German family film producer/distributor Sola Media is expanding into kids TV distribution for the first time with the launch of a dedicated division.
The new unit’s strategy is to target all major streaming platforms and local linear broadcasters with a portfolio of shows high in production value and storytelling quality. It will be led by international sales manager Johannes Busse, whose role expanded on July 1 to include worldwide acquisitions and sales of series as head of TV. Busse is based in Stuttgart and reports to managing director Solveig Langeland.
Sola’s decision to expand into television after 17 years of distributing and producing kids and family movies was driven by a growing demand from broadcasters and streamers.
“While we continue to believe and invest in great family films for the big screen, we also see that families are spending a lot of time watching content at home,” says Langeland. “We believe that TV and VOD distribution is complementary to our expertise in theatrical entertainment for the whole family.”
First up, Sola will present a pair of 3D-animated acquisitions at MIPCOM—The Secrets of Honey Hills and The Flying Bear, both aimed at kids ages four to eight. The Secrets of Honey Hill (pictured right) is a new mystery-comedy series from Moscow-based animation studio Soyuzmultfilm, starring an owl detective and a brainy squirrel who solve cases in their seaside town. Sola has pre-sold season one (13 x seven minutes) to HOP! in Israel and Ceska Televize in the Czech Republic. Season two will be delivered later this year, and third and fourth seasons are planned for 2022.
Meanwhile, The Flying Bear (pictured left) is a 13 x 11-minute fantasy-adventure series from Warsaw, Poland-based Badi Badi. It revolves around a boy and a teddy bear-turned-knight who set off on adventures to protect a mythical world from an evil computer virus. Season one has been delivered, and a second season is currently in production.
Sola has also picked up a Norwegian live-action series, which it will announce at a later date when it’s ready to start international sales.
Sola was recently named as the international distributor for Riki Group’s first feature film, Finnick. Other movies in the company’s portfolio include Little Dream Entertainment’s Moonbound and Akkord Film Production’s The Elfkins: Baking A Difference.