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AVOD

International factual distributor and channel owner Quintus Studios has closed a raft of deals for more than 100 hours of high-end factual content from major distributors which will be added to its portfolio of AVOD channels.

Quintus Studios hosts several digital AVOD channels, its largest being Free Documentary which boasts more than 3 million subscribers on YouTube alone. Others include FD Real, FD History, FD Nature and Endevr, pulling in more than 1 million more subscribers.

Major historical titles secured from WAG Entertainment include Season 1 of “War Factories” “The Great War in Numbers” and “World War II in Numbers.” From 3DD, Quntis picked up “The Monuments Men,” “Hitler’s Olympics” and “Shakespeare: The Legacy.” Hat Trick International’s “Mega Air, “Mega Shippers,” “The Insider: Reggie Yates” and “The Enforcers” were acquired for Quintus’ Free Documentary and FD Real channels. From Drive, Quintus picked up “Lost Home Movies of Nazi Germany,” “Should we Bomb Auschwitz?” and “Secrets of Airline Food” for its Endevr and FD History channels.

21 hours of natural history content from Albatross World Sales are heading to Quintus’ FD Nature channel including “Antarctica – Tales From the End of the World,” “Band of Bears,” “China’s Wild West” and “Wild Galapagos.” And lastly, Federation Entertainment’s “Birds of Passage,” “Ham: Astrochimp” and “Homo Sapiens” will stream on FD Nature and FD History.

PRODUCTION

Russian streaming platform KinoPoisk has kicked off production on two new original productions, “Aeterna” and “Cyberslav.” Adapted from the bestselling series of books “The Sparks of Aeterna” by Vera Kamsha, “Aeterna” is a sprawling fantasy story set on the planet Caertiana, which resembles XVII century Europe. Its source books have now been translated into more than 10 languages and enjoy a massive following in Russia. “Aeterna” is being billed as the largest fantasy production currently shooting in the country. Another high-concept fiction story, “Cyberslav” is an animated proposal from the creators of the popular kids’ series “Kikoriki,” “GoGoRiki” in the U.S., one of Russia’s most successful animated TV exports. Set in a highly stylized Russian mix of the past and the future, the series revolves around strong warriors who use futuristic weapons and cybernetic implants to aid them in battle, with Cyberslav himself as the show’s protagonist. It is the first original adult animated series commissioned by a Russia platform. Both series are set to launch on the platform in Q4 2022, and the platform is open to working with international partners on either production.

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Cyberslav Credit: Kinopoisk

HIRING

Blue Ant International has appointed Maria Ibarra as the company’s new VP of international sales, based out of the company’s Miami offices and reporting to Blue Ant International executive VP Solange Attwood. Ibarra’s role includes overseeing pre-sales and content licensing in Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the U.S. Hispanic markets. Blue Ant has also promoted Nick Solowski to senior director of international sales and acquisitions, where he will head pre-sales and licensing in Canada, Asia-Pacific and Ancillary Rights. Fleur Wheatley has been promoted to director of international sales and acquisitions for Benelux, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Africa, Greece and Israel.

FORMAT

Dentsu company The Story Lab has finalized a new licensing deal for its popular factual entertainment format “All Together at the Table” with 24 Kitchen in the Netherlands and Abu Dhabi TV in UAE. Originally created by Kitchen Factory Production for M6 France as “Tous en Cuisine,” the show has now been licensed in six territories. In the Netherlands, it will be produced by Tin Can as “De Grootste Kookclub van Nederland,” and air on 24 Kitchen this month. In MENA, Media Plus will produce another new version, broadcast across the region by Abu Dhabi TV.

NETWORK

Linear channel Insight TV has launched on Vodafone TV in the Czech Republic as the mobile platform’s first UHD-only channel in the region. With programming commissioned for and aimed at millennial audiences, Insight TV content is available to Czech Vodafone subscribers in both original language and dubbed into Czech. Insight TV UHD can be accessed by subscribers of both Vodafone’s Komplet and Koktejl tiers. The Czech deal means that Insight TV UHD is now available on 42 digital platforms globally, with the company planing further expansion in the near future.

SALES

Attraction Distribution and Also Productions have closed a raft of deals for the French-Canadian crime drama “The Sketch Artist.” Agreements were struck with SBS Australia, Lumiere in Benelux, BookMyShow in India, Globo in Brazil and GSN for several territories. The 10-part series is produced by Also with collaboration from Quebecor Content and launched last year on Canadian VOD platform Club illico. Narratively, the show  proposes a unique take on the investigative crime drama genre, with its cases seen from the perspective of a young forensic sketch artist.

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Ahead of the show’s domestic launch on Channel 4 in the U.K., All3Media International has announced sales of its new dating show “The Love Trap” to TF1 in France. Subverting traditional dating show tropes, “The Love Trap” features 10 women vying for the heart of a bachelor, except that only five of them are actually in it for love with the others aiming only to win a cash prize. Neither the bachelor nor the audience watching at home know the true intentions of any of the contestants. TF1’s head of content development Julien Degroote picked up the remake rights in a deal negotiated by All3Media’s Graham Spencer. The new French version will go directly into series production for TF1’s TFX channel. The original was produced by Great Scott Media in the U.K.