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Red Arrow Aims For Shows That Can Travel

Red Arrow Intl., which is the global distribution arm of Red Arrow Entertainment Group, is a mini-studio with major ambitions, which are reflected in its sales slate at the content market Mipcom in Cannes.

The distributor, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, is following the strategic objectives set out by its umbrella group, and those of its powerful parent, European broadcast network ProSiebenSat.1 Group.

The focus of its Mipcom slate is English-language taped shows that can travel, and formats — both scripted and unscripted — that are adaptable for markets in every continent.

The lineup is headlined by three scripted shows that demonstrate the strength of its ambitions.

First there’s “Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot,” which the Weinstein Co. has picked up in the U.S. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench, and was adapted by Richard Curtis and is produced by Hilary Bevan Jones, who worked with Curtis previously on “The Girl in the Cafe,” which won two Emmys. Red Arrow is going to show footage from “Esio Trot” for the first time at Mipcom.

For Irina Ignatiew, who heads Red Arrow Intl. alongside fellow managing director Henrik Pabst, a show’s strength lies in the sum of its parts, rather than just the star names.

“You need a great script, you need good actors — not necessarily A-list stars — and you also need an excellent showrunner,” she says. “But in the end to create a successful show, it is crucial that the package works well as a whole.”
The same is true of the other drama shows topping the Red Arrow bill, such as Scandinavian crime series “100 Code.” This was created by Bobby Moresco, who won an Oscar alongside Paul Haggis for “Crash,” and stars Dominic Monaghan. Red Arrow will bring Moresco and key cast to Mipcom for a series of press events.

Another highlight of the slate is L.A.-based detective drama “Bosch,” which is based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling book franchise, and is exec produced by “Treme” showrunner Eric Overmyer. It stars Titus Welliver (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”).

On the unscripted side of the equation at Mipcom, Red Arrow is showcasing quiz show “Decimate,” gameshow “The Lie” and social experiment reality show “Escape Your Life,” which TNT just picked up in the U.S. The company’s most successful unscripted show is cooking competition series “The Taste,” which has sold to more than 80 territories.

Increasingly, Red Arrow Intl. is working with broadcast partners early on in the show’s life; for example, with the BBC on “Decimate” and “Esio Trot,” plus Sky Deutschland on “100 Code.”

“Nowadays, broadcasters like models where the distributor is engaged at an early stage, bringing other parties to the table. More and more channels are open to the idea of sharing financial risks on new shows,” says Pabst. “So in the end you sit with various parties who all have one goal: to make great television.”

Ignatiew adds: “We are positioning ourselves as a mini-studio. We will actively go into development, get involved earlier, find partnerships, be part of the creative process and shape a project in a way that there are not too many cooks, no ‘Europuddings.’

“We want to create worldwide marketable content, control part of the IP and be able to package larger productions on the non-scripted as well as the scripted side,” she says.

As for the next 10 years, the Red Arrow Intl. toppers see further growth.

“We want to cater to as broad an audience as possible, make use of and grow our existing partnerships, and continuously find new, exciting opportunities in the international marketplace,” Ignatiew says. “Our aim is to become one of the top non-studio distributors and producers of high-quality television content.”

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