French UGC Series Builds Blossoming Dramatic Strategy With Main Picture, Itinerary And Other Outfits Participations (EXCLUSIVE)

UGC, the longtime French film studio whose biggest hits include “Amelie Poulain”, has successfully branched out into TV series by acquiring stakes in a wave of talent-driven production companies such as Itineraire Productions. (“HPI”) and Headline Pictures (“British Remake of Call My Agent!) in the UK

Opting for a different approach from that of Gaumont or major media groups such as Mediawan, the company built its UGC Series label as a coalition of independent production companies under the leadership of Laurence Lenicaa veteran UGC executive, and Frank Calderonwell-known writer, producer and former boss of TF1 Productions.

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So far, UGC Series includes six banners. Alongside Headline Pictures and Itineraire Productions, we can cite Henri Debeurne’s Next Episode, whose credits include “Christmas Flow” for Netflix and “I killed my husband” for NBCU; UGC Fiction, which Calderon directs with Karine Evrard and Sophie Exbrayat, and which delivered to the audience the hit “Jacqueline Sauvage, it was him or me”, and “Mon Ange”, winner of the prize for best fiction at the Festival from La Rochelle. The other banners are Aura Productions, newly launched by Sarah Aknine and Aurélien Molas, and Nabi Productions, managed by Clément Birnbaum and Joachim Nahum.

“All of these companies are led by passionate creatives and producers, and they have forged their own identity and complementary editorial lines,” said Lenica, who worked closely with UGC’s chief executive. Brigitte Maccioni for more than two decades. She said UGC Series’ role is “essentially to support them in any way they need, from artistic insight to equity financing, business affairs, as well as cash flow to enable them to to have a competitive advantage in a very difficult environment”. Since UGC does not have an international sales division, producers can work with third-party sales forces.

Lenica pointed out that the television sector has traditionally relied less on equity financing than the film industry, but “things are changing and television producers increasingly need cash to finance their development before involving the TV channels or streamers”.

Calderon pointed out that the market has become so consolidated that it is essential for independent producers to group together and benefit from certain financial resources. He added that UGC Series also provides producers with legal support to help them navigate the complexities of deals.

Headline Pictures is the London-based production company behind the drama series ‘The Man in the High Castle’ for Amazon Prime, as well as the Irish thriller ‘Kin’ for RTE and AMC, and ‘Ten Percent’. the remake of the hit TV series “Call My Agent!” which is set to premiere on Amazon Prime and AMC Plus next month. Both are produced with Bron Studios.

Headline Pictures executive producer Christian Baute said UGC Series gave the company “more flexibility, the financial wherewithal to sign talent, options, commission scripts and some stability.” He said “in a time when everyone is chasing IP addresses”, having an ally like UGC Series that can bring cash flow was a necessity.

“In a sense, we’ve remained independent because we’re not tied to a TV network and we don’t have to feed a sales pipeline like you do when you’re in business with companies like Fremantle or All3Media. “, said Baute. , who sometimes works at UGC Series headquarters in Neuilly, just outside Paris.

Itinerary Productions, led by Anthony Lancret and Pierre Laugier, is behind HPI, the hugely popular detective TV series starring Audrey Fleurot (“Intouchables”), and the first French original scripted mini-series from Disney Star Plus, “Oussekine,” which will debut on the streamer later this year. “Oussekine” is inspired by the true story of Malik Oussekine, a victim of police brutality in France.

“HPI”, meanwhile, was sold by Newen Content in more than 90 markets and broke audience records on TF1. The second season of the series has just been presented to Mania Series Saturday.

Laugier said it made sense for his team to partner with UGC because it has “a strong, long-standing film culture” bringing together “entrepreneurs and creatives” and has become “a brand associated with quality.” Another aspect that has proven crucial for Laugier is the freedom that the UGC series gives them while providing them with “structure”.

Some synergies will soon emerge from the UGC series as well, as some producers have begun collaborating on joint projects. Route Productions and Headline Pictures have initiated the development of a series that will shoot between London and Paris.

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