Deals: Guru, Cineflix, Fremantle

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Ahead of MIPCOM, Guru Studio inks two pre-sale broadcast deals for original series Big Blue, and more deals of the week.

Guru Studio

Prior to MIPCOM 2020, Toronto-based Guru Studio has inked two pre-sale broadcast deals for its original series Big Blue (52 x 11 minutes, pictured) with Australia’s ABC Me and Russia’s CTC Kids.

Greenlit by CBC/Radio-Canada in 2018, the children’s content producer’s 2D-series was created by Guru Studio designer Gyimah Gariba. Aimed at ages five to nine, Big Blue follows sibling underwater adventurers as they lead a quirky submarine crew with a magical fairy stowaway. Set to debut next year, a sneak peak of the show will be available via the MIPJunior Screenings Library as of Oct. 5.

As well, the company also announced that it is bringing Pikwik Pack, True and the Rainbow Kingdom and Justin Time to MIPCOM.

Cineflix Rights 

Cineflix Rights has sold a trio of shows to the newly launched North American streaming service Topic, including the Quebec series Happily Married (10 x 60 minutes). Produced by Productions Casablanca for Radio-Canada and Tou.tv-Extra, the dark comedy is set in 1974 and tells the story of two couples in crisis, let down by love, friendships, and family. Last December, Cineflix Rights announced it had picked up the international distribution rights to the series, later selling it to the French streaming service Salto.

In addition to Happily Married, Topic also acquired Icelandic political thriller The Minister and seasons one and two of the Russian drama An Ordinary Woman. All three deals were brokered by Topic’s VP of acquisitions Jennifer Liang and Cineflix Rights’ Lucinda Gergley-Garner, who serves as SVP, sales, North America and German speaking territories.

Fremantle

London-based superindie prodco and distributor Fremantle is set to launch docuseries Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in 130 territories following multiple international deals.

Narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the series is a copro between Toronto’s Associated Producers and London’s Cornelia Street Productions, in association with CBC Canada, documentary Channel and Epix in the U.S. Following its premiere on Epix, Enslaved will launch on France’s Histoire TV (TF1 Group), Germany’s History, Spain’s Movistar+ and RTVE, HBO Portugal, BBC Earth in Poland, Discovery Film and Spektrum across Eastern Europe, Greece’s Cosmote, BBC Persian throughout MENA, National Geographic in Latin America, M-Net for Africa, and Cable & Wireless in the Caribbean. British pubcaster BBC2, meanwhile, will broadcast a four-part reversioning of the series.

The series utilizes new diving technologies including advanced 3D mapping and ground-penetrating radar to examine sunken slave ships on three continents responsible for transporting more than 12 million kidnapped people who were sold into slavery. In Canada, it will premiere on CBC’s documentary Channel on Oct. 17 and on CBC TV and CBC Gem on Oct. 18.

With files from Realscreen