Tag Archive: Benoit di Sabatino

  1. Mumfie Secures a Herd of Sales

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    Banijay Kids and Family today announces a raft of sales for the all-new pre-school animated comedy series Mumfie (78×7’). A co-production between Zodiak Kids and Family France and Italian animation studio Animoka, alongside France Télévisions and Rai (Italy), the series has sold to ITV for ITVBe (UK), Warner Bros. Discovery (for its new preschool brand Cartoonito in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and South Korea), AMC Network International’s JimJam (CEE, MENA & Portugal), SVT (Sweden) and kids channel ejunior, from evision, part of e& life from e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) (UAE).

    Earlier this month, Mumfie was awarded Best Pre-School TV Series at the 2022 Cartoons on the Bay Pulcinella Awards. Directed by Daniel Dubuis, the adaptation is based on Britt Allcroft’s Magic Adventures of Mumfie. The series has recently launched in France and Italy, and it was previously announced that Mumfie has also secured a pre-sale from KiKA Germany.

    Delphine Dumont, Chief Commercial Officer, Banijay Kids and Family says: “The world of Mumfie is loved and treasured by so many, and it has been joyous to bring the characters to life once more, to delight a whole new generation of children. This raft of international sales is testament to the strength of the brand and the fantastic job the teams at Animoka and Zodiak Kids and Family Francehave done in creating a captivating, warm and uplifting series.”

    Mumfie features the optimistic young elephant Mumfie, alongside his best friends, Pinkey the flying pig and Jelly Bean the colour-changing jellyfish. Meeting an eclectic array of animal friends along the way, the trio embark on a series of adventures. In a world where nothing is quite as it seems, no challenge is too tough for the loveable Mumfie and his friends to overcome.

     

    Zodiak Kids and Family Distribution own international distribution rights to the series.

    Britt Allcroft’s Mumfie was a classically animated children’s musical series, first shown in the 1990’s. The series was lauded for its gentle storytelling and earned top ratings.

  2. Banijay Kids & Family Options Arnold the Super-ish Hero

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    Banijay Kids and Family today announces it has signed an option agreement with Canadian children’s publisher Kids Can Press to develop a preschool series based on the acclaimed picture book Arnold the Super-ish Hero.

    Written by Heather Tekavec and illustrated by Guillaume Perreault, the story follows Arnold, who helps out at his family’s superhero business. The only catch is that Arnold doesn’t have a superpower of his own. One day a call comes into superhero HQ from a little girl in need, and being the only one around, Arnold jumps into action. Determined to succeed as a hero, Arnold helps all kinds of people along the way. He does so many good deeds the city celebrates their newest hero: Super Nice Guy! Arnold discovers that all you need to be a hero is the power of kindness.

    Gary Milne, Head of Content Development, Banijay Kids & Family says: “As soon as I read Arnold the Super-ish Hero, I fell in love with the character and the wonderful notion that kindness is a superpower. Heather and Guillaume have created a delightful story that will translate beautifully on screen.”

    “We’re delighted to work with Banijay Kids and Family to introduce more young fans to our favourite superhero,” says Lisa Lyons Johnston, President and Publisher, Kids Can Press. “Having had a sneak peek at early script and visual development, we’re confident that the team will bring Heather and Guillaume’s endearing and funny underdog story fully to life, and we can’t wait to see Arnold’s superhero-ish leap from page to screen.”

     

    Arnold the Super-ish Hero is published by Kids Can Press, part of the Corus Entertainment family.

  3. Tencent Video Pounce on All-New CGI Animation, Shasha & Milo

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    Banijay Kids and Family today announces Zodiak Kids and Family France, and South Korean studio, Pingo Entertainment, are co-producing a new high-quality CGI action-comedy animation series, Shasha & Milo (26×22’) with broadcast partners Tencent Video (China).

    The series features 12-year-old twins Shasha and Milo, as they juggle school and home lives with a secret new role as the Crescent Island Guardians. Imbued with the power to transform between human, cat and a formidable hybrid form, Shasha and Milo are tasked with protecting Crescent Island from the dark forces that lurk beneath it… whilst navigating the daily complexities of preteen life.

    Production on Shasha & Milo has begun. Benoît di Sabatino, Gary Milne and Hee Seok Shin serve as Executive Producers, with Seul Gee Yoo as Co-Director and Creative Producer and Hyeong Min Kim as Co-Director.

     Benoît Di Sabatino, CEO, Banijay Kids and Family says: “The teams at Zodiak Kids and Family France, and Pingo Entertainment, are creating a visually striking, high-end series that is already generating huge broadcaster interest. With a unique concept, exciting storylines and strong characters with global appeal, we strongly believe Shasha & Milo will quickly establish itself as a standout brand in the kids entertainment space.”

    Pingo Entertainment’s CEO Hee Seok Shin says: “As the directing and production is being done in South Korea, Pingo Entertainment is committed to delivering an entertaining show to all of our viewers worldwide.”​

    Selina She, Director of Kids’ IP Development and Programming Centre at Tencent Video says: “We are delighted to work with the talented partners and introduce the dazzling adventure of Shasha & Milo to our audience. Its unique and irresistible mix of gripping storylines, spirited characters, intriguing plots, and relatable pre-teen life is going to have a strong appeal to our young viewers.”

    Zodiak Kids and Family Distribution own international distribution rights to the series.

  4. Global Pre-Sales Secured for New Drama Silverpoint

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    Zodiak Kids and Family Distribution, part of Banijay Kids and Family, today announces it has secured a raft of pre-sales for its brand-new drama Silverpoint. Zodiak Kids and Family UK are producing Silverpoint, a 13 x 22’ sci-fi mystery adventure series about four kids at a summer camp set in the middle of nowhere for CBBC and ZDF and it has been pre-sold to Canal+ (France), Hulu (US) and ABC (Australia).

    CBBC are launching the series this coming weekend on their channel (5pm, 6th March) the full series will run in this Sunday afternoon slot for 12 weeks. They are simultaneously launching the whole series on BBC iPlayer. Silverpoint will launch internationally this spring/summer. 

    In the middle of the night at an adventure camp called Silverpoint, four kids stumble upon something buried in the woods… something impossible… something that will send their lives and the world around them spiralling out of control.

    The series is created by Lee Walters, Lead Writer, and Executive Producers, Benoit Di Sabatino and Steven Andrew. The series is produced by Trevor Klein, the lead director is Dan Zeff. 

    Delphine Dumont, Chief Commercial Officer, Banijay Kids and Family said: “Zodiak Kids and Family Distribution is so proud to be representing such a brilliantly gripping show from a very talented, award-winning creative team and to be announcing these partnerships today. We are working on many more deals to be announced soon following a great response from the global market. “

    ZDF Enterprises own distribution rights in Germany and Austria and German speaking rights in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Alto and Adige.  All other distribution will be handled by Zodiak Kids and Family Distribution.

  5. Zodiak Kids and Family Studio UK Secures Taylor for Creative Lead

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    Zodiak Kids and Family Studio UK, part of Banijay Kids and Family, today announces that Cheryl Taylor will be joining the production outfit this month as Creative Director Zodiak Kids and Family Studio UK.

     

    Taylor has had a long and prestigious career in Children’s and Comedy television – holding the role of Head of Content BBC Children’s until last year. She was responsible for commissioning 500 hours of multi-genre content per annum across CBeebies, CBBC and BBC iPlayer. Prior to this she held various commissioning roles at the BBC including Controller BBC Comedy Commissioning and Controller CBBC. She joined the corporation in 2005 from the independent production sector.

     

    Taylor will be transitioning into the role of outgoing Creative Director Steven Andrew who is retiring from the industry. They will be working together at Zodiak until the spring to ensure a seamless transition.

     

    Andrew joined Zodiak in 2011 from CBBC and has been responsible for a wide-ranging slate of programmes during his tenure. From long running BAFTA award-winning interactive series Secret Life of Boys (CBBC/ABC Australia) to CITV gameshow Spy School, Flatmates for BBC iplayer, The Lodge for Disney and critically acclaimed Joe All Alone for CBBC.   He has also been developing and executive producing up-coming international drama Silverpoint (CBBC/ZDF) and Ted’s Top Ten for CITV.

     

    Taylor will be jointly reporting into Banijay Kids and Family CEO Benoit Di Sabatino and Zodiak Kids and Family UK COO Gwen Hughes.

    Benoit Di Sabatino, CEO, Banijay Kids and Family said: “It takes at least the talent of Cheryl Taylor to succeed the very talented Steven Andrew. We will miss you Steven. Welcome Cheryl!”

     

    Steven Andrew said: “I am very proud of the programming we have brought to life for millions of viewers during my 10 years at Zodiak Kids and will miss the incredible talent on and off screen that I have worked with during this time. However, I am thrilled the remit is being placed in Cheryl’s hands. Having worked together at the BBC and then on many of our series at Zodiak Kids I know she will be brilliant and am looking forward to working together as she comes on board.”

     

    Cheryl Taylor said: “Zodiak Kids and Family has a stellar reputation for producing inventive stories for children of all ages and I’m delighted to be joining a team who feel as strongly as I do about inspiring young audiences. I’m honoured to be picking up the reins from Steven – he’s been responsible for an exceptional canon of work and has always demonstrated enviable flair for growing popular titles and nurturing new talent.”

  6. Banijay Brands Strengthens Portfolio with Banijay Kids and Family

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    Banijay Brands today announces it has secured the brand licensing rights to the Banijay Kids and Family catalogue. The newly launched Banijay Kids and Family brand incorporates Zodiak Kids and Family (Totally Spies!, Lolirock, The Ranch, Yellow Yeti, Mumfie, Silverpoint), Monello Productions (Street Football, When I Was Your Age, Marblegen, Hello Kitty) and Tiger Aspect Kids and Family (Mr Bean, Charlie and Lola).

     

    Banijay Kids and Family is a global leader in childrens entertainment, producing a wide range of animation and live action series, digital content, and entertainment formats for children worldwide under three production labels: Zodiak Kids and Family, Monello Productions and Tiger Aspect Kids and Family. Banijay Brands already represents Tiger Aspect Kids and Family IP such as Mr Bean. The new partnership will enable the infant-skewing collective to further leverage the global infrastructure of Banijay Brands and deliver extensive brand licensing programmes for titles such as Street Football, Totally Spies!, Lolirock, Silverpoint, When I Was Your Age, Mister Maker and the upcoming The Unstoppable Yellow Yeti, and Mumfie.

     

    Banijay Brands will also work with local commercial teams to explore a number of regionally-led opportunities.

     

    Benoît Di Sabatino, CEO, Banijay Kids and Family, says: “It’s a big achievement for Banijay to announce at the same time the creation of our new brand Banijay Kids and Family and the launch of our licencing strategy with Banijay Brands. We are confident that our evergreen IPs as well as our creations will be in good hands with such a professional team like Banijay Brands.”

     

    Alice Bernardi, Director of International Brand Licensing, Banijay Brands added: “Banijay Kids and Family has a strong and relatable kids content slate, which, when partnered with the experienced team at Banijay Brands, should trigger a lucrative position in the the childrens licensing space. Recognising the already huge interest from the market, we will be working across a number of categories including experiential, publishing, gaming and products to ensure the relevant and successful exploitation of the business’ IP moving forwards.”

     

    Mumfie is an upcoming new animated series of the heritage property (78 x 7’), directed by the French director Daniel Dubuis, is a co-production between Zodiak Kids Studio France and Italian animation studio Animoka alongside France Télévisions and Rai (Italy). Zodiak Kids recently announced it has secured a pre-sale from KiKA German.

    Street Football is the popular animated series combining the action of matches with insights into the hardships of life is co-produced by Zodiak Kids and Monello Productions for France 3 and Rai 2

    The Unstoppable Yellow Yeti is a co-production between Zodiak Kids Studio France, and Gigglebug Entertainment. An original animated comedy series for kids aged 6+ and their families, it has been co-commissioned by Disney Channel Europe, Middle East & Africa and Nordic broadcasters YLE, DR, NRK, and SVT.

    Silverpoint is a 13 x 22’ sci-fi mystery adventure series about kids at summer camp. Co-produced by Zodiak Kids, CBBC and ZDF Enterprises, the series is created by Lee Walters, Lead Writer, and Executive Producer Steven Andrew, Creative Director, Zodiak Kids.

    When I Was Your Age is produced for RAI and France Télévisions by Monello Productions. The animated series features 10-year-old Paul who he has a special gift – as soon as someone says “When I was your age”, Paul is thrown back into the days when the person he is talking to was 10 years old

    Mister Maker is the popular ultimate interactive arts and crafts show for younger kids. Broadcast in over 200 territories, the series is a Zodiak Kids Studios for CBeebies.

    Totally Spies! is the hit franchise that has been broadcasting for over 15 years, produced by Zodiak Kids for TF1 and Disney France.

    Lolirock is a Zodiak Kids production for Disney France and France Télévisions, featuring five princesses with magical singing voices that fight harm with crystal charm!

  7. Zodiak Kids Secures Pre-Sale for Mumfie

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    Zodiak Kids, part of Banijay, today announces it has secured a pre-sale from KiKA Germany for its upcoming new animated series of the heritage property Mumfie (78 x 7’). The series, directed by the French director Daniel Dubuis, is a co-production between Zodiak Kids Studio France and Italian animation studio Animoka alongside France Télévisions and Rai (Italy).

     

    KiKA will launch the series in their 6:30 kids prime time slot.

     

    Mumfie is a preschool comedy series based on Britt Allcroft’s Magic Adventures of Mumfie(creator of Thomas & Friends and the film Thomas & The Magic Railroad). Told with heart and humour, the brand-new series features the optimistic young elephant Mumfie, who along with his best friends, Pinkey the flying pig and Jelly Bean the colour-changing jellyfish, are the helpful heroes of this whimsical series. As our trio embark on their daily adventures you’ll get to meet their eclectic bunch of animal friends: a cheeky crocodile who thinks he’s a king and his mischievous cat confidant; there’s a hermit crab mayor and a giraffe who runs a hotel on an iceberg; you’ll see a jolly yellow whale and a skateboarding zebra, as well as some pirate wolves and a Greek chorus of funny frogs. In this world, nothing is quite what it seems and no matter what challenges arise, no flop, failure or fiasco is unfixable for Mumfie and his friends.

     

    Sebastian Debertin, Head of International Content Acquisitions & Co-Productions, KiKA said: “We are truly delighted to be adding Mumfie to KiKA’s schedule of pre-school programming. I think our audiences will fall in love with the absolutely unique and eclectic cast of characters and adore exploring the magical world of Mumfie with them.”

     

    Benoit Di Sabatino, CEO, Zodiak Kids said: “Following France (FTV) and Italie (RAI) Mumfie is now travelling to Germany, it’s found the perfect home in such a prestigious kids house with KikA!  We can’t wait to bring KiKA’s audience the funny, exciting and touching adventures of Mumfie and his friends created by Britt Allcroft.”

     

    Britt Allcroft’s Mumfie was a beloved and classically animated children’s musical series, first shown in the UK in the 1990’s on CiTV, Fox Kids in the USA, and many other international channels. The series was lauded for its gentle storytelling and earned top ratings.

    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to the series.

  8. Zodiak Kids Scores New International Deals for Novel Entertainment’s Horrid Henry

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    Zodiak Kids, part of Banijay, has signed a raft of international broadcast and streaming deals across all five seasons of Novel Entertainment’s perennial hit animated series, Horrid Henry (250 x 11’) consolidating its success in global territories.

     

    Netflix has picked up season one for Andorra, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Mauritius; in addition to seasons three and four for the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Russia, Iceland, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa. For India, Netflix has picked up the show’s fourth and fifth season.

     

    Emirates Cable TV has taken seasons four and five for the United Arab Emirates, in addition to seasons three and five for the Middle East (exc. Iran and Israel), Pakistan, Northern Africa (exc. Eritrea, Ethiopia) and Mauritania. Additionally, Sony India has picked up rights for season 1-5 for its Pay TV channel; Discovery Networks Asia Pacific has taken the SVOD rights to seasons three to five for India and the Indian subcontinent, and Okko Limited has picked up SVOD and TVOD rights to seasons three and four for CIS and Mongolia.

     

    In Europe, Horrid Henry’s fifth season has been picked up by Teilifis Na Gaeilge for the UK & Eire; Leisradio Oy in has acquired rights including free tv, pay tv and AVOD to the show’s second season in Finland; and P&P Permissions and Rights has picked up rights including free TV, VOD and catch-up to season one for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Croatia.

     

    Viacom International Media Networks Africa has taken all free TV, pay TV, AVOD and SVOD rights to seasons one to three. The DVD, SVOD and TVOD rights have been acquired to Horrid Henry’s fourth season by Asiana Licensing for South Korea.

     

    Mike Watts, Co-Founder of Novel Entertainment, says: “Since Horrid Henry first debuted in the UK 15 years ago, it’s been fantastic to see the show embark on a remarkable global journey and build an extensive fan-base in all corners of the world. Over the course of our long-standing partnership, Zodiak Kids has established an impressive line-up of both local and global partners for Horrid Henry, and this latest wave of deals is testament to both their strong understanding of the show as well as Henry’s broad international appeal.”

     

    Delphine Dumont SVP of Sales, Acquisitions & Co-Production adds: “We are so pleased that Horrid Henry keeps on being a success after all these years. The extended volume of episodes as well as the efficiency of the show’s premise have proven to be great assets for broadcasters who keep engaging with the series.”

     

    To date, Zodiak Kids has sold the series to nearly 150 territories with additional broadcasters on board across the globe, including: Nickelodeon (UK), MBC (Middle East), Alati International (Russia), Atlantic Digital Networks (Canada), TG4 (Ireland), Amazon Prime Video (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), Produkcija (Slovenia), Kids Network (Latvia and Estonia), Turner Broadcasting System (Asia Pacific), Mediacorp (Singapore), POP TV (Slovenia), E-Vision (Middle East) and Discovery+ (India).

     

  9. Zodiak Kids Secures Co-Development Deal for Detective Series

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    Zodiak Kids Studios, part of Banijay, today announces it has secured a co-development deal with Asner Productions to develop a live action TV series for 8 – 12 olds, based on the prize-winning book series, The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency.

    The first book from The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency was published by Penguin Random House in 2015 and there are now four books across the series from best-selling author Jordan Stratford.

     

    In the series, history, mystery, science, and unlikely friendship collide in an alternate 19thCentury London, where teens Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet and form a detective agency — a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals.

     

     

    Steven Andrew comments:

     

    “We are delighted to be working with Anne-Marie to bring to life this wonderfully inventive and imaginative retelling of these two remarkable young women. Zodiak Kids has brought many entertaining and thought- provoking live action drama series to children worldwide, such as BAFTA Winning Joe All Alone, Secret Life of Boys & Millie Inbetween (CBBC) and The Lodge(Disney), and we are looking forward to bringing The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency into our portfolio.”

     

    Anne-Marie Asner, Founder of Asner Productions, co-development partner said:

     

    “I was drawn to the Wollstonecraft series because of its contemporary feel applied to a period piece for kids.  I believe its unstoppable science and literary odd couple girl leads alongside its use of real historic figures, like Ada Lovelace, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, will be aspirational role models for viewers.  And who wouldn’t want to spend time with brilliant, eccentric and unintentionally funny Ada or feel calmed knowing that savvy, well-mannered and well-read Mary could smooth any social calamity?  Wollstonecraft’s Ada and Mary are who many of us would like to be or at least have as our best buddies.”

     

    The Executive Producer for the series will be Steven Andrew, Creative Director, Zodiak Kids.

    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to the series.

  10. Zodiak Kids Secures Development Deal for Award-Winning Book Series

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    Zodiak Kids Studios, part of Banijay, today announces it has secured a development deal to produce a live action TV series for 7 to 12-year olds, based on the Cookie books written and illustrated by Konnie Huq.

    Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World was first published by Piccadilly Press in 2019, followed by Cookie and the Most Annoying Girl in the World in 2020.  The award-winning series starring science-mad Cookie has now sold over 60,000 copies in the UK.

    TV presenter and writer Konnie is a popular favourite in the children’s book world and is described by fans as ‘a brilliant, engaging writer who understands what children enjoy’.  David Walliams called the books ‘smart, funny and full of warmth’ and Jaqueline Wilson said they were “fresh and very funny.” There are further adventures planned for 2021.

    The working title for the TV series is ‘Cookie!’, named after the titular character in the books. The show will follow the hilarious adventures of British-Bangladeshi Cookie whose big mouth and overactive imagination often land her in hot water.

    The Executive Producers for the series will be Steven Andrew – Creative Director, Zodiak Kids, James Farrell for Terrible Productions (This Is Going To Hurt) and Konnie Huq.

     

    Steven Andrew comments:

    “I loved Cookie from the first page and I am thrilled that we have been able to secure the rights to make the TV series.   Konnie has created a delightfully funny, flawed but wonderfully accessible character whom all children will be able to relate to and I am sure will become an iconic part of children’s culture for years to come.   I am looking forward to working with Konnie to bring Cookie to the small, medium or even large sized screen.”

     

    Konnie Huq said:

    “It’s so great to be working with Steven Andrew (who I worked with in Blue Peter days) once again and also the fabulous team at Zodiak. I know they’ll do a brilliant job of bringing Cookie to life! Growing up from a minority background, it’s important to me that all children feel they’re represented. Although Cookie can feel like a bit of an outsider, she has a lot to offer. I’m a huge fan of bringing together education and entertainment, and I hope viewers will be belly laughing and perhaps even getting a dose of stealth science!”

     

    James Farrell adds:

    “I can’t wait to work with Konnie and the wonderful team at Zodiak to bring Cookie to life. Konnie’s deft use of humour and emotion to make STEM subjects accessible to a mainstream audience means that adapting her brilliant books for telly couldn’t be more timely. Cookie’s love and enthusiasm for science is sure to inspire the vaccine-creators of the future.”

     

    Zodiak Kids own international distribution rights to the series.