Weekly Roundup: Sales and distribution news
Here’s a summary of Canadian screen-industry sales and distribution news to come Playback’s way this week.
U.S. indie distributor Music Box Films has picked up Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal (pictured), written and directed by Boris Rodriguez, for U.S. release from Germany’s Global Screen. The Canada-Denmark co-production is from Ottawa-based Quiet Revolutions Pictures and Denmark’s Fridthjof Productions.
The deal was negotiated by Edward Arentz and William Schopf of Music Box and Sonia Mehandjiyska of Global Screen.
9 Story Entertainment
Toronto-based 9 Story Entertainment has secured new international home entertainment licensing partners for its animated six to 11-targeted series Almost Naked Animals. NCircle Entertainment, a division of Alliance Entertainment, is on board to handle its DVD sales this fall in the U.S., with eOne in Canada, Abbey Home Video in the U.K. and Just4Kids in Holland and Belgium. DVD sales in Australia are currently handled by Village Roadshow.
The 52 x 22-minute series, which features the comedic misadventures of a group of underwear-clad animal characters who run a beach-front hotel, is now in its third season and is both produced and distributed by 9 Story.
Broadcasters airing the series include Cartoon Network (US), YTV and VRAK (Canada), CiTV (U.K.), ABC (Australia), Disney Channel (Italy, India, Latin America, Spain and Portugal), NPO’s children’s channel Z@pp/Zeppelin in the Netherlands, Super RTL (Germany), and Canal+ France for its Canal+ Family and TéléTOON+ channels.
The property has also recently expanded into gaming with Toronto-based digital media developer Game Pill; they are set to launch an online game this fall and mobile apps in 2013.
Elsewhere, British Columbia-based broadcaster Knowledge Network has picked up the fourth season of hit preschool series Martha Speaks and the popular stop-motion kids series Rastamouse from DHX Media for its BBC Kids channel.
The latest deal comes on the heels of DHX inking a number of new international broadcasting deals with BBC Worldwide Channels for the program with broadcasters in Hispanic U.S., Latin America, Africa, Greece and Cyprus.
Season two of the Three Stones Media-produced series, which was picked up in February this year, is currently in production and Rastamouse now airs in more than 40 territories worldwide supported by a growing licensing and merchandising program.
The series is produced in association with Wales’s Dinamo Productions, London-based Little Roots and DHX Media, which handles worldwide TV sales (excluding the U.K.) and worldwide licensing and merchandising.
Martha Speaks, targeting kids ages four to seven, is a WGBH Boston and DHX Media co-production that follows the adventures of a loveable dog who can talk like a human by eating alphabet soup.
It is based on the best-selling books by Susan Meddaugh, which have sold nearly one million copies in the US.
DHX’s new deal further expands the list of broadcasters airing the series which includes Italy’s JimJam, France 5, India’s Sun TV, Australia’s Nick Junior, Latin America’s Discovery Kids, Poland’s Canal+ Cyfrowy Sp. z o.o. and OP Art, Finland’s YLE, Israel’s Noga Communication’s Logi Channel, Al Jazeera Children’s Channel for the Arabic countries, and Central and Eastern Europe’s Minimax. TVO and SCN also air the series in Canada.
DHX Media represents the series’ global television and home entertainment rights outside of the U.S.
Elsewhere, Breakthrough Entertainment licensed new episodes of Greatest Tank Battles to TVO.
TVO will air six one-hour eps of the doc series, which recreates true combat stories of men who fought in various armoured battles in history.
The newest series of Greatest Tank Battles, which is co-created, developed and exec produced by Breakthrough partner Peter Williamson, began production at the end of July.
(9 Story Entertainment and DHX Media stories from Kidscreen, by Jeremy Dickson)
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