Breakthrough inks licensing deal for Anne films

The Toronto-based producer and distributor has signed a global M&L agreement to support its L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables film trilogy.

Toronto-based producer and distributor Breakthrough Entertainment has announced a new partnership to support its Anne film franchise.

The company has signed a five-year worldwide licensing agreement with Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority (jointly owned by the  heirs of L.M. Montgomery and the Province of P.E.I.) that will allow Breakthrough to license merchandise related to its Anne MOWs.

In 2015, Breakthrough produced L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which aired earlier this year on Corus Entertainment’s YTV. In September, Corus announced it had greenlit two more Anne MOWs, Good Stars and Fire & Dew.

The films were all authorized by L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter Kate Macdonald Butler, who manages the family-owned Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc. Butler also serves as executive producer on the trilogy of films.

While Breakthrough partner and executive producer Ira Levy said it is still early days, he said there are some core product areas that the company will focus on, including a re-launch of the Anne of Green Gables books using images from the films, as well as audiobook and DVD releases.

“The goal is to continue the brand extension of L.M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. That’s our responsibility and our opportunity, in partnership with the estate.”

Levy added the licensing partnership is special to Breakthrough as Anne is a “Canadian icon.”

Breakthrough’s first Anne MOW was picked up by PBS for a primetime broadcast on the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. It has also been acquired for broadcast by ARD in Germany and ITV3 in the U.K.