28.07.15Leading international entertainment entities Banijay Group and Zodiak Media have today agreed terms to unite their complementary catalogues and production units. With revenues of around US$1 billion, the merger creates one of the world’s biggest independent production and distribution companies and the largest not controlled by a media group. At the closing, Stéphane Courbit will be named Chairman and Marco Bassetti will be appointed CEO of the merged company. The new Group, which already boasts the leading production companies in many countries in which it operates, will now have a footprint in more than 18 territories producing entertainment, drama, factual, reality entertainment, docu-drama, children’s and animation programming. An extensive sales arm will handle worldwide rights distribution and licensing for both in-house and third party content. Further details of the merger will be announced in due course.
Award-winning indie LAMBENT PRODUCTIONS co-headed by Emma Wakefield and Ollie Tait announces exclusive partnership with leading UK based distributor Banijay International.
The Brighton based factual production company currently in production on the new landmark series SPECIAL NEEDS HOTEL for Channel 5, has struck an exclusive development deal with Banijay. The development deal, which was brokered by Jimmy Humphrey, VP Sales & Acquisitions at Banijay International will see the company have a first look option on all new programming created and produced by Lambent along with international distribution rights. Banijay International will provide market intelligence, funding and global expertise to collaborate with and advise Lambent on the international potential of its development slate.
Emmanuelle Namiech, Managing Director at Banijay International comments, "Lambent produces exceptionally strong human interest content which fits extremely well with our growing content portfolio of factual and factual entertainment programming. We are looking forward to working with them as they continue to develop brand new concepts and programmes that have international appeal."
Ollie Tait, Managing Director at Lambent Productions says “With our production and development slate across factual and specialist factual continuing to grow and our first major commission for a US network on the horizon, we’re excited to take Lambent to the next level through this partnership with Banijay International. We look forward very much to working with the team at Banijay to develop our international focus”.
Leading UK based distributor Banijay International has begun a collaborative partnership with leading French production company La Grosse Equipe.
The deal, brokered by Fanny Baudry, VP Global Acquisitions Formats & Programmes of BI and Nora Raï, Secretary General of La Grosse Equipe, will see Banijay International represent the company's existing catalogue which includes both entertainment and factual entertainment. Additionally, both companies will work together on selected new formats developed for the international market.
Established in France since 2005 by Thibaut Valès, Jérémy Michalak and Zumeo, who have presented and produced various shows for commercial and public broadcasters, La Grosse Equipe currently produces around 250 hours per year. The company has primarily produced reality TV including the huge hit Les Anges de la Télé Réalité which is now in its 7th series for NRJ12. Les Anges is considered to be the flagship programme for NRJ12. Other shows created by La Grosse Equipe include scripted reality series Hollywood Girls, competitive reality Friendstrip, panel game Face à la Bande and documentaries The Great Escapes.
Jérémy Michalak said, "This is an exciting development for us - we are looking to broaden our activities and take our shows into the global market and need to tap into the expertise and depth of knowledge that Banijay International has to help us maximise the potential of our shows.”
Thibaut Valès added, “Having them on board to work with us as our main distributor will be a huge benefit to our programming as we step up to the next level."
Zumeo said: “We always plan our formats for the international market from the writing phase. It is very satisfying for us that Banijay International sees our projects and accompanies us in this international development.”
Emmanuelle Namiech, Managing Director at Banijay International added, "We are delighted to be working with the talented team behind La Grosse Equipe, with its strong credentials in reality TV having produced one of France's most successful long running series. They have established a reputation for putting together shows very cost efficiently and as such can provide programming for all budgets and platforms which is a real attribute for today's broadcasters.”
Best Friends Forever - won a Promax Gold on Thursday June 11th in the category 'Use of Interactive Media, Technical Innovation'.
And Silver in the category 'Use of Interactive Media, Promotional Mobile Application'.
During International Format Award in Cannes this year the program was rewarded with the ‘Branded Format’ due to the production collaboration between Carlsberg and Zulu.
Additionally, the program and the digital extension of the program has won numerous awards in Denmark
The program was shown on TV2 Zulu in Denmark in Autumn 2014.
Digital Editor Kenneth Grupner from TV2 Zulu says:
"We are incredibly proud that we 'Zulu BFF' can commit ourselves to an international level. Promax is a great acknowledgement and having won the award in the innovation category in particular proves that we are able to define this type of technical solution in the future, and that makes it even better."
Producer Taus Abildgaard from Nordisk Film says:
“The production of BFF was incredible fun. The whole process of the digital extension with TV2 Zulu, Carlsberg and Hello Monday was enjoyable and ambitious. We are especially thankful to the recognition as it was a new and different solution.”
BFF is an exciting hidden camera show celebrating male friendship with fun and humour. In each episode a young guy tells three of his best friends that he is in big trouble and needs rescuing, sending them on a journey that becomes stranger and stranger. Unbeknownst to them the whole situation has been set up by the production, and both their friend and the host are watching every move they make, live, via hidden cameras. The main character asks each of his friends to undertake a strange and surreal journey that will lead them to the location where their buddy is waiting with the host. All of the friends to arrive at the location are named a BFF and will be heading off on an awesome holiday with their friend.
CBC announced today the launch of Format Incubator, a collaborative venture between CBC, distributor Banijay International and the independent production community, aimed at boosting the creation of original, exportable television formats. The hunt is on for new unscripted concepts that have strong domestic and international appeal, and break new ground in factual programming.
“We’re thrilled to spearhead this new partnership, which will allow us to launch more original Canadian formats internationally, while still continuing to serve our audiences here at home,” said Jennifer Dettman, executive director, Unscripted Content, CBC. “We look forward to exploring new opportunities and innovative ways of doing things, and we’re proud to help Canadian producers showcase their talent in Canada, and help amplify their reach internationally.”
CBC and Banijay International are seeking unique concepts that resonate with audiences and have the potential to spark a national dialogue about a topic that matters to Canadians. Format Incubator will select a small number of format ideas to develop, ultimately narrowing down the selection to one to three formats to go to pilot.
Fanny Baudry, V.P. Global Acquisitions, Banijay International who brokered the deal said, “We are delighted to partner with CBC in this breakthrough initiative. We very much look forward to using our expertise and global connections to support stand out and engaging formats from Canada through the Format Incubator scheme.”
Emmanuelle Namiech, managing director, Banijay International, added, “We believe this will be the perfect fit for our two companies - we have wide experience of the international content business across all platforms and are well-versed in developing and building brands on the world stage. Importantly, we have created a constructive and collaborative environment in which independent producers feel comfortable and respected. We know there is a huge amount of untapped talent in Canada and we are excited about the potential we are about to uncover with our partners at CBC.”
Canadian producers are invited to submit their original, non-derivative prime time unscripted formats in the following programming areas:
• Field-based factual. These formats take people on a journey of knowledge; have interesting characters, strong narrative, stylistic production and editing, and a unique point of view.
• Studio-based entertainment. For adults 25-54 and families, a collective viewing experience that reaches out to the audience to participate in the program in many different ways.
Proposals are being accepted now, until August 3rd. Full guidelines and submission details can be found at CBC’s Independent Producer page. Please visit:
Format Incubator will support up to three new unscripted pilots through the development and production process, and broadcast the pilots in prime time on CBC Television in March 2016. Chosen pilots will benefit from development and creative editorial support from CBC and Banijay, and an expedited distribution process to bring their concept to the international market.
Pilots will be financed by CBC and Banijay International, along with provincial and federal tax credits. Canadian producers will retain copyright of the program, and the format will be owned equally and jointly by the production company, CBC and Banijay International.
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