9 FEB 2024

Melissa Vega: "I strongly believe in the power of animation to make the world a better place"

The Co-Founder and Head of Distribution and Acquisition at Folivari International describes her goals for the company and unveils the acquisition and distribution strategies for this year.

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Melissa Vega

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French animation company Folivari has recently launched its distribution arm, Folivari International, headed by ex-Dandelooo alum Melissa Vega, who is also co-founder of Folivari International alongside Damien Brunner, Sarah Delmas, and Thibaut Ruby. Vega talked exclusively with Señal News about this critical step in her professional career and the main objectives of the new company.

You have been appointed founder and Head of Distribution and Acquisition at Folivari International. What does this new role mean in your professional career?
"It really means a lot to me! This new position will enable me to reach my objectives. I strongly believe in the power of animation to make the world a better place. It's a fantastic tool to share stories that connect with everyone globally, showing what brings us together instead of what sets us apart. We're living in a pretty intense time in history; kids nowadays are very well aware of it. Through animation, we can give them the hope and desire to be full agents in their lives and communities. Folivari has developed broad expertise in features, TV series, and shorts, with a diverse original content and adaptations portfolio. What binds the projects together is the constant effort to value its authors' ideas and creative visions. Folivari International aims to bring this to the next level. The plan is to create opportunities for international collaboration, leverage Folivari's talent and existing talents to create wonderful stories and bring in original and creator-driven ideas. This is an opportunity to make a mark and bring our vision to the animation industry, showcasing playful, entertaining, and meaningful content on the international stage."

What free gap did you observe in the content distribution landscape to launch a new company?
"Not many players can afford to take big risks. The industry is dominated by major groups, resulting in fewer avenues for financing content. There's a challenge in producing unknown original material, as the market tends to favor well-established IPs. While that is still important to us, we want to break away from that trend and be able to bet on independent production. We mean to promote creator-driven, original content with strong international potential. Thanks to Folivari's solid experience in the editorial development of series and their financial set-up through the production company and studio, we can advise independent producers on how to bring their series to fruition and enable them to reduce their risk-taking by investing a guaranteed minimum and providing pre-sales. Sharing the risk is essential to building a relationship of trust. We also want to give opportunities to voices and perspectives not frequently represented in the international market by connecting them with more experienced talents."

What are the company's leading international goals?
"Folivari International is set to focus on the distribution of animated series. In 2024, content acquisition from other producers will be our main challenge as we intend to expand our catalog and establish our brand. We also actively seek partners to presell 'Nino Dino, ' a wonderful Folivari original show. We want to ensure that people are familiar with our work. We aim to connect with partners who share our vision, creating alliances that strengthen our commitment to quality and creativity."

What kind of acquisitions Folivari International will be focus?
"Our guiding line is to promote creator-driven work with strong international appeal. We believe in showcasing projects where the unique perspectives of the creators take center stage, and we aim to give a voice to diverse narratives. We are also aware of the market reality and the challenges of finding a place in it, especially for a young company. That's why we are looking for works that consider this reality to navigate and overcome its challenges better. Reaching across cultural gaps and resonating with viewers in different corners of the world is essential for a show to be successful."

Folivari has two originals, "Nino Dino" and "Kiki & Ailen" for the worldwide market. Could you describe their global potential?
"'Nino Dino' has great global potential thanks to its setting, as the appeal of dinosaurs will never fade away! It's a never-ending source of fascination for kids. The show is based on a series of insightful and spirited children's books that tackle universal themes for children, and it's also hilarious! The books have already shown success in the international market. The highly graphic 3D rendering and the vibrant color palette of the series allow it to reach its full potential. 'Kiki & Ailen' is a comedy series targeting 5-10y.o. which follows Kiki and Ailen, two young extraterrestrials who have come to our planet to mingle with the Earthlings and observe them more closely. This contrasting duo offers great comedic situations! Watch for more news on this project as it's in the early development stage!"

By Romina Rodríguez