Seeking to be a one-stop shopping option for broadcasters who want to stock up on toons that empower kids, distribution veteran Julie Fox is off to a running start with her new shingle AWOL (which stands for ‘Another Way of Living, Another Way of Learning’). With three clients signed up so far and negotiations in the works to secure at least two more, Fox is gearing up for a very busy MIPCOM – her first international market in a year.
After leaving her distribution post at Paris-based Alphanim in May, Fox spent a few months regrouping and pinpointing what her next venture would be. Driven by her background as an early grade-school teacher in Ireland, Fox was keen to specialize in animated series with substance – especially since kids these days need more help than ever getting a handle on issues like physical health and nutrition, as well as gaining knowledge about technology and arts and culture.
Fox would like to strike a balance between representing projects from indie European shops that lack the expertise and contacts to raise financing, and handling worldwide or European distribution rights for completed shows and libraries. ‘I’m lucky enough right now to have a great mixture of programs that are fully financed, fully completed and ready to be sold,’ says Fox. ‘And I am also working on a new show for which I will be looking for co-pro financing.’
On the international distribution front, Fox is working to secure sales for Belgian studio Mameli’s 104 x four-minute short series Mamemo, a music-based preschool show that Fox has shepherded since her days at Dargaud-Marina in the late ’90s. Also in AWOL’s growing portfolio is 1 Minute in a Museum from Les Films de l’Arlequin. This 60 x one-minute series for ages six and up stars three know-it-all kids who visit France’s most famous museums and assess works of art in a cheeky, no-holds-barred kind of way.
Carefree Capers, meanwhile, is still in early development at Productions les Marguerites, and Fox will be looking for co-producers who can help get it off the ground. With graphic design work by well-known children’s author Caroline Desnoêttes, this 100 x four-minute preschool project is based around a community of country animals living in their own private paradise – with all the usual quirks, characters and chaos.
At press time, Fox was in talks to rep a U.S. catalogue in Europe, as well as a couple of additional stand-alone properties. She plans to run the show at AWOL herself for the first year, but then will likely consider bringing in at least one more person to shoulder some of the distribution work.