‘Trepalium’ Tops Biarritz Confab’s Most-Watched Programs

Lagardere Entertainment Rights’ dystopian drama skein “Trepalium” was the most-watched show at the 21th Rendez-Vous TV confab in Biarritz.

Organized by TV France International, the three-day event, which wrapped on Sep. 10, gathered 260 buyers from 70 countries. The number of French participants was on the rise with nine first-time attendees: #Edith Paris, About Premium Content, Dandelooo, Federation Entertainment, Fighting Spirit, Ladies First Distribution, Philippe Vaillant, Orange Studio and Studiocanal.

Commissioned by Arte, “Trepalium” is set in Paris, in a near future where 80% of people are unemployed, while the remaining 20% are living in luxurious conditions but are alienated by their jobs. The stylized series was presented by its director, Vincent Lannoo, during a dedicated evening event at the mini-market.

Documentaries proved popular at the Biarritz Rendez-Vous. Six docus ranked in the top 10, notably Dominique Hennequin’s “+/- 5 mètres” from Terranoa, Only Lifestyle’s series “Les explorateurs du goût,” Newen Distribution’s “Produits alleges” and Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s three-part doc “Human.” Besides “Trepalium,” the most popular TV drama series were “The Bureau,” Eric Rochant’s spy thriller skein starring Mathieu Kassovitz commissioned by Canal Plus, and Jalil Lespert’s English-language “Versailles,” another high-profile Canal Plus series which will bow in November. “Versailles” is produced by Newen-owned Capa Drama and sold by Zodiak Rights.

Among the market highlights were “Ainsi soient-ils.” The first episode of the third season was screened in Biarritz with the director, Rodolphe Tissot, and actor Samuel Jouy in attendance. Commissioned by Franco-German network Arte, the series has already been picked up for Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, Finland and Canada. The sales agent is now in negotiations to sell the series to the U.K. and the format to the U.S.

The export of TV program reached a record 266 million Euros, including 158 million Euros for completed programs, in 2014 — a 12,1% year-on increase.

The Biarritz RDV handed out a prize for best format to “Slam,” a daily game show produced by Effervescence for French pubcaster France 3 and sold by Can’t Stop Media .

Two other programs won prizes: “10%,” the drama inspired by talent-agent-turned-producer Dominique Besnehard, and “24h,” the docu series format whose latest episode was “24h Jérusalem” which is available on multiple screens.

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