MIPCOM: 'Direct to Series' Event to Focus on French Television in Los Angeles

Canal Plus, Photographer: Rob Payne
"Les Revenants"

The two-day program will seek to raise awareness of Gallic series and co-productions.

CANNES -- The Ile-de-France Film Commission announced a new initiative to promote French television series in the US with the launch of the "Direct to Series" two-day marketplace event to take place at West Hollywood's Pacific Design Center from Nov. 1-2.

French television is looking to compete in an increasingly global marketplace and eyeing international distribution on par with its American, UK and Scandinavian counterparts. "The quality of French TV series is changing, and companies are looking to sell abroad and develop co-productions and partnerships with international companies. That's the real ambition of French companies now," said Yann Marchet of the Ile-de-France Commission, citing success stories like the Gaumont International Television (GIT) model, which saw the storied French studio launch a Los Angeles-based TV production arm behind NBC's Hannibal and Netflix's Hemlock Grove. "French series are transforming to match global standards."

The event aims to present innovative French series, including The Tunnel, the British-French bilingual co-production between Canal Plus and Sky TV making its debut at MIPCOM, and the hit supernatural thriller Les Revenants (The Returned), which is being remade in English for A&E Network  by FremantleMedia North America and A+E Studios.

Other French shows hoping to up their international profiles will be shown, such as police drama Candice Renoir, World War II-set drama Un Village Francias, modern priesthood exploration Ainsi soient-ils (The Church Men) and political thriller Les Hommes de l'Omrbe. French, Italian and Portugese co-production Odysseus will also set its international sails for Los Angeles.

The event is in partnership with the Writers Guild of America West (WGA West), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), TV France International and France's Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) and will include roundtables on remaking foreign series and using foreign locations to create brand identity for a show.