The Palais de Festival at Cannes was converted into a fantasy land of sorts with walls, posters, screens and merchandises narrating different stories, or sporting some fun format programmes. The top 10 biggest stands were those of Telefilm Canada, Warner Bros., CBS Paramount, The Market Place, NBC Universal, TV France International, Disney ABC International, Fremantle Media, Sony Pictures and Discovery Communications, while Disney ABC was placed on the beach.
As the fourth day got over, most of the exhibitors were already gearing to close shop and leave. Participants told exchange4media that the last day was kept only for meetings, and in some cases, breathing. Only animation houses were willing to speak on the deals they had signed. DQ Entertainment Ltd announced strategic partnerships with American Greetings Properties, Classic Media, TAFFY and MoonScoop for three animation series – ‘Twisted Whiskers’, ‘Maryoku Yummy’ and ‘Casper’s Scare School’. The series comprise well-known characters that have stolen the hearts of many across the globe in the past years.
Commenting on the new projects, Tapaas Chakravarti, Executive Producer and CEO, DQ Entertainment Ltd, said, “DQ Entertainment is very proud to partner with American Greetings, Classic Media, MoonScoop and Mike Young Productions to produce entertaining cartoon series – ‘Twisted Whiskers’, ‘Maryoku Yummy’ and ‘Casper’s Scare School’. Each of the series has its unique attributes. While ‘Twisted Whiskers’ has been a favourite with all age groups for several years, especially pet lovers, ‘Maryoku Yummy’, targetted at pre-school kids, is about wishes and their fulfilment.”
“DQ Entertainment has a 50:50 partnership in this project, and needless to say, the entire DQ family is very excited. Our third project is based on the beloved friendly ghost Casper, where he is attending classes to learn how to scare people, without much success. We are very happy that Casper is making a comeback with us. On the corporate front, I am proud to say that these partnerships have re-emphasised India’s position as a serious player in the world of animation and entertainment,” Chakravarti added.
Sean Gorman, VP-Production and Development, American Greetings Properties, said, “We look forward to the continued success of ‘Twisted Whiskers’ as an entertainment property. In addition to being very popular with pet owners and animal lovers alike, the off-kilter look and attitude of the characters gives them strong cross-generational and cross-cultural appeal to everyone – kids, tweens, teens and adults.”
Some of the international announcements made were of Discovery Networks International adding three new two-hour instalments to Discovery HD series ‘Discovery Atlas’ for premiere on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, starting in the fourth quarter of this year. The new instalments in the show will focus on India, Mexico and South Africa and will feature photography and cutting-edge special effects. The first four instalments of the ‘Discovery Atlas’ series, which profiled China, Australia, Italy and Brazil, premiered on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD around the world in 2006.
CTV has signed an agreement with 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions for a Canadian version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. The deal was completed between Susanne Boyce, President-Creative, Content and Channels, at CTV Inc., and 19 Entertainment's Simon Fuller, the creator of the series. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Also, Endemol’s new Middle East operation has secured its first commission, with the UAE’s Abu Dhabi TV signing up for the Endemol UK creation ‘Ton of Cash’. Abu Dhabi TV has commissioned a run of 15 weekly episodes as well as 84 daily update shows. In the new game show, two teams of contestants must each lug a ton of prize money through the wilderness in a bid to take home as much cash as they can carry. The Dubai-based Endemol Middle East opens for business in November and will be producing all Endemol formats in this region, including current offerings like ‘Deal or No Deal’.