an unknown self-portrait of the artist; and Solar Odyssey (1 x 52 mins), which goes behind the scenes of two upcoming missions — NASA’s Parker Solar Probe and ESA’s Solar Orbiter.
VIACOM 18/INDIACAST THE MIPCOM slate from Viacom 18/IndiaCast includes: Daastan-E-Mohabbat Salim Anarkali, the love saga of Salim & Anarkali; Naagin 3, a saga of love and revenge; Silsila (Chronicles Of Changing Relationships), a modern take on the complexities of relationships; Bepannah (Beyond Boundaries), a romantic thriller about spouses’ betrayal; and animation series Rudra Naagin 3 (Viacom 18/Indiacast) – The Prince Of Magic.
ONE PLANET FRENCH documentary producer, One Planet, highlights five new releases in Cannes. A second season of Planete Safari (16 x 52 mins) which sees archeo-zoologist Perrine Crosmary travel through spectacular nature reserves. Babies Diary (3 x 52 mins/4K), a co-production with National Geographic and France 5, follows cheetah, lion, meerkat and hyena pups in the dangerous African savannah. The Last Secrets Of The Nasca (1 x 52 mins/90 mins) is about the ancient Nasca civilisation in Peru. Two new series for Planete + are The Snake Tracker and Males Vs Females (3 x 52 mins).
Planete Safari (One Planet)
MIPCOM News 2 • 65 • 16 October 2018
SET IN a fishing village Presumed Guilty (13 x 70 mins) tells the story of a scientist from Paris who returns to his home when his father dies. There, he confronts the mystery of the disappearance of his old girlfriend. Another drama series from Atresmedia is Slaughter House (10 x 70 mins), in which the owner of the local abattoir is killed by his wife and brother-in-law. Things get complicated when drug traffickers appear on scene.
PERNEL Media is in development of the second series Extreme Earth (4 x 60 mins), following a commission from France 5. Following on from the first 2 x 60 mins mini-series that visited Iceland and Chile, Extreme Earth will reveal the grandeur of nature through breathtaking visuals and explore the developments that scientists in the world’s harshest locations are implementing to overcome the extremes in our environment. The series moves from the conurbations that face tsunamis and typhoons in Japan to the desert cities of Dubai, and from the earthquake-prone Golden Gate bridge in California to the jungles of Costa Rica and Guatemala. The series will again air as part of France 5’s new Spectacular Science strand.
LOOKING GLASS INTERNATIONAL LOOKING Glass is launching factual documentary Michael Jackson: Remember The King (1 x 60 mins) at MIPCOM, covering all aspects of his life, from the Jackson 5 to the This Is It film, from humble beginnings to Neverland, and from his abusive father to his alleged abuse cases. Another title on offer is Einstein’s Brain Unlocked (1 x 60 mins), produced by NHK, about how after his autopsy, Einstein’s brain is said to have been sliced and scattered among researchers around the world. Can the answer to human genius be found in putting back together Ein- Michael Jackson: Remember The King stein’s brain? (Looking Glass International)
Extreme Earth (Pernel Media)
ULTRA MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT GROUP ULTRA Media & Entertainment Group brings its in-house production Chippa to MIPCOM. Produced by Ultra Media, Travelling Light and Victory Media, the film is a story about the aspirations of a child who lives on the streets, told through a journey he takes into an enchanting world that he creates for himself on a winter’s night in Kolkata. The cast is led by Sunny Pawar and includes Chandan Roy Sanyal, Masood Akhtar, Sumeet Thakur and Mala Mukherjee. After MIPCOM the film is destined for various international film festivals before its global release in early 2019. Ultra also offers an array of Bollywood and international films — including a catalogue from CFSI (Children Films Society of India) — animations and other TV content.
THE POKEMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL POKEMON The Movie: The Power Of Us features a young athlete whose running days might be behind her, a compulsive liar, a shy researcher, a bitter old woman and a little girl with a big secret — the only thing they have in common is the annual Wind Festival in Fula City. The festival celebrates the Legendary Pokemon Lugia, who brings the wind that powers this seaside city. A series of threats endangers Fula City, can everyone put aside their differences and work together?
HAT TRICK INTERNATIONAL LONDON-based Hat Trick is showcasing new factual entertainment series Last Chance Lawyer NYC (4 x 60 mins) at MIPCOM, following Howard Greenberg, one of New York’s most infamous, outlandish and feared criminal-defence attorneys. From his wild grey hair and outrageous courtroom style to his robust attitude to customer relations, he has a legendary reputation. For Howard “winning isn’t Last Chance Lawyer NYC everything, it’s the only thing”. (Hat Trick International)
Pokemon The Movie: The Power Of Us (The Pokemon Company International)
MIPCOM News 2 • 66 • 16 October 2018
AUGUST MEDIA HOLDINGS
SINGAPORE-based August Media is offering new animation Tish Tash (52 x 5 mins) at MIPCOM. Created by Studio Gale (South Korea), co-produced with August Media Holdings (Singapore) and Synergy88 Group (Philippines) and with production and development from UK based Karrot Entertainment, Tish Tash is a pre-school series which portrays a realistic family dynamic, with a good dose of humour and an imaginary friend.
HIGHLIGHTS from the vast AMC Studios catalogue include: Unspeakable (8 x 60 mins), a drama that follows two families affected by the 1980s tainted blood scandal; Dietland (10 x 60 mins), a drama based on Sarai Walker’s novel that follows a ghost-writer for the editor of one of New York’s hottest fashion magazines as she struggles with self-image; comedy series Documentary Now! (21 x 30 mins); documentary series Eli Roth’s History Of Horror (7 x 60 mins); documentary series Jonestown: Terror In The Jungle (4 x 60 mins); drama Lodge 49 (10 x 60 mins); and documentary series Ministry Of Evil: The Twisted Cult Of Tony Alamo (4 x 60 mins).
Tish Tash (August Media Holdings)
DRG DRG BRINGS three new formats to Cannes. Top Ten is a primetime music game show, hosted by a pop star, in which two teams of two celebrities compete to uncover the top 10 hits of a given year, with various challenges to reveal the song titles, reflect on the year in question and then the year’s biggest hit is performed by a special guest. Ridiculously Smart sees comedians challenged to learn about a new field of scientific research, create a stand-up show around the topic and then perform it — in five days. Stripped Down takes six ordinary men, all with low self-esteem, and challenges them to appear completely naked in front of a crowd at a major event. Stripped Down (DRG)
Unspeakable (AMC Studios)
MARVISTA ENTERTAINMENT MARVISTA Entertainment, at MIPCOM celebrating its 15th anniversary, brings its largest slate of content to date, featuring 20 movies, including five holiday titles, highlighted by The Perfect Christmas Village. Scheduled to premiere on Lifetime in the US, The Perfect Christmas Village was filmed in Wicklow, Ireland, including The Avoca Mill, founded in 1723, one of the oldest mills in the world and where some of the cast clothes were made. Starring Caitlin Thompson, Robbie Silverman and James Henri-Thomas, the movie follows a woman who learns that the holiday season is about more than just perfection after magically waking up in her miniature Christmas village.
SHEMAROO ENTERTAINMENT INDIA’s Shemaroo Entertainment brings its library of 3,700 movies, spanning across genres and languages, to MIPCOM. The company’s content, including a wide range of Bollywood titles, also features on its YouTube channels that have secured over 25 million views on a daily basis.
COSMOS MAYA A NEW title from Indian producer Cosmos Maya is Future Postman (13 x 5 mins). Targeted at a family audience, Future Postman reveals the most important environmental issues of today — the story of a postman who brings postcards from people living in the future who reveal aspects of their relationship to the environment. The series is produced by Pangolin Entertainment and AddArt, a not-for-profit organisation based in Greece. Future Postman (Cosmos Maya)
The Perfect Christmas Village (MarVista Entertainment)
MIPCOM News 2 • 67 • 16 October 2018
FACTUAL producer Barcroft Media brings four new series to Cannes. Snapped In The Wild, based on a short-form Barcroft series, uses film of incredible animal events that have become viral video sensations. Making Mad profiles backyard inventors and their innovative creations, featuring stories taken from Barcroft’s online series, including a homemade submarine and a real-life ‘Iron Man’ exoskeleton. Major Loser tells the true stories of people who have managed to lose an unbelievable amount of weight. And, following on from Barcroft’s Netflix series Amazing Interiors, Outrageous Homes is a new series that peeps inside some of the world’s most mind-blowing living spaces. Snapped In The Wild (Barcroft Media)
ALADDIN – Naam Toh Suna Hoga (150 x 22 mins/HD) is inspired by The Arabian Nights, the age-old tale of a young boy who is a lovable rogue, hopeless romantic and a righteous thief. Aladdin finds a magical lamp which possesses a mysterious genie and they become friends. Aladdin must then overcome the devious plans of the Royal Wazir Zafar and uncover a dark past before he can be with Princess Yasmine. Other priority titles from Sony India include: Mahabharata (100 x 22 mins), a family version of the epic legendary story of the Kurukṣhetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and Paṇḍava princes; and Yeh Pyaar Nahi Toh Kya Hai/What Is This, If Not Love?, a Aladdin – Naam Toh Suna Hoga modern-day romance. (Sony India)
MOTION PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT BARCELONA-based Motion Pictures Entertainment brings MyaGO (104 x 5.30 mins) to Cannes, a pre-school animation about a young girl whose enthusiasm infects everyone around her. The stories are written by more than 10 UK scriptwriters under the lead of Sam Morrison (Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Octonauts).
AT MIPCOM Gaumont is debuting the 34 x 60 mins drama series El Chapo, which explores the life story of drug kingpin Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, played by Marco de la O, over three decades from 1985, when he was a low-level member of the Guadalajara Cartel, his rise through the Sinaloa ranks to become a cartel kingpin, and his ultimate downfall. El Chapo tells not just the story of a cartel, but some of the governmental and institutional corruption El Chapo (Gaumont) that allows it to thrive.
MyaGO (Motion Pictures Entertainment)
CINEFLIX RIGHTS UNDER Thin Ice (1 x 90 mins/60 mins) follows a cold-water diving expert and a cinematographer — Mario Cyr anD Jill Heinerth — as they explore the impact of the disappearance of the Arctic ice pack. Jill and Mario are dedicated to doing what they can to ensure the survival of marine life threatened by the ice’s disappearance and n this 4K documentary they embark on a daring expedition to the polar seas in the northern Canada and Greenland to explore their concerns and document the splendour of underwater life.
NPO SALES has added documentary titles from Flemish public broadcaster VRT to its catalogue. Top MIPCOM highlights include: Amazons (3 x 50 mins), focussing on the lives of women who chose to be armed guerillas and the effect that this choice has on their personal lives and environment; and Backlight: Boyan Slat’s Hunt For Plastic (1 x 50 mins), about a scheme that started over five years ago as a graduation project about the plastic soup, and became Slat’s first ocean clean-up system in the Pacific, employing 80 people.
RT FRANCE RT FRANCE has launched a new debate show Interdit D’Interdire, hosted by French media personality Frederic Taddei. The one-hour programme, airing Monday through Thursday, alternates between cultural news and political and social debates, with guests. Taddei, a scholar and art lover in addition to being a journalist and TV and radio host, always enjoys a diversity of opinions and healthy ideological debate.
Frederic Taddei, host of Interdit D’Interdire (RT France)
Amazons (NPO Sales)
MIPCOM News 2 • 68 • 16 October 2018
FREE DOLPHIN INTERNATIONAL
DRAGON Egg (52 x 30 mins) is brought to MIPCOM by Korea’s G&G Entertainment. A mysterious stone is found which looks like an egg. It turns out to be an ancient dragon egg which eventually transforms into a dragon, and causes a battle for the fate of the world.
FREE Dolphin and UFO Film And Television Studios are in partnership on the production of the new action spy series S7- Section 7: The Black Files (10 x 50 mins). The series is based on real events surrounding a team created in 1963 as an assassination unit by the KGB, and features a far-right EU political operative’s plans to launch a terrorist operation to drag the EU, the US and the Middle East into war. The series is filming on four continents, following action from Washington DC to Jerusalem, with footprints in Eastern Europe, Moscow and Asia.
Dragon Egg (G&G Entertainment)
GURU STUDIO CANADA’s Guru Studio is bringing its largest roster of originals to MIPCOM. New series include: pre-school show Pikwik (52 x 11 mins), about Suki the hedgehog, Trevor the racoon, Hazel the cat and Tibor the hippo who help deliver surprise-filled parcels to the residents of Pikwik; Big Blue (52 x 11 mins), about a quirky submarine crew that explores and protects a vast ocean-covered planet; True And The Rainbow Kingdom (20 x 22 mins), a pre-school series about 8-year-old True and her best friend Bartleby the cat who unlock the power of magical wishes; and Justin Time (74 x 11 mins/2 x 22 mins), about Justin and his imaginary pals Olive and Squidgy who travel in time.
S7 - Section 7: The Black Files (Free Dolphin International)
TCB MEDIA RIGHTS EGYPT’s Unexplained Files (10 x 60 mins) explores some of the enduring mysteries of ancient Egypt. Experts believe that some of the most important artefacts lie undiscovered beneath the desert sands. Now new technology is decoding some of Egypt’s most puzzling enigmas, and the series combines expert scientific analysis with first-hand testimony from archaeologists.
Pikwik, True And The Rainbow Kingdome and Big Blue (Guru Studio)
RTE PROGRAMME SALES NARRATED by actor Cillian Murphy, The Irish Revolution (3 x 60 mins) is the story of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1922) which resulted in the formation of the Irish Free State and became the model for other British colonies to gain their independence. After the failed insurrection of 1916, this series tells the story of how revolutionary Ireland reorganised and re-imagined the tactics that would eventually lead to an independent Ireland.
Egypt’s Unexplained Files (TCB Media Rights)
MEDIALINK HONG KONG-based producer Medialink brings anime series RErideD – Derrida, Who Leaps Through Time to MIPCOM. The story is set in the near future where humanity finds itself embroiled in a robot apocalypse. The series is directed by Takuya Sato and features original character designs by Yoshitoshi Abe. RErideD – Derrida, Who Leaps Through Time (Medialink)
The Irish Revolution (RTE Programme Sales)
MIPCOM News 2 • 69 • 16 October 2018
The Heart Knows (GMA Worldwide)
PHILIPPINES-based GMA is highlighting The Heart Knows (40 x 45 mins) at MIPCOM, about Boyet, a 20-year-old boy with mild autism who faces the challenge of becoming a parent. A prostitute named Aubrey seduces him and claims that he is the father of her baby. Aubrey then leaves baby Noah in Boyet’s care. One day she returns to reveal that Noah is not Boyet’s biological son.
THE SEARCH For The Mona Lisa (1 x 55 mins/HD) is a quest across Europe in search for clues about the identity of the woman in the famous Louvre painting. That she is not the wife of a Florentine silk merchant as previously thought, is revealed at Heidelberg University, and as the film probes deeper more discoveries come to light. Filmed in Italy and France, with a cast led by Alessandro Demcenko in the role of Leonardo, the film takes the form of a docu-thriller hosted by art historian Jean-Pierre Isbouts.
KEW MEDIA DISTRIBUTION KEW MEDIA is showcasing The Dead Lands at MIPCOM, a new supernatural series based on the film of the same name. Set in New Zealand, the eight-part series follows warrior Waka, who is killed in battle then sent back to the world to find redemption. The world is now haunted by ghosts who can possess the living. With his ally Mehe, a young woman, they journey through the terrifying lands, seeking a way to repair the world.
The Search For The Mona Lisa (Scorpion TV)
NBCUNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION NEW SCRIPTED series from NBCUniversal include: Amy Poehler comedy I Feel Bad (13 x 30 mins), about a busy mum; The In-between (10 x 60 mins), about a woman who can communicate with the dead; medical drama New Amsterdam (13 x 60 mins); The Enemy Within (13 x 60 mins); and The Village (10 x 60 mins), a heart-warming drama about the inhabitants of an apartment building. Other titles on the slate include: athletic competition The Titan Games (10 x 60 mins), starring Dwayne Johnson; and from DreamWorks Animation TV, two 20 x 30 mins seasons of DreamWorks Where’s Waldo?. NBCUniversal also brings a range of programming from Telemundo. The Dead Lands (Kew Media)
TVN 4TH CREATIVE PARTY KOREAN animation studio 4th Creative Party is in Cannes with its new production Eco Robot (52 x 11 mins), targeted at 7- to 10-year-olds. Eco Robot is about Gunmo, and creatures called Ecoers, who live on the pure and clean Eco Planet. Gunmo receives special powers and protects the environment with the help of Ecoers who transform themselves into home-appliance robots.
POLAND’s TVN presents two new primetime mini-series in Cannes: drama series and format Under The Surface (8 x 60 mins); and The Trap (6 x 60 mins), a crime series and format about the author of crime novels who reveals a terrifying secret and then faces a deadly danger from the pages of her own novels. The Polish TV station also brings the third season of Diagnosis (39 x 60 mins), a medical drama with a crime twist, and the 10th season of travel series Woman At The End Of The World (73 x 30 mins).
HOHO RIGHTS CHICKPEA & Friends (13 x 5 mins), aimed at 2- to five-year-olds, is based on characters from S4C’s pre-school strand Cyw. Every day brings something new for chick Chickpea and her six friends — they might discover an octopus, launch a sailboat or get blown around on a windy day — as they explore and make sense of the world around them. Chickpea & Friends (Hoho Rights)
The Trap (TVN)
MIPCOM News 2 • 70 • 16 October 2018
ALBATROSS WORLD SALES
NEW TITLES from Germany’s Albatross include: Nature’s Dress Code – Who Wears What And Why (1 x 52 mins/4K), exploring spectacular attires in the animal kingdom and their evolutionary advantages; Ice Cold Passion – Leni Riefenstahl And Arnold Fanck Between Hitler And Hollywood (1 x 52 mins/ HD); Wineman – The Galvez Guide To Intelligent Wines (20 x 45 mins/6 x 30 mins/HD); and Digital Africa – Innovation Changes Minds (1 x 52 mins/HD).
GERMANY-based distributor New Docs brings a range of current-affairs programming to MIPCOM. The company is looking for further co-production partners and pre-sales for Ocean Grabbing (1 x 90 mins/52 mins), which takes a look the re-allocation of marine and costal zones all around the globe, including India, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Kenya. In Soora – Breaking The Silence (1 x 75 mins/52 mins) five female activists in Iran fight to establish a law that makes domestic violence a crime. Among the travel documentaries on the slate is Iceland – Ice And Fire, a 4K cinematic documentary.
CYBER GROUP STUDIOS (CGS)
Ocean Grabbing (New Docs)
CYBER Group Studios highlights its latest pre-school series Gigantosaurus (52 x 11 mins) at MIPCOM. The series is produced for Disney Junior worldwide — apart from China, India and Taiwan — and is set for France Televisions in France, Super RTL in Germany and Netflix. The company also brings the first episodes of Taffy (78 x 7 mins), a co-production with Turner with a classic look and slapstick humour. CGS also highlights the first episodes of Sadie Sparks (52 x 11 mins), a co-production with Brown Bag Films for Disney EMAE. Gigantosaurus (CGS)
THE RIKI GROUP RUSSIA’s The Riki Group is launching animation The Kameleons, a co-production with Tremblay Brothers. Set in a suburban neighbourhood, the series follows the everyday struggles of a wacky all-chameleon music band in their quest for stardom. The music-infused series is targeted at kids aged six to 11.
TED WORLD CAPSULE Hero (52 x 15 mins) — brought to MIPCOM by Korea’s Ted World — features 6.5-centimetre mini-heroes. The Capsule Hero series is a follow-up to their another of their productions, Capsule Boy. The Kameleons (The Riki Group)
IGMAR IGMAR returns to MIPCOM with Beyond The Wind, a drama about the dreams, intrigues, love life and hard work in the story of Soviet engineer Rostislav Alekseev. The visionary engineer dared to imagine and experiment with his designs, which seemed to test the laws of physics, resulting in a new class of vessels, Ekranoplans, which revolutionised shipbuilding. Beyond The Wind (Igmar)
9 STORY DISTRIBUTION INTERNATIONAL 9 STORY Distribution International now holds worldwide rights to the new 3D animated pre-school series Dr. Panda (39 x 7 mins), excluding China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and select rights within MENA. The series is based on an app franchise that has over 95 million downloads and five million active users per month. Due to complete at the end of this year and developed for children ages three to six, Dr. Panda takes place in Panda City, where every day Dr. Panda tries out a new job working together with his friends.
Dr. Panda (9 Story Distribution International)
MIPCOM News 2 • 71 • 16 October 2018
ON THE slate from Cologne-based Autentic is: The Wild Andes (3 x 52 mins/90 mins), a profile from the tropical north to the frozen south of the region in 4K; Counts – The Origins Of Catalonia (2 x 52 mins/4 x 30 mins) reconstructing the politically charged period when the first Catalan counts tried to achieve independence; and The Northern Lights (10 x 60 mins), a series following locals who work around the clock to keep guests happy.
EONE’s slate of new series includes The Rookie (13 x 60 mins), starring Nathan Fillion as the oldest rookie in the LAPD; Diggstown (6 x 60 mins), following a star corporate lawyer who, after a malicious prosecution, vows to protect people from the justice system; Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie (1 x 90 mins), featuring 60 years of women in The Rookie (eOne Entertainment) popular culture through the lens of the plastic icon; A Very Modern Grand Hotel (2 x 60 mins/working title), exploring the luxurious daily life at The Corinthia hotel; and Make It To The Moon: The Unsung Heroes Of Apollo (2 x 60 mins/90 mins), featuring first-hand accounts and archives to tell the story of NASA’s unsung heroes. Returning seasons include The CW’s Burden Of Truth (18 x 60 mins); thriller Ransom (39 x 60 mins); and Private Eyes (40 x 60 mins).
PBS INTERNATIONAL EUGENICS Crusade (2 x 54 mins/1 x 113 mins/HD) tells the story of the largely unknown campaign to breed a “better” American race, turning science into an instrument of social control. Other HD priorities for PBS include: Trump’s Showdown (1 x 120 mins/2 x 60 mins), about Trump’s fight against the Special Counsel, the FBI and the Attorney General; scientific exploration Distracted While Driving (1 x 60 mins); and Operation Bridge Rescue (1 x 60 mins), about the rebuilding of the Old Blenheim Bridge in New York State.
Eugenics Crusade (PBS International)
UK PRODUCER Screen Glue is at MIPCOM with its new documentary, A Day In The Life Of Earth (1 x 90 mins/2 x 45 mins). The film uses CGI, visual effects and revealing facts to show how much Earth changes in the course of one day. Nuclear energy drives the formation of new land, vast quantities of minerals are moved around the world, supercharging the growth of new life and extraterrestrial forces cause our planet to continuously lose weight. The film is a British-Canadian joint production by Screen Glue and Yap Films with ZDF Enterprises, commissioned by CBC, France 5 and BBC Four.
MIPCOM News 2 • 72 • 16 October 2018
Europe’s Most Famous Railway Stations (Terranoa)
LAUNCHING at MIPCOM, the newly released 4K HDR series Europe’s Most Famous Railway Stations (5 x 52 mins/43 mins/30 mins) revisits five stations built in the 19th century in Antwerp, Budapest, London, Milan and Paris. The series explores the secrets of their construction and the many stories they hold. Other 4K titles include: Japan From Above (5 x 52 mins/ 1 x 90 mins), The Mystery of Ethiopia’s Phallic Stones (1 x 52 mins) and Nausicaa, Ocean Biodiversity On Stage (1 x 52 mins).
COSMI Academy (52 x 11 mins) is a new educational 3D series for children aged six to nine — brought to Cannes by Cyprus- and Russia-based White Ball — which tells the story of four kids from Earth and their adventures in the intergalactic Cosmi Academy. Adventures include racing among asteroids and discovering new planets and fantastical creatures.
WIZART TWO TITLES top the roster for Russia’s Wizart in Cannes. The Magic Book follows the adventures of siblings Max and Zoe and their eccentric grandpa Josh who works in a book kiosk. The kids bring the magical world of their grandpa’s book to life, transforming into the main characters of each new story they imagine. The second 14-episode season of pre-school season Yoko is due for completion in the spring of 2019, and a new app for the franchise — Yoko Outdoor Games — has been recently launched worldwide. The Magic Book (Wizart)
Cosmi Academy (White Ball)
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MIPCOM News 2 • 73 • 16 October 2018
BLUE ANT INTERNATIONAL
ICONIX’s new animation Titipo Titipo (26 x 11 mins) is released this year, targeted at 3- to 6-year-olds. Train Center’s new little train Titipo has just passed the driving exam and is prepared to work at Choo Choo Town. He dreams of becoming the best train in the world, but his curious personality often gets him into trouble. Each episode teaches simple, yet important, social values and educational lessons.
BLUE ANT International is at MIPCOM with over 250 hours of new original and acquired programming. A highlight is HD documentary series Prison (3 x 60 mins). The filmmakers were granted access to make the documentary inside an English prison, capturing first-hand the escalating drug problem, the scale of violence that frontline staff and prisoners endure daily and the multiple challenges of dealing with those suffering from mental health issues.
Titipo Titipo (Iconix)
RED ARROW STUDIOS INTERNATIONAL RED ARROW brings global rights to the forthcoming New York Times series The Weekly. Produced by The New York Times and Left/Right, a Red Arrow Studios company, The Weekly has been commissioned by FX, which has firstrun North-American rights, in partnership with Hulu. FX has committed to a minimum of 30 episodes, with the series scheduled to premiere in 2019. The Weekly will be a narrative documentary that includes one or two of The Times’s biggest and most important visual stories each week, showing how the journalists work on them.
Prison (Blue Ant International)
NHC MEDIA KOREA’s NHC Media is preparing to launch Dinowar T-Rex, a boy-skewed series aimed at the 8-to-11 age group. The 2D/3D CGI series features the Dynamic Dinosaurs Battleground where dinosaurs are summoned to appear by using game cards.
15-18 October 2018 Cannes-France
THE WHO’S WHO OF THE GLOBAL INDUSTRY
PICK UP YOUR COPY AT THE REGISTRATION AREA
a year-round networking tool MIPCOM News 2 • 74 • 16 October 2018
TF1 STUDIO DISTRIBUTION
OUTFIT7 A MIPCOM priority for Outfit7 is its Talking Tom And Friends franchise. The CGI-animated series is now in its third season and the company has released two digital games featuring Talking Tom And Friends. Outfit7 is in development for new seasons of the series which is now broadcast in 166 territoTalking Tom And Friends (Outfit7) ries worldwide.
TF1 STUDIO brings The Burger Quiz to MIPCOM for its worldwide launch. In a vintage diner set two teams of celebrities and guests — Mayo and Ketchup — are tested on their pop-culture knowledge with a mixture of humour, unbelievable but real news, quirky stories and almost plausible fake news. Drama Jacqueline Savage: It Was Him Or Me (1 x 96 mins/2 x 45 mins), is based on the true story of a woman imprisoned for killing her husband, but who then gradually gains media attention as the story of her long-term abuse is revealed. Special Honors (1 x 96 mins) is a feel-good film, also based on a true story, about a young woman in Morocco who, despite living with Down syndrome, successfully passes her high-school diploma with honours.
STUDIO MOGGOZI BUGSTRON, produced by Studio Moggozi, is an adventure comedy animation series for 6- to 9-yearolds. Bugstron is the story of a boy who is sent to a world where insect-like humanoids live on the planet Devonia. There are many tribes in Devonia and each tribe has their powerful riders who can ride machines called Bugstron that share characteristics with the riders, and that they use to battle and preserve peace. However, an ominous shadow of war creeps over and only the boy from Earth can save the world.
Bugstron (Studio Moggozi)
The Burger Quiz (TF1 Studio Distribution)
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MIPCOM News 2 • 75 • 16 October 2018
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38˚C ANIMATION STUDIO
JUNGLE Box (104 x 2 mins/3D/HD), is an animation series brought to Cannes by Korea-based 38˚c Animation Studio. The series is a non-verbal slapstick comedy and folJungle Box (38˚c Animation Studio) lows Owgli, a boisterous and unique animal in the jungle. One day, a wooden box falls from the sky and all the animals gather around to find it is full of things from the modern world. But how do they use them? They try to chew them, wear them on their heads and ride on them — among other things.
LA-, SEOUL-, and London-based Calm Island brings its new pre-school series to Cannes, Badanamu Cadets (52 x 11 mins), which launched in China on iQiyi and Tencent’s online platforms earlier this year. Targeting 4-to-7-year-olds, Badanamu Cadets features six dynamic, creative and intrepid heroes-in-training who must work together to protect the harmony and balance of nature in Badanamu.
COMMA STUDIO BOTOS Family (54 x 3.30 mins) is a stop-motion animated series that combines slapstick humour and fun stories centred around how humans enjoy the companionship of cats and other neighbourhood animals. The project — which begun life as an experimental 1-minute series — is well advanced with half of the episodes (27) aired in Korea. The company is in Cannes to seek further investors and distributors.
QUEENSLAND, Australia-based Aesa Films brings a new documentary project to MIPCOM that explores how the Great Barrier Reef is in grave danger due to the poor management of the surrounding land. Murder On The Reef, by Gold Coast-based geo-chemist Allen Dobrovolsky, and filmmaker, Alex Fitzwater, compares poor management of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The film reveals an underlying lack of co-operation between government, marine research scientists, activists, politicians, indigenous leaders and the general public as being a core factor in the rapid decline of the reef’s health.
BOAT ROCKER RIGHTS A MIPCOM highlight for Boat Rocker Rights is the second series of Late Nite Eats (13 x 30 mins). In each episode chef Jordan Andino visits a new city for one night to tour three restaurants that are part of the late-night food scene. Jordan meets the chefs and mingles with the diners to taste the dishes that each city has to offer after dark. This series includes San Antonio, Boston, Calgary, Halifax, Denver, Washington DC and Philadelphia. Botos Family (Comma Studio)
ENPOP FAMILY entertainment producer Enpop introduces a new pre-school show in Cannes. Treehouse Detectives (20 x 11mins/3D) is an animated series starring a brother-and-sister detective team as they solve backyard mysteries and bigger puzzles in the natural world. Stories encourage young viewers to have fun learning about nature, science and social relations. Production for the second season (20 x 11 mins) is finished, and development for the third season has begun. Late Nite Eats (Boat Rocker Rights)
Jurassic Cops (Studio Button)
THE STORYLINE of animation series Jurassic Cops is set against the time 65 million years ago when five members of the Jurassic Cops locked the villain Death Varian, who invaded Earth, in the moon. Now in the present day Jurassic Cops, in the form of vehicles, live on Earth. The head of the Jurassic Cops, Dr Joo, is looking for a new leader.
Treehouse Detectives (Enpop)
MIPCOM News 2 • 76 • 16 October 2018
4K ULTRA HD AND VR CONFERENCE AND SCREENINGS Sony 4K Ultra HD Theatre (Audi I) – Palais 4
TUESDAY OCT 16
WEDNESDAY OCT 17
LITTLSTAR: ENHANCING VR AND 360 CONTENT Littlstar Inc.
SPECTACULAR ENTERTAINMENT IN UHD Travelxp 4K, Magnitudo Films
NHK: READYING FOR 4K AND 8K NHK
WHY MUSIC CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH 4K/HDR Viacom Int’l/MTV, United, Paramax Films, Nomobo, Stingray
CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE USING UHD & HDR Sony Professional Solutions Europe
UHD PRODUCTION & METHODOLOGY Saint Thomas Productions
SCREENING: SPACE DEBRIS (IN UHD/HDR) Saint Thomas Productions
NEW FACTUAL PROGRAMMING FOR MAXIMUM UHD IMPACT France TV Distribution, K2 Studios, French Connection, Etoile Noire, Injam, CGTN
THURSDAY OCT 18 09.30 11.30
NON-STOP ULTRA-HD Continuous screenings of the best in UHD from our speakers
NON-STOP ULTRA-HD Continuous screenings of the best in UHD from our speakers
Chairman : Chris Forrester, journalist and industry consultant
In partnership with
TUESDAY 16 OCTOBER TRENDS & INSIGHTS
PRODUCTION FUNDING FORUM
9.00-9.30, AUDITORIUM A
8.30-9.45, AUDITORIUM K
8.45-9.45, VERRIÈRE CALIFORNIE
CONTENT CREATION: COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES IN THE STREAMING GENERATION
FINANCING EVOLUTION: TOKENIZED CONTENT INVESTMENTS
9.30-10.00, AUDITORIUM A
10.00-11.15, AUDITORIUM K
HOW CONSUMER TRENDS ARE TRANSFORMING THE MEDIA INDUSTRY
BLOCKCHAIN IMPACT ON CONTENT…
‘PATHS TO FREEDOM’
Followed by Meet the Speakers
Presented by TVP Polish Public Television
CONTENT DELIVERY: RETHINKING STREAMING
Presented by Studiocanal
10.15-10.45, AUDITORIUM A
Presented by Salesforce Breakfast served
10.15-10.45, VERRIÈRE CALIFORNIE
DISRUPTING NEWS: CAN SOCIAL CONTENT REVIVE TV NEWS?
IT’S SUCH A GREAT TIME TO BE A PRODUCER!
Presented by Euronews- NBC
MEDIA MASTERMIND KEYNOTES 11.00-11.30, GRAND AUDITORIUM
4K ULTRA HD & VR
JOSH SAPAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMC NETWORKS FT. COLMAN DOMINGO, LEAD CAST, ‘FEAR THE WALKING DEAD’
10.00-11.00, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
11.45-12.30, GRAND AUDITORIUM
LITTLSTAR: ENHANCING VR AND 360 CONTENT
TALENT BEHIND THE CAMERA Presenting the WORLD SCREEN TRENDSETTER AWARDS FT. LORENZO MIELI (‘THE YOUNG POPE’, ‘MY BRILLIANT FRIEND’), ERIC NEWMAN (‘NARCOS’) & ÁLEX PINA (‘MONEY HEIST’, ‘THE PIER’)
11.15-12.15, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
NHK: READYING FOR 4K AND 8K
ASIAN WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENING 11.30-12.45, AUDITORIUM A - Doors open at 11.15 ‘WAY TOO KAWAII!’ Presented by Nippon TV Followed by Sushi & Sake Lunch/Cocktail
CHINA COUNTRY OF HONOUR 14.45-15.30, AUDITORIUM A
COPRODUCING WITH CHINA 15.45-16.30, AUDITORIUM A
CHINA, BIG DATA AND CONTENT
PRODUCTION FUNDING FORUM 14.30-15.15, ESTEREL FUNDING CREATIVITY: BOOSTING YOUR FINANCIAL FIREPOWER
MIPCOM CO-PRODUCED SERIES LUNCH
VERRIÈRE GRAND AUDITORIUM
15.15- 16.15, VERRIÈRE CALIFORNIE “LEARN & MEET” WITH THE FUNDS
In partnership with Fuji TV By invitation
INTERCONTINENTAL CARLTON HOTEL
By invitation only
SCREENINGS 15.45-17.00, AUDITORIUM K
‘MATRIMONIAL CHAOS’ 17.15-18.30, AUDITORIUM K Screening starts at 17:30
DIVERSITY SNACK LUNCH
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SHOWBIZZ SUCCESS IN TODAY’S WORLD!
WHY MUSIC CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH 4K/HDR
14.00-14.30, AUDITORIUM A
Presented by Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund and CBC/Radio-Canada Followed by Meet the Speakers
Presented by Korean Broadcasting System
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
16.00-17.15, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
NEW FACTUAL PROGRAMMING FOR MAXIMUM UHD IMPACT
LOVE ISLAND: NOT JUST AN OVERNIGHT RELATIONSHIP
Presented by Banijay Rights
Presented by ITV Studios Global Entertainment
MEDIA MASTERMIND KEYNOTES 16.40-17.10, GRAND AUDITORIUM
DR. GONG YU, FOUNDER & CEO, IQIYI 17.20-18.00, GRAND AUDITORIUM
KAY MADATI, VICE PRESIDENT & GLOBAL HEAD OF CONTENT PARTNERSHIPS, TWITTER SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDE: A+E NETWORKS, VIACOM DIGITAL STUDIOS AND SKY
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
18.00-20.00, MAJESTIC HOTEL
J-CREATIVE PARTY In partnership with The International Drama Festival in Tokyo
18.30-20.30, INTERCONTINENTAL CARLTON HOTEL
17.30-18.30, VERRIÈRE CALIFORNIE
FINNISH WEIRD: TV-DRAMA & COCKTAIL Presented by Finland Film Commission
19.30-21.30, CARLTON GARDEN VERRIÈRE
MIPCOM DIVERSIFY TV EXCELLENCE AWARDS
CELEBRATING INNOVATIVE ASIAN STORIES
Presented by IMDA
MIPCOM WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENING 18.45-20.00, GRAND AUDITORIUM - Doors open at 18.15
‘THE PIER’ Presented by Beta Film Followed by Q&A with creators, producers & lead cast SCREENINGS & WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENINGS Get an exclusive first look at the most-anticipated series from around the world.
OFFICIAL CONFERENCE & SCREENINGS HIGHLIGHTS MEDIA MASTERMIND KEYNOTES TALENT BEHIND THE CAMERA
President and CEO AMC NETWORKS
COLMAN DOMINGO Lead Cast ‘Fear the Walking Dead’
(‘THE YOUNG POPE’, ‘MY BRILLIANT FRIEND’)
(‘MONEY HEIST’, ‘THE PIER’)
Vice President and Global Head of Content Partnerships TWITTER Special Guests:
President, International & Digital A+E NETWORKS
DR. GONG YU Founder & CEO IQIYI
MIPCOM Asian World Premiere TV Screening
Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships SKY
President VIACOM DIGITAL STUDIOS
MIPCOM World Premiere TV Screening
‘MOSCOW NOIR’ Presented by Studiocanal 8.30- 9.45, Auditorium K
‘PATHS TO FREEDOM’ Presented by TVP Polish Public Television 10.00-11.15, Auditorium K
‘MATRIMONIAL CHAOS’ Presented by Korean Broadcasting System 11.30-12.45, Auditorium A Doors open at 11.15
18.45-20.00, Grand Auditorium Doors open at 18.15
Followed by Sushi and Snack Lunch/Cocktail
Followed by Q&A with creators, producers & lead cast
15.45-17.00, Auditorium K
‘HIDDEN’ Presented by Banijay Rights 17.15-18.30, Auditorium K Screening starts at 17.30
FINNISH WEIRD: TV-DRAMA & COCKTAIL Presented by
Presented by Finland Film Commission 17.30-18.30, Verrière Californie
Additional information in the MIPCOM Handbook and the MIPCOM app
WEDNESDAY 17 OCTOBER SCREENINGS
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‘GETTING TO THE TOP’: INSIGHT AND TIPS FROM - AND FOR WOMEN IN MEDIA
8.30-9.45, AUDITORIUM K
‘MEDICI: THE MAGNIFICENT’
Mentoring breakfast co-hosted with MediaClub’Elles By invitation
Presented by Beta Film
MEDIA MASTERMIND KEYNOTE 9.15-9.45, GRAND AUDITORIUM
MATTHEW HENICK, HEAD OF CONTENT PLANNING AND STRATEGY, FACEBOOK PARESH RAJWAT, DIRECTOR, VIDEO, FACEBOOK FEATURING EXCLUSIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
10.00-10.25, AUDITORIUM A
10.00-11.15, AUDITORIUM K
10.30-11.00, VERRIÈRE CALIFORNIE
STORIES WITHOUT BORDERS: ‘ESCAPE FROM SYRIA: RANIA’S ODYSSEY’
10.35-11.15, AUDITORIUM A
11.30-12.45, AUDITORIUM K
BUILD HUAWEI GLOBAL VIDEO CONTENT ECOSYSTEM, DRIVING VIDEO INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT
EMBRACING DIVERSITY: IT STARTS AT THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE
‘UNKNOWN RUSSIA’: RUSSIA AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT
Presented by Antenna Group
Presented by Current Time network
Presented by Huawei Technologies
4K ULTRA HD & VR 10.45-11.45, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
SPECTACULAR ENTERTAINMENT IN UHD PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR KEYNOTE 11.30-12.15, GRAND AUDITORIUM
ISSA RAE CREATOR, PRODUCER AND STAR OF HBO’S HIT SHOW ‘INSECURE’ SNACK & SCREEN
12.15-13.15, VERRIÈRE GRAND AUDITORIUM
PRE-‘INFORMER’ SNACK LUNCH By all3media international and Neal Street Productions
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION EVENT SCREENING 13.30-14.45, GRAND AUDITORIUM
12.15-13.45, VERRIÈRE CALIFORNIE
SNACK & SCREEN ARGENTINA! 3RD EDITION. DISCOVER NEW CONTENT FROM LATAM´S CREATIVE PRODUCERS Presented by INCAA & Argentina Investment & Trade Promotion Agency
4K ULTRA HD & VR
‘INFORMER’ Presented by all3media international and Neal Street Productions
14.30-15.30, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
A BBC 1 and Amazon Prime Video USA co-production
CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE USING UHD & HDR 15.30-16.30, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
UHD PRODUCTION & METHODOLOGY
15.15-16.00, GRAND AUDITORIUM
16.30-17.30, SONY 4K ULTRA HD THEATRE
FRESH TV FICTION
SCREENING: ‘SPACE DEBRIS’ (IN UHD/HDR) SCREENINGS
16.15-17.00, AUDITORIUM A
BEST OF SHORT FORM SERIES
20.00, INTERCONTINENTAL CARLTON HOTEL
MIPCOM PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR GALA DINNER HONOURING:
CREATOR, PRODUCER AND STAR OF HBO’S HIT SHOW ‘INSECURE’ By invitation
SCREENINGS & WORLD PREMIERE TV SCREENINGS Get an exclusive first look at the most-anticipated series from around the world.
FEATURE: INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS
The dream comes true
Black Earth Rising, “would have been thought out of reach a few years ago”
S THE audience shift to on-demand viewing accelerates, the business of scripted television has become ever more complex. How to finance shows, how to window them, whether to release them all at once or as weekly appointments-to-view, how much to spend on marketing — all of these questions and more have taken on a renewed urgency. One group that appears to be thriving in this era of disruption, however, is the production community, whose product
is in more demand than ever. See-Saw Films’ chief operating officer of television, Hakan Kousetta, and head of television Jamie Laurenson, say there is a new confidence among producers, particularly in terms of presenting projects: “The proliferation of commissioners looking for content with international reach has resulted in an opportunity to diversify our development slate.” That fact is illustrated by SeeSaw’s ability to bring feted director Jane Campion on board as the creative force behind two editions of the critically acclaimed limited
Producers, writers and actors have for years been dreaming of a time when creative success leads to commercial success. With the ever-widening array of channels and platforms looking for channel-defining original content it looks like that time might finally have come. Andy Fry reports series Top Of The Lake. And it is also evident in the company’s MIPCOM slate. Cannes headliners include short-form series State Of The Union, which sees Rosamund Pike and Chris O’ Dowd star in a production directed by Stephen Frears and written by Nick Hornby. Commercially, Kousetta and Laurenson say, today’s climate offers more opportunities to finance shows in imaginative ways: “The one-stop
MIPCOM News 2 • 81 • 16 October 2018
shop of the SVOD commission can work in a producer’s favour for certain projects. However, an interesting by-product of this phenomena is the willingness of non-SVOD buyers to work together and co-commission, so that shows can be made at higher budget levels without exhausting their value globally.” As the Campion and Frears examples illustrate, one particularly liberating development in the age of
FEATURE: INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS
The Little Drummer Girl (Endeavor Content/IMG)
SVOD has been the ability of producers to move talent seamlessly back and forth between film and TV. Another MIPCOM headline for See-Saw is The North Water, an adaptation of Ian’s McGuire’s Victorian-era novel about a disgraced army surgeon who signs up as a ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic. This will be adapted by Andrew Haigh, who has been lauded both for his movie 45 Years and the HBO series Looking. On talent more generally, the See-Saw execs believe the new landscape offers chances to fresh voices. They point out that the idea and execution is becoming as significant as the name and reputation of the writer, which means that there is more opportunity for new talent to break through This is especially the case in the SVOD landscape. This also extends to diversity, Kousetta and Laurenson add. As more inclusion is demanded by both commissioners and audiences, there will inevitably be more diverse characters and worlds on screen in the future. See-Saw is truly independent, as opposed to some companies that have sold stakes to larger networks. But this has not hindered development, argue Kousetta and Laurenson, who say they feel “very empowered” to work with A-list talent: “Being part of a bigger group may be advantageous to some indies but, from our per-
spective, we have never seen our independence as a barrier to entry for any aspect of the process.” As co-founder of indie producer The Ink Factory, Stephen Cornwell has enjoyed global success with a star-studded adaptation of John Le Carre’s The Night Manager. His company has also just completed production on another Le Carre adaptation, The Little Drummer Girl, which will air on the BBC and AMC, and is being distributed globally by Endeavor Content/IMG. He says: “The really empowering thing for companies like us is that SVOD plat-
forms, cable players and high-end free-to-air broadcasters all want brand-defining content.” One clear illustration of this is the freedom now given to producers to search for directors that can bring a unique vision to projects. In the case of The Little Drummer Girl, for example, this quintessentially British spy story will mark the TV directorial debut of Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, who will bring an epic cinematic sensibility to the six-hour production. Chan-wook will be supported by Korean cinematographer Woo-hyung Kim. “Buyers are looking for shows that are not the normal, which means, as producers, we can push the envelope on the creative ambition of our shows,” Cornwell adds. Echoing the See-Saw team, Cornwell says there are no longer any meaningful limitations on what might appear on the development slate: “Our affinity lies with authored content. I think the only real limit on what we do is how passionate we are about a project and how distinctive we can make it. If we can’t connect emotionally or make it unique, there’s no point.” For Cornwell, one of the most exciting aspects of the current
Black Mirror, as pioneering in form as it is in content
MIPCOM News 2 • 82 • 16 October 2018
landscape is the way creative collaboration can build around a producer’s initial idea. “I think there’s a lot of respect among actors, directors and writers for Le Carre’s work, but I don’t think the audience was profoundly aware of The Night Manager until the likes of Hugh Laurie and Tom Hollander came on board,” he says. “As the talent joins in, it creates this cumulative effect that leads to a great end result.” In practical terms, Cornwell says the new era has dispensed with the idea that a series has to be a specific length. In the same way that The Great Gatsby can excite just as much critical acclaim as War And Peace, “the SVOD era means it doesn’t make any sense to focus too much on the length of episodes, the number of hours in a series or the number of seasons in a show. That idea is increasingly becoming redundant.” This thesis explains the range of different-length properties now available — and also the trend towards season-to-season and episode-to-episode anthologies. Black Mirror, now one of the most acclaimed TV series on the market, is as pioneering in form as it is in content. On diversity, Cornwell shares the See-Saw view that the new market empowers a greater range of
FEATURE: INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS voices. He notes that his company is currently in discussion with a leading African-American writer about collaborating on a TV project: “I think the broadcast industry’s systemic resistance to diversity is disappearing, because we are no longer looking at the market as a single block, but as a range of diverse audiences. And what’s really exciting is that younger audiences are embracing that diversity and helping it move mainstream.” While Cornwell acknowledges that the cost of drama is going up, he suggests that, in a strange way, this has also led to a sense of commercial empowerment for producers: “With broadcaster licence fees covering less of the budget, it pushes the industry more towards co-production and that opens up independent financing opportunities, such as the one we have with 127 Wall Productions. I’m not sure how that will play out as the industry consolidates but, for now, it enables innovative partnerships.” Neil Zeiger, founder and executive producer of Nevision, agrees that “the market has never felt like this before”. He adds: “You can tell the stories you want to tell, not spend your time working out how you’re going to tailor an idea for a specific broadcaster and slot. There’s a palpable feeling that we can be more creatively ambitious with our productions.”
Keeping Faith, double-shot in Welsh and English
passionate about their project, which means we now have a very eclectic development slate.” At the ambitious end of the scale, Nevision is partnering with Lionsgate on a scripted series about the nefarious side of the Middle Eastern oil business in the 1970s. “It’s a geopolitical thriller driven by central characters working for a major oil company in the
region,” Zeiger says. “It’s one of those shows, like Succession or Black Earth Rising, that would have been thought out of reach of broadcasters a few years ago.” For Zeiger, producer empowerment does not mean that all shows have to have the epic scale of the Lionsgate co-production — they can also be more locally attuned, such as Sally Wainwright’s Happy
“You can tell the stories you want to tell, not spend your time working out how you’re going to tailor an idea for a specific broadcaster and slot” In practice, this means that Nevision’s door is open to a wider pool of writers: “It broadens the scope of what we can do. Our focus is on working with people who are
Alex, a big hit for Viaplay in the Nordic region
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Valley. One of his own company’s biggest successes to date (as a gap-financing co-producer) is Keeping Faith, an intimate thriller set in Wales, which features characters deeply embedded in their local community. “That was a really interesting show because Vox Pictures’ Adrian Bate double-shot it in Welsh for S4C and English for the BBC,” he adds.
FEATURE: INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS
My Brilliant Friend (FremantleMedia)
Indeed, Keeping Faith is an object lesson in how local shows with universal themes can build momentum. In this case, the central character is a woman whose husband goes missing. After the Welsh-language version aired on S4C, the English-language version proved a huge hit for BBC Wales, pulling in the highest ratings in 25 years. The show then shifted to the BBC’s catch-up service iPlayer and continued to draw big audiences. As a result, the BBC elected to air the series on its flagship network BBC One, again garnering strong audiences. Keeping Faith has now been recommissioned by the BBC and licensed by production partner APC to Acorn Media in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. More generally, Zeiger says Nevision is also happy to involve itself in foreign-language drama — another area in which indies have been empowered by TV’s shifting landscape. “We’re a partner on SF Studio’s Swedish crime series Alex, which has been a big hit for Viaplay in the Nordic region,” he adds. “I think audiences are excited to see drama from different countries. And I believe the
market is benefiting from the fact that subtitles are being written extremely well these days.” The market is swarming with examples that illustrate this point. Beta Film’s investment in Spanish dramas Velvet and Grand Hotel is a current example. At MIPCOM, Beta Film will screen a new Spanish thriller, The Pier, created by Alex Pina (La Casa de Papel). Not to be overlooked is FremantleMedia’s support for Italian-language drama My Brilliant Friend. Still within the FremantleMedia family, German label UFA is also moving towards the completion of Deutschland 86, the sequel to Deutschland 83 and the second series in a planned trilogy. UFA Group CEO Nico Hofmann identifies several trends driving the sense of empowerment among producers. “Looking specifically at Germany, we’re at a very special moment where the public broadcasters are investing heavily in content and platforms to compete with Amazon, Netflix and Sky,” he says. “I also anticipate RTL increasing its investment.” These broadcasters are not just
commissioning more of the same, Hofmann adds: “The new series are provocative and radical — much riskier than German audiences are used to. I would include D83 in this, but also ZDF’s Bad Banks [not a UFA show]. It’s similar in pay TV, with shows like Babylon Berlin [Beta Film for Sky] and Hackerville, which UFA and Joerg Winger are making for HBO Europe and TNT Germany.”
Nico Hofmann: “
The new series are provocative and radical — much riskier than German audiences are used to” At the same time, UFA is becoming more international in profile: “The DNA of FremantleMedia is very collaborative and I see us moving towards a situation where 30% to 40% of what we do is international co-production,”
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Hofmann says. “We’re enjoying a great relationship with the UK’s Euston Films, which we are working with on an adaptation of Robert Harris’ novel Munich.” Commercial flexibility is apparent in the development of the Deutschland trilogy, Hofmann points out: “The first season did very well around the world, but not so well on RTL in Germany. But for D86, we were able to do a deal which saw Amazon pay more than half the budget [in return for which it has secured the show’s first window].” In terms of production personnel, Hofmann reports similar trends to his peers. On the one hand, there is greater scope for on-screen diversity — Florence Kasumba will have a leading role in D86, for example — and on the other there are more film directors engaging with the medium. He is especially excited to have acclaimed director Michael Haneke helming Kelvin’s Book, a 10-part series to be shot in English. “There’s no way you would have seen that kind of project at MIPCOM 10 years ago,” he adds. The indies’ sense of empower-
FEATURE: INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS ment is unquestionably helped by the fact that they have powerful allies on their side. A case in point is FremantleMedia North America’s president of scripted, Dante Di Loreto, a former producer whose credits include Glee, American Horror Story and Temple Grandin. He says: “My division was set up specifically to serve storytellers. In this environment, they are empowered to create a great range of shows for the global audience. We are not going to force talent into a box, because we want this to be the place that the best creatives come. We have to be there to support their vision.” Di Loreto’s slate underlines his point: “We are working with Dancing Ledge Productions and Random House Studios towards a TV drama based on the work of Paulo Coelho. We’ve also announced that Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman [A Beautiful Mind] will be working with us on an adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy.” The Gormenghast project was initially set up as a film, Di Loreto adds: “But now it makes sense as
a TV production, because of the level of execution we can bring. That wasn’t possible 10 years ago.” Other FremantleMedia North America projects in the pipeline illustrate the creative freedom now afforded to indies. An alliance with fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson, for example, shows the diversification across genre. It is also possible, Di Loreto says, to revisit traditional subjects with a new creativity sensibility: “We’re making a series about Michelangelo, which will reframe him as vocal and youthful — a millennial of his day. That will absolutely speak to the issue of diversity, both in terms of on-screen representation and behind the camera.” In Di Loreto’s opinion, producer empowerment is also part and parcel of the trend towards more ambitious creative spectacles. “To create brilliant TV is challenging,” he says. “Every moment is crafted and executed to a level of excellence. So the industry is more and more reliant on people with a proven ability to execute.” He sees his own job as supporting that
with an agile and forward-looking business framework: “Buyers want sophisticated, original and inventive shows, For us to deliver them, we have to be nimble and adaptive, not tied down by old financial models.” Fernando Szew, CEO of producer and distributor MarVista Entertainment agrees that producers are being trusted more to deliver the goods. He puts that down in part to the need for speed to market: “It’s still a collaborative process, but the pressure to deliver means there is no time to micromanage. Besides, why would a channel or platform buy into a producer’s creative vision if they weren’t committed to it?” Empowerment for MarVista has meant new genres opening up: “We are producing an eight-part teen/tween comedy for Netflix called Best Worst Weekend Ever. This is a genre that has always been pretty elusive in ad-funded television, but has become easier to justify creatively and economically since the arrival of the SVOD platforms. Creatively, it also has more of an edge and
Deutschland 86, the sequel to Deutschland 83
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addresses more issues related to diversity than you’d see in traditional broadcast TV.” More generally, Szew says: “The big thing that’s changed is that more money is being spent on content, which means we can elevate productions to a new level, across all genres. When you combine that with the trust being placed in producers, you get a wider range of stories, characters and locations. Audiences appreciate this diverse storytelling, which means you can’t just give them vanilla.”
“The big thing that’s changed is that more money is being spent on content, which means we can elevate productions to a new level, across all genres”
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The shows that do all the work
Machinery Of War (Passion Distribution)
Today’s shows have to work hard all over the schedule and most likely across several platforms too. They need to be big enough to act as tent poles, compelling enough to appeal across demographics and robust enough to keep on delivering, season after season. And no genre does that better than factual entertainment, writes Andy Fry
N THE world of factual television, the headlines and plaudits generally go to shows like the BBC’s Blue Planet, HBO’s The Jinx, Netflix’s Making A Murderer and PBS’ The Vietnam War. Less celebrated but no less significant to distributors are the long-running factual entertainment series that are the bedrock of schedules around the world. Cineflix Rights’ 4,600-hour library has numerous examples, says CEO Chris Bonney, ranging from true-crime series such as Cold Blood to lifestyle series including Property Brothers. “One of our most successful series is air-disaster investigation franchise
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Mayday, which has been running for 19 seasons and sells around the world,” Bonney adds. Shows like these, and recent additions such as Homicide: Hours To Kill and Secrets Of The Morgue, “are dependable, well-produced shows that thrive because they have high production values, great titles, a clear premise, engaging characters and lots of jeopardy”. The best of these long-running franchises work all around the world and appeal across demographics, Bonney says: “Although they often have their first run on pan-regional pay-TV channels, they also work well on linear broadcasters where the rights
FEATURE: FACTUAL situation allows. If there’s a challenge with these shows, it’s that broadcasters can be very protective of them because they’re so good at building loyal audiences, which can limit the opportunities to re-licence them.”
“If there’s a challenge with these shows, it’s that broadcasters can be very protective of them because they’re so good at building loyal audiences, which can limit the opportunities to relicence them” Many of the best examples of the genre have voiceovers so that they are easy to tailor to different markets. In other cases, such as Property Brothers, strong onscreen characters are a draw: “The brothers bring a unique dimension to the show that appeals to audiences around
the world,” Bonney says. “One is an expert in design, the other is focused on real estate, and fans like those roles.”
But some cultures just don’t like to focus on crime, so it makes sense to have a diverse slate of programming.”
Rive Gauche Television founder and CEO Jon Kramer also cites the appeal of onscreen talent. “We got into crime around 10 years ago and, while our more salacious titles like Twins That Kill and Happily Never After have sold well, the biggest hit for us has been Homicide Hunter, which is now up to 122 episodes. The special sauce in that show is the investigator Lt Joe Kenda, who audiences really engage with.” Kramer says it is a similar story with another of Rive Gauche’s hit titles, The Dog Whisperer, which has also sold extensively around the world: “What’s interesting to me about these shows is that it wasn’t obvious at the outset they would be hits. We’d get a few sales here and there each year, and then some more through word-ofmouth between buyers. And then one day they just popped.” Kramer’s experience is that “crime tends to appeal most to 25- to 54-year-old women, but it doesn’t sell everywhere. You get a feeding frenzy in the UK, and markets like Australia, Germany, Italy and Asia are also strong.
TCB Media CEO Paul Heaney also has strong-selling factual workhorses in his portfolio, including Bondai Rescue, Abandoned Engineering and Border Patrol. Heaney is a big fan of border-based shows and is coming to MIPCOM with new titles Borderforce USA: The Bridges and Border Interceptors. “Aside from borders, I’d say rescue, medical, crime and engineering tend to work well for us,” he adds. “Some element of mystery is attractive to most viewers, but you need to be careful not to go too heavily into areas like history and science.” In addition to broad appeal, Heaney notes that this tranche of shows, which typically come in either 30-minute or 60-minute episodes, offer screening flexibility: “If a live sports event ends early, or there is a last-minute schedule change, they can do a job. In addition, repeats run as well as the original series — sometimes better.” Heaney agrees that volume is a core part of this genre’s appeal, and says their true value really kicks in above 30 episodes. However, he warns against the temp-
Aussie Gold Hunters from Electric Pictures
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tation to be formulaic: “You still have to make sure you’re delivering a great show. Viewers and buyers are very savvy these days and won’t let you get away with producing by numbers.”
“You have to make sure you’re delivering a great show. Viewers and buyers are very savvy these days and won’t let you get away with producing by numbers” Independent distributor Hat Trick International (HTI) has enjoyed an upturn in sales since it expanded out of comedy and entertainment into the softer end of the fact-ent spectrum. HTI director of sales Sarah Tong says: “George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces has been hugely successful on Channel 4 in the UK and with broadcasters around the world since launching in 2012. There was then, and still is now, a market for property shows, hence the success of this long-running franchise.” While shows at the tougher end of the factual-entertainment genre thrive on the shock factor, property shows tend to work well when viewers feel they could replicate what is being shown on screen: “There is a makeover element to Amazing Spaces that is extremely aspirational,” Tong says. “The builds are within reach — financially and practically — of viewers, rather than purely voyeuristic.” Amazing Spaces has also generated specials and spinoffs, including Shed Of The Year. This is a point that is also picked up on by Cineflix’s Bonney: “There are nine series of Property Brothers and six seasons of spin-off series Buying
FEATURE: FACTUAL And Selling.” In fact, there are actually six Property Brothers spin-offs, though not all in the Cineflix catalogue. HTI has also had success with Dinner Date, which is now in its ninth series and has spawned several celebrity spin-offs. “It has been a success internationally, both as a format but also in sales of the finished UK series,” Tong says. “This series appeals to dating, cooking and reality show enthusiasts, and to buyers who want to buy in bulk — we now have 261 hours of Dinner Date.” In terms of selling patterns, Tong says these shows sell well to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and throughout most of Europe, as well as pan-territory in Asia and Africa. “The US is more complicated,” she adds, “because US buyers prefer either really wellknown UK names or American hosts/contributors”. As for the new platforms, Tong says it has made sense to sell to individual territories rather than embark on pan-territory SVOD deals: “There is a bigger appetite from linear channels for this content than from SVOD.” Rick Barker, head of sales at DCD Rights, says his company’s slate includes the Coast Guard franchise, made by Al Roker Entertainment for The Weather Channel. The show now consists of six series totalling 67 hours of daring US rescues, from Florida to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. In the same vein is Aussie Gold Hunters from Electric Pictures, a fourth series of which is now in production. “And we have Nurses Who Kill, which is a DCD Rights/FirstLook TV production and is now in its second series,” Barker adds. These shows are a good illustration of the genre’s breadth of appeal, Barker says: “Both Coast Guard and Aussie Gold Hunters appeal to male-skewed networks, and both have sold well into Europe, the UK, Canada, the Nordics and Eastern Europe. For Nurses Who Kill, the predominant interest has come from crime and female-skewing channels. It has sold well across Europe and Australia.”
Love It Or List It (Beyond Distribution)
Like Bonney, Barker picks out a number of key elements that help such shows to engage audiences. With Coast Guard, it is the unknown and risky situations in which the crews find themselves. In Aussie Gold Hunters, the appeal lies in the interplay of adventure and characters. “These treasure hunters take on backbreaking work, extreme weather and deadly wildlife, but the series also delivers a close examination of the strain this has on relationships with family and friends, as many of the prospectors have poured their life savings into equipment,” Barker adds. Barker ascribes the success of Nurses Who Kill to “the access, not only to the police, psychoanalysts and prosecutors, but also to the victim’s relatives, along with the level of detail and research that goes into each individual case”. This seems to chime with a wider trend towards access-based shows. ITV Studios Global Entertainment, for example, has a show called 24 Hours In Police Custody, which gives insights into the workings of a modern-day police station. Produced by The Garden Productions for Channel 4, the series has round-the-clock
access to police units dealing with serious and difficult-to-solve crimes. Barker is more bullish than Tong when it comes to SVOD: “All the series have been well received by the larger SVOD players in the relevant territories. The joy of having programming with such volume and longevity is that you can get several bites of the cherry with the SVOD players and, as the series start to age, it gives an opportunity to sell to the more bespoke OTT players. This is where the workhorses can make solid revenues as they age.”
“The joy of programming with such volume and longevity is that you can get several bites of the cherry with the SVOD players. The workhorses can make solid revenues as they age”
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Rive Gauche’s Kramer is also bullish about the future prospects of factual on SVOD, arguing that the current focus on high-end scripted origination will prove unsustainable in the long run and that “unscripted will have its day because it is more cost efficient than scripted”. Beyond Distribution’s head of sales, Munia Kanna-Konsek, says her company’s catalogue contains a range of long-running factual workhorses, including Mythbusters, Deadly Women, Highway Thru Hell and Love It Or List It. Typically, she says, they will air on pan-regional pay-TV networks before heading for free TV after holdbacks. In the case of SVOD/ AVOD, she says that Netflix has moved away from acquisition towards high-end origination. “But I still think these shows have a role to play because they lend themselves to binge-viewing,” she adds. In Kanna-Konsek’s experience, there is room for both hosted and non-hosted factual entertainment shows. “The presenters in Mythbusters have developed cult status,” she adds. “As a rule, audiences like to get to know the characters in a show. But blue-light
FEATURE: FACTUAL programming tends to lend itself more to voiceover narration.” As for the demographic profile, she says: “Mythbusters skews males and true-crime shows like Deadly Women skew female, so it makes sense to have a range of titles in the portfolio.” In terms of the key characteristics of successful shows, Kanna-Konsek believes it is impossible to distil these down to a few universal themes. But she agrees with her peers that it all begins with high-quality production: “In the case of Mythbusters, what works is the balance between education and entertainment. As for Women Who Kill, audiences are amazed by the audacity and cruelty of these women.” One of the most surprising things about shows in this genre is their ability to travel widely in their original form, dubbed or subtitled according to market taste. But Kanna-Konsek says some of them also lend themselves to light formatting. She cites the example of Love It Or List It, a Canadian show that has been remade in the UK and Australia. “Alongside spin-off episodes, this is another way for us to increase the volume of content we can offer to our buyers,” she adds. Like many of her counterparts, Passion Distribution managing director Emmanuelle Namiech is in the fortunate position of having a pipeline of shows coming through from parent group Tinopolis, as well as strong relationships with third-party producers. Sweet spots for Passion include Machinery Of War (6 x 60mins) about the development of weaponry and combat, which satisfies history and technology enthusiasts; as well as cop ob-docs and true crime. “We have long-running blue-light series like Traffic Cops and Motorway Cops out of the UK, as well as Cold Justice, produced by Magical Elves for Oxygen in the US,” she says. The latter is another example of a show with a strong central character in the shape of former prosecutor Kelly Siegler. There is also strong demand for softer shows, Namiech adds: “At MIPTV this year, we came with
Find It, Fix It, Flog It and The Great Escapers, which are both now up to three seasons. The Great Escapers is a female-skewing show in which people leave their homes in Britain to live in countries such as France and Spain.” For Namiech, the strength of such shows is that the premise is clear, so viewers know what they are getting. “And they are very repeatable, because they contain so much content that the audience can’t really remember an entire episode from one viewing,” she adds. She agrees that they work well across a range of platforms, citing Traffic Cops, “which is currently 69% on pay TV and 31% on linear TV around the world”. An interesting dimension to this leg of the factual business is that distributors often find themselves playing a proactive role in the development and financing of series. Indeed, such is their expertise that some now even go as far as fully-funding shows, in effect becoming mini-commissioners. Cineflix’s Bonney says: “We’ve long been in the business of bringing substantial pre-sale funding to third-party producers, so the stretch from 60%-80% to 100% funding isn’t that far if we think the idea is right for the market. We also use a kind of vertically integrated approach, using Cineflix Productions and
in-house financing models to provide early-stage funding to greenlight projects ourselves, confident they will perform well internationally.” This scenario is echoed by Namiech, who reports that new series Planes Gone Viral comes from a collaboration at development stage between Passion and producer Pilot, in response to the needs from the market. “We like to get involved at an early stage and feed our market intelligence into the content-creation process,” she adds. “Effectively, we signal the opportunity to indie producers and share the risk with them.”
“We like to get involved at an early stage and feed our market intelligence into the contentcreation process. Effectively, we signal the opportunity to indie producers and share the risk with them”
Cold Justice, produced by Magical Elves for Oxygen in the US
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TCB Media Rights has even gone as far as signing up its own inhouse commissioning executive, Hannah Demidowicz. Drawing on the company’s market intelligence of what buyers are looking for, Demidowicz recently greenlit World’s Most Incredible Hotels (13 x 60 mins), World’s Most Extraordinary Families (6 x 60 mins) and Wild Tube (12 x 30 mins) — all to be launched at MIPCOM. Like all areas of TV, the factual workhorse market is also ferociously competitive. For this reason, Rive Gauche’s Kramer observes, it is important to keep looking further afield for great content, and exploring fertile new areas of interest: “We are working more with UK producers and have also started branching out into programming with a medical theme. An example is Farpoint’s My Misdiagnosis, in which patients and survivors tell stories of how they were misdiagnosed by a medical professional, but ultimately saved by a second accurate opinion.” One noticeable point about this line of content is that the international distribution market is still very dominated by brands originating in the English-speaking marketplace. It will be interesting to see if the relentless quest for new content leads to a growth in long-running factual series emanating from other parts of the world.
FEATURE: KIDS L&M
Small people, big rewards It’s one of the paradoxes of the TV business that pre-school, that purest and most protected of genres, is also potentially the most commercially lucrative. But migrating properties from screen to retail requires more than deep pockets and a solid branding, writes Andy Fry — the magic ingredient is creativity
OR THE studios that specialise in pre-school content, there is an enduring tension between staying true to the editorial needs of society’s innocents and delivering a franchise that, if successful, is capable of generating millions of dollars in licensing and merchandising (L&M) revenue. Lionel Marty, managing director at APC Kids, could be speaking for any of his peers when he says it is crucial, notwithstanding the
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possible financial upside, to stay focused on creativity: “Commercial muscle and a solid brand strategy is needed to ensure longterm success with pre-school properties. But creativity is the key factor in driving fan affinity and longevity. Without engaging storylines, relatable characters, high-quality graphic design and strong educational messages to instil parents’ loyalty and trust in the brand, even the strongest commercial muscle won’t get you very far.”
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FEATURE: KIDS L&M Lionel Marty:
“Without engaging storylines, relatable characters, highquality graphic design and strong educational messages, even the strongest commercial muscle won’t get you very far” The star performer on APC Kids’ slate right now is animated series Kid-E-Cats, which originated with CTC in Russia and now airs in around 150 territories thanks to a deal with Viacom’s Nick Jr. “We have a large L&M programme in place to support the show,” Marty says. “For example, in Russia we have 500-plus SKUs [stock-keeping units] on shelves from 30 different licen-
sees. We’re also closing our first licensing deals for the EMEA region, starting with publishing and puzzles products.” Kid-E-Cats debuted in 2015,
but Marty says it is not unusual for the L&M strategy to come at a later stage. “L&M should be launched at least 12 months after broadcast starts,” he adds.
Kid-E-Cats (APC Kids)
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“For merchandise launches to be a success, the property needs strong recognition from both its young fans and their parents, who hold the purse strings.”
FEATURE: KIDS L&M Marty’s basic premise is shared by Lloyd Mintz, senior vice-president of global consumer products at Genius Brands. His company currently has two preschool properties with L&M prospects: an original series called Rainbow Rangers and a book-based series called Llama Llama. On the creative/commercial question, Mintz says: “Consumer products [CP] are important and need to be taken into account, but there are a lot of people involved in the process of developing a series. Any property has to be true to itself to succeed so, if you are going to have CP components, they need to be organic and work seamlessly.” Launching a brand new property into the competitive pre-school space is tough, but Mintz says Rainbow Rangers, which will air on Nick in the US, is filling a gap in the market: “All the feedback we were getting suggests the market needs a new preschool girls’ property — something with a contemporary voice. What makes Rainbow Rangers special is that the girls are the heroes of the show. They don’t need affirmation from boys to take positive action and come up with solutions.”
“What makes Rainbow Rangers special is that the girls are the heroes of the show. They don’t need aﬃrmation from boys to take positive action and come up with solutions” There is a traditional view that a show needs to have freeTV exposure to succeed, or at very least regular repetition on pan-regional pay-TV platforms. But it is interesting to note that Llama Llama is a Netflix show. Nevertheless, Genius is gearing up for a major offscreen roll-out behind the brand. Mintz has a couple of explanations for this. The first is that Llama Llama is based on a much-loved book series, which has sold around 20 million copies worldwide. “Maybe there would be an issue if it was just a single book, but there are a lot of books in the portfolio and they continue to be popular with children and parents,” he says.
The second reason is Mintz’s view that Netflix has reached a tipping point where its best shows are now pretty widely consumed: “There’s more cord-cutting than ever and that’s not slowing down. The fact that Stranger Things found a large audience shows that, if you have the right show, you don’t need a traditional network to succeed.” Cyber Group Studios CEO Pierre Sissman says it is impossible to predict which shows will break out as mega-hits. But experience has helped him understand how to balance the creative and commercial demands of preschool properties. “Our two biggest L&M successes to date have been Ozie Boo! and Zou. What we found at the time was that it was difficult as an independent company to have a uniform approach and harmonise all of the licensing elements.” The learnings from those shows, however, are now being applied to Cyber Group’s next big L&M hope, Gigantosaurus, which is primed to launch on Disney Jr, France Televisions and Super RTL, among others. “There will be a lot of licensees on this show, including our master-toy partner Jakks, so we are working hard to create a consolidated approach to offscreen marketing,” Sissman says. “I’m about to ap-
Llama Llama (Genius Brands)
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point a brand champion for the property to oversee all aspects of the show. In this competitive market, I think you need to do that to stay in control of your destiny.” Echoing his peers, Sissman says pre-school producers need to protect the creative integrity of their properties: “You might discuss elements that can help the L&M, such as play patterns, but you can’t add anything that is detrimental to the creative DNA of the show. With Gigantosaurus, I don’t think we really started talking about L&M until about a year after the show began development.” From the moment a show is conceived to the day it hits retail can easily take three or four years, he adds: “You can’t go to retail if the kids don’t know the show, because they won’t ask for it, and then it will come off the shelves.”
“You can’t go to retail if the kids don’t know the show, because they won’t ask for it” Marie-Laure Marchand, senior vice-president of global consumer products at Xilam Animation, says her company’s first preschool show, Paprika, recently started to air on free-to-air channels France 5 and Frisbee in Italy. The ratings already look strong, she reports, adding: “The show’s unique Japanese kawaii-inspired aesthetic, fun storylines and endearing characters make the brand extremely appealing for L&M opportunities.” According to Marchand, Xilam pays great attention to producing content with engaging stories and creative design. “L&M is also part of the initial mix,” she says. “But we believe that great series with high-quality design will lead naturally into engaging consumer products.” In the case of Paprika, the show was con-
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FEATURE: KIDS L&M ceived as “a playground for kids’ imaginations” and features settings that lead naturally into toys and games. “The bright colour palette and unique props found in the show lend themselves very well to L&M,” she adds. On the issue of which platforms are best in terms of supporting L&M, Marchand says retailers and licensees are still attracted to free TV. “But the ideal scenario would be a presence across pay TV, free TV, SVOD and digital,” she adds. “A strong social-media presence also makes a difference, as it enables licensors to speak with their core fans, tailor messages to them and get to know them better. It’s a distinct advantage.” Sandra Vauthier-Cellier, chief commercial officer at Acamar Films, says social and digital media has also been used to great effect around her company’s hit series Bing. “We put a lot of work into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, because it allows us to form a dialogue with parents, who are the gatekeepers,”
she says. “We also have our own in-house YouTube studio, so that we can create additional fresh content.”
“We put a lot of work into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, because it allows us to form a dialogue with parents, who are the gatekeepers” Produced by Acamar and Dublin-based Brown Bag Films, Bing has enjoyed global exposure on TV, and has done especially well in the UK. A ratings hit on CBeebies, it is also the number-one requested pre-school show on iPlayer, with over 250 million requests. This, in turn, has driven a strong licensing strategy, with
dozens of off-screen iterations ranging from a publishing programme and live events to toys and apparel. In terms of L&M, the brand has also gained traction in Poland and Italy, with a wider roll-out across Europe coming next year. “One of the real advantages for us is that Bing is gender neutral, which opens up more opportunities with licensees,” Vauthier-Cellier adds. “It’s a show that deals very authentically with the moments in a child’s life. It’s supportive, positive, non-judgmental.” Following on from her observations about the importance of social-media engagement, Vauthier-Cellier says L&M extensions are not simply money-making exercises, but also a way of reaching out to the target audience across as many touchpoints as possible. “If pre-school children enjoy a TV show, then it’s important to offer them different ways to connect if you want to establish an evergreen.” Vauthier-Cellier agrees with the general principle that the show
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should precede the L&M programme. The one possible exception to that is publishing: “Bing originated as a book property, so it made sense for our publishing partner, Harper Collins, to launch books ahead of the TV show in the UK. We may do that again in the US.” Like her peers, Vauthier-Cellier stresses the need for strong, emotionally engaging content and pre-production focus on how it might translate into L&M. But like Cyber Group’s Sissman, she says there are also challenges related to being an indie: “As a medium-sized company, you need to be very agile and react quickly to changes in the market.” German company Studio 100 Media/m4e is another indie that has built up a strong slate of preschool shows over the last decade, initially as two companies but now as a merged kids studio. Peter Kleinschmidt, m4e’s international commercial director, says: “With Maya The Bee and Wissper, we
FEATURE: KIDS L&M
Paprika (Xilam Animation)
have two pre-school brands of different origins in our portfolio. Maya is a classic brand that was re-created by Studio 100 as a CGI series and two feature films. By adding digital content, we have the perfect basis for an international licensing programme covering many categories. With Wissper, m4e has created an original brand that has already enjoyed international success in TV and licensing. Initially commissioned by Channel 5 UK’s pre-school channel Milkshake!, the series has now been sold to more than 100 countries.” Like his peers, Kleinschmidt says the most important ingredient for a hit programme is content. But for him, it is absolutely critical for the survival of a show that it has a strong L&M angle: “With regards to financing a new show, it is a basic requirement to pitch the project not only to key broadcasters but also to key licensing partners, such as toy companies or publishers, because sales fees from TV distribution have stagnated. With Wissper, international publishing partner Bastei Media and EMEA master-toy partner Simba Dickie Group joined during the produc-
tion phase, adding their experience to the series.” Kleinschmidt says that free TV is still the most important broadcast channel due to its greater reach and higher viewer numbers: “But the big SVOD services are becoming more significant platforms, so ideally you need a good mix of everything. You can also generate desire for your programme by social-media exposure, such as placing episodes on YouTube. Once parents and kids have discovered your programme and like it, they start looking for it on TV or DVD.” Can a project bounce back if it fails first time? “It does have the chance for a comeback,” Kleinschmidt says. “It might mean you need to rethink your choice of channels, but it can also depend on the right slot. Once the ratings go up again, you attract licensing partners. Retailers take notice and put the products back on shelves again.” While all of the above are indie producers fighting for their share of exposure, one company that is especially well-positioned is Viacom International Media
Networks (VIMN), which has the advantage of being able to launch its in-house pre-school properties across a global network of platforms. Rooted predominantly in pay TV and digital, it is perhaps no surprise that Mark Kingston, VIMN’s senior vice-president of international consumer products, believes that properties can gain exposure and popularity through a broad array of platforms. “JoJo Siwa is a great example of a personality that started on social media and became a top licensed property,” he says. “JoJo was our first-ever influencer consumer-products programme. We were able to build excitement among licensees and retailers without TV support.” It is not clear yet whether this approach could be migrated to pre-school, but it is a thought-provoking possibility. As for pre-school properties, Kingston says: “Paw Patrol is a global phenomenon and is unique in that both boys and girls love it. It has proven successful in every single category and every market in which we’ve launched to date. We continue to fuel the property
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with new content, new themes and new creative styles, and have identified new markets to expand into, particularly across Asia.” Kingston also highlights Shimmer And Shine, Nella The Princess Knight and Sunny Day. New launches include Top Wing, Butterbean’s Cafe and the return of Blue’s Clues. “We will support each of these with consumer-product programmes across multiple categories,” he adds. While Kingston agrees that consumer-product programmes usually launch 12 to 18 months after the initial show launch to ensure that licensees and retailers are familiar with the property, he says that VIMN typically gets toy partners on board in advance, due to product development lead times. If there’s another exception it is with an established property such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, “where we are launching toys in October to coincide with the new series”, he adds. Possibly, this rhythm is more relevant to older-skewing properties. But it is a reminder that there is no single route to L&M success.
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