PARIS– French vet producer Pascal Breton has officially launched Federation Entertainment, a film and TV mini-studio with offices in Paris and L.A.
Following the footsteps of Gaumont International Television, Breton, who is the former boss of Marathon Entertainment, has tapped a well-seasoned American executive, Ashley Stern, to run the Los Angeles office, which will focus on development and marketing.
Stern was previously VP of development and production at Ensemble Entertainment where she worked on such acclaimed series as “The Pacific,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Magic City.”
Meanwhile, Breton appointed international sales exec Jean-Michel Ciszewski to run the shingle’s distribution arm from the Paris office.
Shingle was created to produce, finance and distribute original programming with universal themes and strong international market potential. Breton told Variety that aside from developing in-house series, “Federation Entertainment will also acquire shows – produced by third-party outfits — to finance and distribute them.”
Added Breton, “The idea is for Federation Entertainment to eventually handle four English-language shows and four European series per year — some of which we’ll produce and others that we’ll acquire.
The company has already sparked waves in France after getting commissioned by Netflix to produce “Marseille,” the digital platform’ first French series.
Like Gaumont International Television, Federation Ent. aims to pre-sell its series at script stage (skipping the pilot), and will tap into U.S. and European networks and digtial platforms.
Also in Federation Ent.’s pipeline: The “Office of Legends,” a 10-episode thriller series created by Eric Rochant and commissioned by Canal Plus. Starring Mathieu Kassovitz, “Legends” turns on a clandestine branch of the French Secret Service where elaborate false identities are created for secret undercover agents active throughout the world.
Breton explained his company will be working on several Scandinavian skeins, including “The Replacements,” produced by Finnish outfit Fisher King Production
Operating like a mini-studio, Federation Ent. will be collaborating with Alex Berger, a former Canal Plus senior exec, and Eric Rochant, a scribe/director whose credits include Canal Plus hit crimer “Mafiosa” and Jean Dujardin starrer “Mobius.”
The outfit is also linking with Stephane Sperry, who notably exec-produced “Tintin” via his Paris-based Liaison Films & Television and previously served as prexy of Canal Plus’ U.S. arm.
Ciszewski, previously topped Alliance International Television and Jean Chalopin’s Movie Plus, as well as head up Cookie Jar Entertainment’s international sales and co-productions divisions.
The studio will be mainly focusing on TV series, but will occasionally produce feature films, explained Breton, who described the company as “an industry game-changer, offering producers and showrunners unique partnership opportunities.”