Producer Vodka Capital readies 'Pirata & Capitano'

MADRID — Vodka Capital, one of Spain’s animation pacemakers, has clinched free-to-air broadcast deals in Canada with Tele-Quebec and TVOKids on its flagship toon series “Jelly Jamm.”

A 52-seg pre-school comedy about five wacky friends on planet Jammbo, the birthplace of music, “Jelly Jamm” airs in 150 countries. Banner deals include Turner’s Cartooncito for Europe, Discovery Kids in Latin America, pubcaster RTVE’s kids service Clan TV in Spain, and the Middle East’s Cartoon Network Arabic.

Tele-Quebec and TVOKids premiere “Jelly” this spring.

“Jelly’s” extensive international footprint points up the competitiveness of Spain’s animation sector.

Subsidies for Spanish toon series rep only about 5% at most of budgets. Local broadcaster deals offer little by most European standards, though good exposure on Clan TV can build a powerful business in Spain, said Vodka Capital’s Steven Posner.

Despite that, TV toon producers are Spain’s most international, market-driven production sector by far, drawing 50%-80% of revenues worth some €40 million ($52 million) a year from abroad.

That shows in their creative mix. Head writer on “Jelly Jamm’s” first season was Kevin Strader, overseeing a New York-based team of eight. (Daniel Sanchez is lead writing its second season.)

Run by “Pocoyo” creators David Cantoya and Luis Gallego, plus Victor Lopez and Posner, Vodka Capital is prepping preschool adventure series “Pirata & Capitano,” about a girl pirate and a boy pirate and their discoveries in the great sea.

In an original turn, series “is western-style animation with elements of anime,” Posner said.

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