French producers award top TV programs


PARIS -- The small screen was honored with a big celebration in France Monday night as TV France International and producers organization PROCIREP gave prizes to the country's top TV programs.

Founded by film and television producers, PROCIREP is dedicated to the collective management of rights and provides financial assistance to French production.

Actor Philippe Torreton, president of the PROCIREP jury, bestowed the PROCIREP award for best French television producer to Cipango (Thomas Anargyros and Edouard de Vesinne) for "its contribution to the renewal of French fiction, in particular through shows that don't question recent history." Cipango most notably produced "Operation Turquoise" for Canal Plus and France 2, "Nuit Noire -- 17 Octobre 1961" for Canal Plus and France 3 and series "Les Bleus: Premier Pas dans la Police" which won the top fiction prize at both the Luchon Festival in 2006 and in La Rochelle in 2007.

Marseille-based production company Treize au Sud (Cyrille Perez and Gilles Perez) took the prize for best young television producer. The company produced documentary "Les Pieds Noirs: histoires d'une blessure."

President of TV France International Jean-Louis Guillaud handed out the 4th annual TV France International Export prizes to French audiovisual programs with the highest world sales. The animation prize went to Xilam's "Shuriken School" (26 x 26 minutes). "'Shuriken School' is a good example of what Xilam aims for with all of our programs: to create universal characters whose stories and production speak to all generations on the five continents," Xilam's president Marc du Pontavice said. The export prize for best documentary went to "Signe Chanel" ("Signed Chanel"), a 5 x 26 minute close-up on haute couturiers produced by Les Films d'Ici and distributed by Arte France.

The series is directed by Loic Prigent, the brains behind this year's other hit fashion documentary "Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton." Costume mini-series "Lagardere" (2 x 90 minutes) took the export prize for best fiction. The series, distributed by 2001 Audiovisuel, was produced by Telfrance with the participation of France 2, Canal Plus and state film organization the CNC. The presentation was followed by a cocktail and night of dancing underneath Paris' Alexandre III bridge overlooking the Seine river.