FranceTV Distribution, the commercial arm of French national broadcaster France Televisions, is launching a feature sales division. The unit will kick off with The Red Collar, the next film from Les Enfants Du Marais helmer Jean Becker. Produced by ICE3, the drama stars The Intouchables‘ François Cluzet and Polisse‘s Nicolas Duvauchelle. It’s an adaptation of the WWI novel by Jean-Christophe Rufin — a founder of Doctors Without Borders and a former Ambassador of France in Senegal — that focuses on three characters in the French countryside and the dog who holds the key to their destinies. Shooting is scheduled to begin in June for a 2018 release with backing from France 3 Cinéma. Launching just ahead of the EFM in Berlin next month, the unit’s full lineup is coming together. FranceTV Distribution CEO Laetitia Recayte says this is “just the beginning of a new and exciting adventure.”
Content Media-backed Finnish production company Aito Media is launching timely entertainment format, Fake News, at the Realscreen Summit which kicks off in Washington DC today. The format tasks celebrity contestants with separating real news from fake, creating fake news of their own and telling incredible stories from their own life. “The audience is addicted to bogus and totally fake news. We want to harness this addiction with a show that is at the same time entertaining but also exposes the way we consume media,” says Eero Hietala, Aito’s Creative Director and Chairman. Aito’s other credits include All-Star Lifeguards, Night Patrol and Rescuing Santa. Small World IFT is handing global distribution.
BBC Worldwide has closed a deal with Amazon to give Amazon Prime members in India access to more than 600 hours of factual and pre-school content. The streaming service launched last month in the market that’s seen great digital growth. Among the new content that will be available is Ghandi, an in-depth look at the independence leader’s life; as well as CBeebies’ Clangers, Dinopaws and BAFTA-winner Hey Duggee.
London-based Media I.M. has closed several deals for its Belarus-originated show Sunny Bunnies. In a series of three-year pacts, Disney Junior in the U.S., Disney CEEMEA, Disney Spain and Disney Japan have all licensed the CGI animated comedy for four- to seven-year-olds with rollout into more than 130 territories to come this year. Created by Belarus’s Digital Light Studio, Sunny Bunnies is the most successful Belarusian IP ever in terms of global reach. The eponymous characters are five beaming balls that can appear anywhere there is a source of light. In each episode, the cheeky creatures head to a different location for a mischievous adventure.
Leena Singarajah has been named Managing Director, Asia, for Scripps Networks Interactive. She will be responsible for continuing to develop and execute the growth strategy for the Scripps Networks lifestyle business across the region. Based in Singapore, Singarajah will report to Derek Chang, Head of International Lifestyle Channels, Scripps Networks Interactive. The exec joined Scripps in 2014 as Head of Distribution and Ad Sales, Asia-Pacific and has overseen the expansion of HGTV in the region while strengthening the regional and local ad sales businesses.