Imira mines Latino, Latin American markets

MADRID — Spanish youth programming specialist Imira Entertainment has licensed the first season of “Dance Academy” to free-to-air U.S. Hispanic channel V-Me.

Produced by Melbourne’s Werner Film Prods., Australia’s ABC and German pubcaster ZDF, the teen-skewed TV drama follows a dance student as she prepares for a ballet competition.

BBC Latin America has acquired the first two seasons of Imira’s CGI-animated show “Driver Dan’s Story Train,” produced by U.K.’s 3Line Media and Abu Dhabi’s Twofour54, and a hit on Blighty’s CBeebies.

Sales vindicate Barcelona-based Imira’s move from distributing its own toon productions into both third-party pick up sales and live-action entertainment.

Further deals on a cosmopolitan range of animated shows underscore the current appetite for kids’ animation in Latin America, driven by new channel launches and healthy markets.

Canal Futura and Elo Audiovisual in Brazil — a booming kids’ fare market — have tied down rights respectively to “Monk” and “Corneil & Bernie,” both dog comedies sourced from France’s Millimages.

Playing off the explosion in Argentine PBS services, Imira has licensed “Corneil & Bernie” and “Wicked Science” to pubcaster Canal 7 plus “Stella and the Star of the Orient,” “Fun With Claude” and “Barbazan” to culture service Canal Encuentro, launched in 2007.

According to sales manager Begona Esteban, Imira is keen to represent third-party shows in Europe and tie down Latin American partners for Imira productions.

Latin America used to look to Spain for co-production coin. Times are changing.

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