Animated Series Are Growing Export for French Producers

1 April 2022

Variety By Ben Croll, April 1st, 2022

Following only the U.S. and Japan (though operating, it should be noted, on an exponentially smaller scale) France has become the world’s third-biggest animated content supplier, producing an average of 300 hours of programming each year and banking $137.7 million in global sales in 2020. And though that sales figure marked a 13% increase from that of the previous year, it is hardly an outlier for an industry that has always been structured around international attention.

“Historically, domestic broadcasters have played a minority role in financing French animation,” says Raphaelle Mathieu, senior VP of sales and acquisitions at Cyber Group Studios. “So naturally producers need to look for money abroad. That forces us to develop programs that are not entirely oriented towards France.”

An industry leader, the Paris-based Cyber Group Studios won the 2021 Export Award from the TV division of Unifrance (formerly TV France Intl.) for “Gigantosaurus,” a preschool series that sold to more than 140 worldwide territories, including — as Mathieu is proud to point out — with several rather hard to crack buyers in China and Japan. To score those deals, Cyber Group invested not only in extensive R&D but also in a deft and dexterous territory-by-territory charm offensive. […]

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