Distribution house picks up rights to TV series

PARIS — Production and distribution house Marathon has picked up international rights to “Braquo,” a TV crime series co-directed by French thesp/helmer Olivier Marchal and Frederic Schoendoerffer.

 Produced by Capa Drama for Gallic paybox TV Canal Plus, the eight, 52-minute episodes follow two cops, played by Jean-Hugues Anglade and Nicolas Duchauvelle, out to avenge their squad leader who was wrongly accused of a crime.

“Braquo” is Marchal’s first TV outing. His 2004 police pic “36, Quai des Orfevres,” which starred Daniel Auteuil and Gérard Depardieu, was nominated for nine Cesar film awards.

Helmer, who is a former police enforcement agent, co-penned the script to the pic and “Braquo.” He collaborated with commercial channel TF1 last year for “Flics,” another crime series based on “36,” but ankled the production before it started shooting.

“We buy very little fiction but we think ‘Braquo’ has strong international potential due to its well-known director and cast, and its theatrical look since it’s shot in 35mm,” said Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet, commercial director of Marathon Intl.

 This acquisition confirms Marathon’s growth as a worldwide distributor of regional and international TV fiction, taking not only its own productions but also third party pick-ups.

Paris-based Marathon recently joined Zodiak Television and Magnolia to form pan-European production group, Zodiak Entertainment, owned by Italian conglom De Agostini Group.

 The company closed a deal at the Mip TV programming mart in Cannes last week to take rights in France and French-speaking parts of Belgium and Switzerland to Canadian skeins, “The Bridge,” “Shattered” and “Copper,”  sold by Entertainment One Television.

Marathon’s slate includes Swedish blockbuster “Millennium,” based on Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy, and “Kidnapping,” a one-hour cop series developed by David Abramowitz.

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