French TV executive and former Marathon Group head (and co-founder) Pascal Breton has partnered with a group of film and TV producers and multi award-winning showrunners to launch Paris-based Federation Entertainment this past September. Federation Entertainment is defined as a culturally diverse, fully integrated “mini-studio” created as a new model to control production, financing and distribution of original straight-to-series event programming for the global marketplace.
VideoAge contacted Jean-Michael Ciszewski, who is in charge of worldwide distribution at Federation, to find out more about this new venture.
“The uniqueness [of Federation Entertainment] is in the name,” said Ciszewski. “Federation Entertainment is a federation of producers, and we wanted to find a way to work with our partners, not have the producers work for us. We wanted talented producers who can bring us the best, and we want to bring them the best,” Ciszewski said.
Ciszewski noted that because “Today the market is becoming very interesting since there are [many] higher quality shows on the market, and it’s difficult to find shows that are different from other shows. We will always do our best to bring our partners the best we can in terms of story and talent.”
He added, “We have been able to take on some very talented partners and offer them a different experience than larger studios, focusing on high quality and developing shows that will fit the market. We will focus on very strong stories because at the end of the day, if you don’t have a strong story, you don’t have a show.” Thus, Ciszewski explained that “Language will not be our top priority, strong stories will,” though the company will have an office in Los Angles, to be close to the U.S. broadcast industry.
Among Federation’s projects is an original series with Canal+ for The Office of Legends (Le Bureau des Légendes), for which Federation has already closed a deal. Ciszewski called the show “a big project for us.” The Office of Legends (Le Bureau des Légendes) is about the clandestine intelligence agency at the core of the French secret service, whose members live double lives.
Federation’s other titles include drama series Replacements (produced with Finland’s Fisher King Productions, about a nurse who unwittingly falls in love with a clone conceived by her father) and the Israeli teen drama series The Greenhouse, about siblings who are sent to an elite boarding school after their mother dies in a space shuttle crash.
For his part, Breton stated in a release that it is “a new kind of company to meet the demands of a new era in entertainment. Federation is an industry game-changer, offering producers and showrunners unique partnership opportunities and offering programmers worldwide an unprecedented wealth of major creative talent.”
Federation will be based in Paris with development and marketing offices in Los Angeles. Breton will head the studio, while television sales executive Ciszewski will lead distribution. Additionally, Alex Berger and Eric Rochant join Federation through their company The Oligarchs Productions, and Stephane Sperry joins Federation with his entertainment company Liaison Films & Television. Ashley Stern will oversee Los Angeles operations.