COLOGNE — Another Teutonic TV outfit, FFP Entertainment, is going global.
On the heels of a joint venture with L.A.-based Team Communications, the company has formed a partnership with Das Werk subsidiary Traumwerk.
“What we’ve done is split FFP Entertainment into FFP Media, which will primarily produce German-language content, and Team FFP, to focus on international TV movies and formats,” explains FFP CEO Michael Smeaton.
The move underscores a growing necessity among German outfits to work together in the face of huge competitors like the Kirch Group and CLT/Ufa-Pearson.
With Team on board to help expand FFP’s global potential, Traumwerk will support the newly established FFP Media to continue the original company’s leading role in German TV production.
FFP has produced programming for major webs including SAT.1 and ProSieben as well as pubcasters ARD and ZDF, making a name for itself here with the hugely popular movie series based on the novels of British author Rosamunde Pilcher for ZDF as well as tyke favorite “Captain Blue Bear.”
On the international front, FFP opened an office in L.A. two years ago and has produced a number of North American projects.
The new 50-50 partnership with Team Communications will build on that overseas foundation by using the group’s sales and distribution channels to help expand FFP’s global potential.
In the fall, Team FFP starts production on the provisionally titled “The Berlin Airlift Project,” a true story of a tempestuous love affair between a Herald Tribune reporter and a married U.S. army general during the Soviet blockade of post-war Berlin. The TV movie, co-produced with Pearson Television and based on the life of former Herald Tribune reporter Maggie Higgins, is currently being cast.
Also in the works is “Gulliver — The New Voyages,” a modern take on the classic Jonathan Swift tale. The TV series is being co-produced with Canada’s Telescene and has veteran Hollywood scribe Steven de Souza as executive producer.
For Smeaton, who will be heading both the local and international operations, it comes down to meeting demand. “There’s always a need for content, especially for movies-of-the-week.”