TV series drove away with most library screenings at mart

BIARRITZ, France — French-Canadian action skein “Transporter: The Series” topped the library screenings at the Biarritz’s Rendez Vous TV showcase.

Based on the hit film franchise produced by Luc Besson, skein toplines Chris Vance as a special forces operator-turned-mercenary, whose job is to transport goods and ask no questions.

Lagardere Entertainment Rights has licenced “Transporter” to key broadcasters and distribs worldwide. Recent sales include Kadokawa Shoten (Japan), Mediaset (Italy), Antena 3 (Spain), Orion Cinema Network (South Korea), Fox Intl. Channels (Australia), HBO Ole (Latin America, Brazil and the Carribean).

Lagardere’s Atlantique Prods. and Canada’s QVF produced, in association with M6 (France), RTL (Germany) HBO/Cinemax (U.S.) and Astral (Canada).

A buyers-only screening of the pilot episode at Biarritz prompted interest from the remaining open territories, said LER topper Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet, adding that she’s in negotiations with Eastern European buyers and Scandinavian broadcasters.

“Since the Rendez Vous market caters mostly to European buyers, it’s great place to target Scandinavian, Italian and Eastern European broadcasters and start discussing or negotiating deals that we can then close at Mipcom,” Bouilhaguet said.

Nicolas Cuche’s medieval thriller mini-series “Inquisitio” — sold by Newen Distribution — is the only other fiction program ranked in the top five most-watched titles.

Docs lured the most library viewings. The three most popular were Sylvie Deleule and Remy Burkel’s “Mondogusto,” a behind-the-scenes look at agribusiness giants, sold by Zed; Juliette Senik’s “Ikea, Hunting for Happiness: What Do Middle Classes Dream Of?” an Arte-repped doc highlighting the popularity of the Swedish brand across France, Russia, China and Israel; Java-sold “America’s Broken Dream,” about the American working class post-recession, and Java’s “Toxic Labels,” a probe into work conditions at top brands’ manufacturers, which has sparked offers from Germany, Japan and Poland. Even though various French sales agents mentioned Italian broadcasters had cut down on acquisitions, Italo buyers concluded a flurry of deals.

Pubcaster RAI picked up Gedeon-produced “Les Himbas font leur cinema” from Terranoa, and Eric Valli’s “Himalayan Gold Rush” produced and repped by Kwanza.

Sky Italia’s Sky Arte bought 20 hours of documentary from Arte France, including the five-parter ” The Hidden Lives of Works of Art,” helmed by Stan Neumann and Juliette Garcias; Jean-Pierre Devillers’ “Edward Hopper and the Blank Canvas;” and the 12-part “Photo.”

“The recession has clearly affected dealmaking since the beginning of the year, but it was encouraging to note that the market here in Biarritz was as dynamic as ever and that buyers turned up in large numbers,” said Mathieu Bejo, managing topper of TV France Intl., which organizes the Rendez-Vous.

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