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Foothill Entertainment Announces MIPCOM & MIP Junior Slate

Foothill Entertainment and its U.K.-based affiliate, Foothill Europe, reveal plans for MIPCOM and MIPCOM Junior.

Cannes, France --

Foothill Entertainment and its U.K.-based affiliate, Foothill Europe, come to Cannes with not only new partners and new development for several of its exciting shows but also ready to help celebrate MIPJunior’s 20th anniversary. This year’s milestone festivities for the annual kid’s market hold special significance for Company founders Jo Kavanagh-Payne and Gregory Payne because the first MIPJunior kicked off the sequence of events that lead directly to the Company’s eventual establishment. With a full slate of development and an expanding catalogue, this year’s market provides ample reason for the Santa Barbara and London based companies to celebrate.

Marking its 13th consecutive appearance at the Fall kid’s fest, the Company made its annual entry into MIPJunior with brand new animation for its hilarious CGI buddy comedy Raz & Benny created in the U.K. by Simon Hodgkiss.  Foothill also expects to make a major announcement during the market about the signing of a significant co-production agreement with an award winning partner for this modern day Tom & Jerry. With new designs and Looney Toon style pacing, a new promo will be available at MIPCOM. 

Also being featured at the Screenings will be the classics Eddy & the Bear and Little Monsters as well as the exciting girl’s volleyball series Spike Team which is into a second season with an additional Special which has been sponsored by the International Paralympic Committee following a red carpet premiere during the 2012 London Olympics. The series is proving to be a huge ratings success for RAI 2 and in several European countries with a huge Eastern European sale in the works.

Foothill Europe will be highlighting several additional groundbreaking series while in Cannes. Boy and the Dinosaur debuted several years ago as a short pilot during the MIPJunior screenings and quickly became the 17th most watched programme that year out of several hundred.  This year, after extensive and detailed development work, MIPJuniorwill be the formal launch of the international sales of this delightful seriesbeing produced by 1461 Ltd. in the UK with a BAFTA-award winning team including Director Paul Couvela (Bob the  Builder,  Chuggington), Producer David Bunting (Shaun the Sheep, The Tigger Movie) and Writer Davey Moore (Octonauts, Rastamouse, Thomas & Friends). Foothill is the worldwide distributor of this beautifully animated series focused on the story of a unique and loving relationship between a small boy and his best friend, Dinosaur!  Limited only by the imagination, Boy and the Dinosaur shows us the magical world of growing up and exploration with a mentor who is also an equal. Stunning new animation and several extraordinary scripts are now available for this unique series aimed at the 2-5 age group with humor that will appeal to parents as well!

The Cannes market will also see the new development for the irreverent comedy action series G.U.N.K. Aliens based on the best-selling HarperCollins UK book series of the same name. Foothill Europe has teamed with Australia’s Moody Street Kids and Nova Scotia’s Huminah Huminah Animation to commission a fabulous pilot script from award-winning Canadian writer Dale Schott.  With the Earth being invaded by some generally disgusting (and really messy!) aliens from the G alactic U nion of N efarious K iller Aliens, it is up to our heroes Jack, Ruby, Oscar and the other members of the super secret, but kind of whacky, agency known as C.L.E.A.N. (C ombating L oser E xtraterrestrial A liens N ow!) to fight these aliens and save the planet from a real gunking!

“Since we launched in the U.K., we have worked hard to get our international efforts up and running,” says Foothill Europe Managing Director, Jo Kavanagh-Payne. “Based on what we are bringing to the market this time, I think we have done that. It is exciting.”

Foothill is proud to re-launch at this year’s MIPCOM and MIPJunior markets the classic animated series Barney, produced by the late, legendary director John Coates (The Snowman and the soon-to-be released sequel Snowman and the Snowdog). Barney was an entry in the very first MIP Junior and Foothill acquired the rights to this classic children’s film more than 10 years ago. Interest in the work of Coates has spiked in recent years and Foothill is happy to bring this beautifully animated film featuring the lovely English sheepdog back to Cannes for the first time in more than a decade.

MIPCOM also sees the debut of a completely new creative direction for the live-action series My Momtourage and Me. Following hot on the heels of an intensive creative workshop featuring internationally renowned writers from all over North America and as far away as Australia, Foothill and its new partner on the project, Moody Street Kids, have elevated this unique and funny story of a girl and her celebrity Mom, into an hour-long comedy drama for the entire family audience. The pilot finds Eva Divine, an American pop star agreeing to perform and live in LasVegas as well as star in her own reality series. But she has to get her 14-year old daughter Coco, who has been raised by her Dad in Australia, to come to live with her as part of the deal. Coco, at first thinks this is a great idea because her emerging life as a young woman kind of needs a Mom, but she was not ready for the less-than-normal life of a superstar Mom and her crazy celebrity life and entourage.  My Momtourage and Me tells the story of how an estranged mom and daughter learn to find a place in each others hearts amidst the zany and glamorous world of celebrity.

Continuing its year-long drive to expand its reality and documentary shows, the Company has started taking delivery of a third season of the thrilling series featuring the Santa Barbara Firefighters, On Duty. The new season launches with exclusive high-definition coverage of reunion of lucky Mom and her two young children that were saved at the end of last season in a dramatic rescue that riveted an entire nation, from a nearly fatal crash which saw their car dangling precariously over a yawning chasm for hours until the courageous firefighters were able to pull them from the wreckage.  Each week, this high-octane reality series delivers intense human interest and drama on a street-level scale. The entire first two seasons have been recently released on DVD by Mill Creek Entertainment.

Rounding out the new reality slate for this year’s market is Bizarre Buddies a hilarious and unique take on the competition talent show. This is the game show for the common man! No fancy sets or elaborate staging. Each week finds us in a local venue, seeking bizarre, interesting and unknown acts. No singing here! We locate 5 pairs of friends, where one friend in each pair “sponsors” the other and has to get that friend to perform his or her bizarre trick on stage. If the Talent friend backs out, the sponsor has to perform some humiliating “consequence” for our studio audience. Deliver the Act or Suffer the Consequence! The winner is crowned “Most Bizarre!” in that city.     

Founded in September 2000 by former DIC Entertainment Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs, Gregory Payne, and Jo Kavanagh-Payne, former Link Television Entertainment, Inc. Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations, Foothill specializes in the co-development and distribution of children’s and family entertainment programming. Their company is based in Santa Barbara, California. Foothill Europe is based in London.

Source: Foothill Entertainment

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.