Pascal Breton’s Federation Entertainment has acquired second-window worldwide distribution rights to “Undercover,” the Flemish crime thriller series which will make its world premiere at the inaugural edition of Canneseries, the new international festival set in the French Riviera town.
Federation Ent. also has first-window rights in France. Flemish-Belgian broadcaster VRT, the series’ primary broadcaster, and German pubcaster ZDF, its co-producer, will be premiering the Dutch-language series in their respective territories. Prior to Federation’s involvement, Netflix had already boarded “Undercover” in development and picked up first-window rights outside of France, Belgium and the German-speaking world. Netflix also has second-window TV rights in France, German-speaking territories and Belgium.
Inspired by several real-life events, “Undercover” centers on Ferry Bouman, a major Ecstasy producer whose luxurious life on the Dutch-Belgian border begins to unravel when two undercover agents – jointly dispatched by Belgian and Dutch police forces – start moving in on his operation. “Undercover” stars Tom Waes (“New Texas”) and Anna Drijver (“Love Life”).
The series, created and written by Nico Moolenaar (“Missing Persons Unit”), Bart Uytdenhouwen and Piet Matthys, is set in the Flemish province of Limburg, which has a growing reputation as a mecca for synthetic drugs. Eshref Reybrouck and Frank Devos directed the series, which is now in post.
“Undercover” was produced by leading Flemish producer De Mensen for VRT. Pieter Van Huyck, Ivy Vahhaecke and Jan Theys take producer credits. The series is being backed by Dutch FilmWorks, Good Friends, Gardner and Domm, Gallop Tax Shelter and the Belgian tax shelter.
The complex financing structure, more akin to film finance, is typical of international’s new TV landscape where companies and broadcasters seek multiple partners to fund big-budget drama projects and tap into their partners’ expertise in creating distinctive, competitive high-profile series.
Early indications are that Federation Ent. will be one of the most active of high-profile European players at Canneseries and MipTV next month. It will start selling “Undercover” at MipTV.
Based both in Paris and Los Angeles, Federation boasts a slate of high-profile series including Eric Rochant’s spy thriller drama “The Bureau” and “Marseille,” Netflix’s first French-language original series, as well as the hit Israeli thriller “Hostages” and German financial thriller “Bad Banks.” “Bad Banks” was one of the most prominent titles at last month’s Berlin Series program, in the Berlin Film Festival’s scripted drama section.