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Continuing the French invasion of U.S. TV shores, with storied film studios Gaumont and EuropaCorp opening up small-screen production offices in L.A., former Marathon Images president Pascal Breton is launching Federation Entertainment.
The company will be a fully integrated production, financing and distribution mini-studio for series and event programming headquartered in Paris with marketing and development offices in Los Angeles.
Federation is already at work on Netflix’s first French-language series, Marseille, and co-production The Replacements with Finland-based Fisher King Productions.
Breton will head up Federation, while entering into exclusive partnerships with The Oligarchs Productions (TOP) and Liaison Films & Television and their executives, who will operate under the Federation distribution banner.
“Federation Entertainment is a new kind of company to meet the demands of a new era in entertainment,” said Breton. “Federation is an industry game-changer, offering producers and showrunners unique partnership opportunities and offering programmers worldwide an unprecedented wealth of major creative talent. We are thrilled to bring together an unparalleled executive team that includes recognized industry leaders in all areas of production and distribution.”
TOP’s execs, including former CanalPlus executive vp Alex Berger and Mafiosa writer-director Eric Rochant, and Liaison Films & Television’s Stephane Sperry, who previously served as the president of CanalPlus U.S. in L.A., are on board.
Breton — who founded France’s production powerhouse Marathon Images in 1990, which was later bought by Zodiak Media — produced French hits such as Dolmen and Saint-Tropez. He stepped down from his position there in February 2013, though he continues as a co-producer on the upcoming series Versailles.
Former Alliance International Television president Jean-Michel Ciszewski will serve as head of worldwide distribution, and Ashley Stern, former vp development & production at Ensemble Entertainment, will oversee the L.A. offices.
Federation has already closed a deal with CanalPlus for the French-language 10-episode spy series Le Bureau des Legendes. Starring Mathieu Kassovitz (Amelie), the drama follows undercover agents working in hostile territories across the globe. Rochant will serve as showrunner for the series, which starts shooting next week in Paris and Morocco.
Federation will make its debut at MIPCOM, the TV industry convention that runs Oct. 13-16 in Cannes.
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