The NATPE market has become an important event on the calendar of French producers, broadcasters and distributors. They say they have learned to ‘think American.’
One production company specializing in youth programs, is C&D, headed by Jean Chalopin.
‘NATPE is definitely a coproduction market for us,’ says Anne Magnol, C&D, head of international sales and licensing Europe. The company is looking for syndication partners on projects: Samson, a 13×26′ series, Atlantis Knights, a 26×26′ series already developed with a French channel and a Spanish partner. C&D is also working on an international concept of youth adventure fiction entitled Golden Hand. (90′)
Although French programming exports to North America represent only 9 percent of the total exports, the country’s youth programming has done relatively well, particularly in pre-school animated series, animated shows aimed at six- to 12-year-olds and youth fiction.
Like Gaumont Multimedia which signed recent deals with Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, Christian Davin’s France Animation is betting on the North American market as a key source for developing new business. The company is looking for partners on two projects, Time Clash, a 26×26′ series adapted from an original U.S. concept and coproduced with Ravensburger.
Another project, partnered with Film Roman is Storm Master, a 26×26′ science-fiction series described as ‘dynamic but not violent.’ It is being pitched to U.S. networks for a coproduction partnership.
4D Marina Productions is at NATPE looking for partners on three family projects: Reptila Park, the pilot of a 52×26′ comedy puppet show aimed at eight- to 12-year-olds, Bonhomme, a pre-school series and Little Hippo a 52×13′ or 26×26′ show.
4D is also looking to buy animation series, live-action adventure and teen game shows.
Philippe Mounier from PMMP has four series aimed at the U.S. and Latin American markets: Transylvania Pet Shop, a 39×26′ developed with TF1 (for airing next January); Z’e, a 40×26′ interactive series with France 3, for which PMMP also expects to sign on a syndicator or toy partner; Full Moon Cafe, a 26×26′ rock ‘n’ roll animated sitcom aimed at teens for Canal+;
and Inspector Mouse a show aimed at six- to 12-year-olds.
Marathon International, headed by Olivier Bremond, is focusing on the U.S. and Latin American markets with series such as Kasaii and Leuk, adapted from African oral tales.
The Canal+ distribution subsidiary is pushing two animated series: Leo & Popi, 104 x 2’30′ aimed at pre-schoolers adapted from a book by Helen Oxenbury and Once Upon a time (26×5′), based on famous fairy tales and animated by 26 renowned cartoonists.
Michel Noll’s Quartier Latin is pre-selling to the U.S. and Latin America Meteo Mouse, a Franco-German 26×5′ animated series, along with three shorts: Chez Marcel, Chez Gaston and Just So Stories. The company is also looking for coproduction on Border Lake (7×26′), The Door to the Stars (24×26′) and Pony Trek (96′).
And from Spain, companies such as B.R.B Internacional are making their presence felt. B.R.B. has six series aimed at the U.S. and Latin American markets: The Mozart Band, a 26×30′ coproduction with TVE and Marathon Productions created to introduce children to classical music; Mort & Phil, a 26×30′ animated coproduction with Antena 3 Television, Jade Animation and RTL Television; David the Gnome, a 26×30′ animated program; Willy Fog 2, a 26×30′ coproduction with TVE and Wang Film; Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, a 26×30′ animated ‘all-action’ show; and Sandokan, a 26×30′ animated show about pirates based on the books of Emilio Salgari.