Le Rendez-Vous Day 3: What’s new in the French animation arena?

Four Super animation Highlights and the analysis of the last Animation trends were the two main topics at the end of digital event.


Hervé Michel, Vice-President of UniFrance and Sarah Hemar, Deputy Managing Director ofUniFrance


The last day of Le Rendez-Vous Bi@rritz 2021 was focused on Animation, a permanent growing industry in France but also abroad. To analyse the current scenario, Francois Pier Pélinard Lambert, Editor-in-Chief of Le Film Francais and Michel Abouchahla, President Ectran Total, exposed about the last Animation trends in France.  Abouchahla commented that French animation industry is very strong and historically had been very successful in France and abroad. "What is making the French animation industry grow is that we have a special touch that is worldwide known", stated the President Ectran Total. Also, both executives described Annecy Festival as an important Animation point. "Most of the business on animation take place in France", said  Pélinard Lambert.

Talking about the major French broadcasters, Abouchahla stated that TF1 and France Television generally buy the same kids programs because they share audiences. "ARTE does the things differently because it's trying to appeal to the traditional viewers of the channel, which are older", added.  

Regarding the last trends in Animation, Le Film Francais and Ectran Total executives commented that kids programs will describe current facts of the society but also will be focus on nature issues and ecological issues. "The new generations are very concern about these themes", said Pélinard Lambert.

Super Animation Highlights

APC Kids; Festivaal Distribution; Go-N International; Mediatoon Distribution highlighted four animated new series they have been working on.

"Galactic Agency" it's a 52X11' comedy series that describes the Galactic Agency which travels to any destination in the WashMash Galaxy to come to the rescue. "We picked up this series because it's a comedy driving by strong and loveable characters", commented Lionel Marty, Managing Director - APC Kids.

"Zouk"  distributed by Festivaal Distribution is a warm magical comedy (52X11') starring by a little witch-apprentice with a big personality. "We have very great partners involved on the series, SVT, VRT, RTS, Senyu, Canal + and Warner Media Italy, and more to come", expressed Marc Dhrami, Head of Business Development and International at Festivaal Distribution.

French distributor Go-N International presented "Simon Super Rabbit", the new modern classic for preschoolers based on the runaway publishing success by Stephanie Blake. With already 3 seasons on air around the earth, this little bunny is a television and digital phenomenon. In this new Season, kids will explore the rich imaginary world of Simon and his friends when they play superheroes!. "The three seasons of 'Simon' have been quite successful worldwide," said Eric Garnet, CEO at the company. "'Simon' has a specific tone, is very iconic graphically, it's extremely fun but meanly realistic, that why people relate so much to Simon, because it's based on daily life observation". 

The last but not the least, the Super Highlight "Little Furry" distributed by Mediatoon Distribution. "Little Furry" (117x7') is an endearing character that all children can relate to. He is playful, sometimes quirky, and above all curious and creative. Thanks to his limitless imagination, he always ends up on crazy adventures. "We launched the TV series a few years ago at Mipcom and the first season has been broadcasted in more than 75 countries. Moreover, the series is actually recommended by the French Ministry of Education", commented Jérôme ALBY; Managing Director at Mediatoon Distribution. 

 2020 Numbers

CNC and the TV division of UniFrance reveal the results of their annual study of French TV exports. The study shows a strong increase in exports of TV programs (international sales and foreign pre-financing) over one year (9%), which represents a financial flow in 2020 of €354.8 million, its highest level for the past 25 years.

Despite the crisis, international sales of French TV programs are stable compared to 2019 and remain high at €196.9 million (+0.7 %). French animation is still the number one genre sold abroad at €74.7 million. Over 10 years, sales have doubled (+110 %). With its enormous diversity and strong brands that are recognized worldwide (“Molang”, “Simon”, “Ladybug”, “Oggy and the cockroaches”), animation represents 38% of sales in all genres; its top buyers being Germany and the USA.

Over 10 years, sales of fiction, the second-biggest genre for export, have increased by 135%. Very slightly up on 2019 (+1.5 %), sales reached €47.1 million in 2020, particularly with series such as “The Art of Crime”, “Call my Agent!” and “The Bureau”.

Documentaries “Megapolis, Trees: A global superpower”, “The Deep Med”, set a new record in 2020 with sales of €46 million, up 4.5 % on 2019. French know-how, particularly respected in history, science, exploration and investigation, has pushed sales up 70% in the last 10 years.

Worldwide rights sales remain high (€41.2 million, 20.9% of total exports), due to the role played by international platforms. This increase is particularly high in animation (+24.1% compared to 2019) and documentary (+30.1% compared to 2019).

“Despite the health crisis, 2020 was a very good year for exports of fiction, documentaries and animation programs, which shows the capacity of our professionals to respond to international demand. We must capitalize on this success, pursue our quest to dominate the international markets, and maintain our advantage. The new UniFrance, which we have just created, will help us take the ambition of our professionals further and around the world,” said Dominique Boutonnat, President of the CNC.

“The health crisis that rocked the international TV market in 2020 created issues with obtaining new programs, extended decision-making times, and caused uncertainty among broadcasters, but it also created opportunities for sellers,” added Hervé Michel, Vice-President of UniFrance. “An increase in consumption of content during the lockdowns, the greater need for TV programs, the reinforced role of platforms and also our members’ extraordinary capacity to adapt to this challenging context, enabled them to extend even further the impact of French TV creation throughout the world.”

ByRomina Rodríguez