21 SEP 2023

Julia Schulte: "We’ll continue to adapt in a world where needs change very quickly"

The SVP International Sales of France tv distribution analyses the current trends in the industry and focuses on the new company highlights.

21 SEP 2023

Julia Schulte

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This 2023 has been a fantastic year for France tv distribution in both audiovisual and film sectors. The French distributor has participated in Unifrance Rendez-Vous in Biarritz this month and is setting up its attendance to MIPCOM with new French projects embracing several genres. Based on true events, the series "French Roulette - A Mother’s Ordeal" (4x52’), produced by La Dame de Cœur and Effervescence Fiction, is set in Nice, in the 1970s where Renée Le Roux runs the city’s historical casino and her arch rival, Jean-Dominique Fratoni, is doing everything in his power to acquire her establishment. Her daughter Agnès sells her shares in the family casino to Fratoni and only a few months later, she goes missing. The drama will be broadcast on France 2.

The French sales company is also highlighting the season 3 of the comedy "Parliament" (10x26’), produced by Cinétévé and Studio Hamburg Serienwerft. Starring by Xavier Lacaille, Liz Kingsman, Philippe Duquesne, William Nadylam, Georgia Scalliet, the series features Samy when is settled in his new life in Brussels: he’s now a political consultant and is living the perfect love affair with Rose who is starting out on a difficult career as a freelance journalist. But things get shaken up when Valentine appears back on the scene: she’s tipped to become the new French commissioner and Samy is determined to be on her staff!.

The documentary "Cities of Gold: the Reality behind the Myth" (90’/52’) is also a new project from France tv distribution. Five hundred years after the Americas were discovered, a team of French, Columbian and English archeologists teamed up to gain a better understanding of the Spanish Conquest. Spanning from the Columbian mountains to the desert in Peru, the discoveries made in this archeological investigation revolutionize our perception of gold and its role over the last five hundred year.

The company is anticipating the animated series in development "Moods" (52x7') produced by Toon Factory. The series presents twelve small characters that represent the most common emotions and emotional behaviors in young children. Their stories are inspired by the everyday lives of children. "Moods" help children connect to their emotions, to blossom, build positive relationships and develop better learning skills.

Last year, the French fiction has leaded the exportation of French programs. Julia Schulte, SVP International Sales of France tv distribution, has identified three main trends in the Fiction offer of the company. "We are experimenting a success in light crime series. For instance with 'Bright Minds', which is a real success worldwide, as well as 'Family Cases', 'Criminal Games', 'Captain Marleau', 'Alex Hugo' and the 'Murder in collection'", she expressed. The executive also added that the event series such as "French Roulette – A Mother’s Ordeal" are high demanded and the series aimed at a younger audience, such as "Parliament", "Aspergirl" or "The Aerobics Project" are gaining global attention.

On the other hand, the audiovisual industry is discussing some hot topics nowadays like AI, Hollywood double strike and the growth of the FAST Channels. Schulte explained that AI is interesting for the company in terms of marketing. "Since we often start promoting programs before they've even been shot, artificial intelligence can help us create moodboards, for example," she said.

Regarding the Hollywood strike, she hopes that Europe will be spared these issues and that they'll find a pragmatic solution in the US that helps the creative and at the same time the industry to move on. And Schulte indicate that France tv distribution is exploring all future markets, but "FAST channels aren't yet at the heart of our business as a distributor of premium content.", she pointed out.

France tv distribution main goals for 2024 are to continue to meet the needs of producers, in terms of pre-financing and co-production research, in order to offer highly ambitious projects. "We’ll continue to adapt in a world where needs change very quickly", Schulte concluded.