By Jesse Whittock
International TV Co-Editor
Banijay Kids & Family has bought UK drama specialist Kindle Entertainment and Italian animation firm Movimenti Production. The deals bring the total number of production within Banijay’s youth-focused arm across France, the UK and Italy to six, sitting alongside distribution, marketing and licencing arm, Zodiak Kids & Family Distribution.
Based in London, the female-led Kindle Entertainment is behind premium YA and family dramas such as Sky limited series Little Darlings and Netflix teen mystery The A List. It has also just launched trilogy of Ivy + Bean family films on the streamer, starring the likes of Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jane Lynch.
Lionsgate had owned a minority stake in the business since late 2015. Deadline understands there had been a buy-out prior to today’s news and the Banijay deal was struck directly with its founders.
Established in 2004 with bases in Milan, Florence and Rome, Movimenti is behind Rai’s Topo Gigio and Netflix’s Tear Along the Dotted Line. It also co-created ForFun Media – The Animation Network, including 2D studio DogHead Animation and 3D production studio MoBo), alongside Studio Bozzetto and in 2019 teamed with the publishing network Auzou to create Easy Peasy Entertainment, an indie animator based in Paris.
The deals represent major moves in the International kids space, where M&A has been scarce over recent years, and one of Banijay Kids & Family’s biggest plays since Moonscoop Group co-founder Benoît Di Sabatino took over the division in 2018, when it was known as Zodiak Kids.
Giorgio Scorza and Davide Rosio, CEOs of Movimenti Production said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to join a family, with whom we share core values such as the focus on storymaking and the constant search for the best way to do it. From now on, we will work in synergy with our new partners within Banijay Kids & Family to give even more strength to our production of original, innovative and high-quality content, capable of conquering the international market. Local first remains key, and we will continue to bet on the extraordinary professionals we work with now, and hope to in the future, in order to bring the excellence of Italian talent in animation to an increasingly global level.”
Melanie Stokes, MD, Kindle Entertainment said: “We are so thrilled to be joining Benoit and his team at Banijay. Kindle Entertainment is passionate about creating Premium YA and 4-Quad Drama for a global audience. It’s a hugely exciting time to be in this space, and we can’t think of a better partner to help us realize our ambitions to create ever better, bigger hit shows.”
Stokes and Anne Brogan have run London-based Kindle since 2007 and have won several International Kids Emmys and BAFTA Children’s Awards. The company sale to Banijay marks the second British indie to sell to a French company this week, with Paris drama powerhouse yesterday confirming the acquisition of Vertigo Films.
Di Sabatino, CEO, Banijay Kids & Family says: “Kindle Entertainment and Movimenti Production will be complimentary additions to the family, both bringing their own unique expertise, with consistent track records in delivering premium shows. This is a pivotal moment for Banijay Kids & Family, as we continue to grow our footprint and remain a key player in this competitive market. I look forward to working with such passionate and creative producers as Melanie, Anne, Giorgio, Davide and their incredibly talented teams, as we embark on the next phase of our journey. From pre-schoolers to the whole household, we are proud to offer a wide range of live and animated premium shows to broadcasters all around the world.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.
Signup for Breaking News Alerts & Newsletters
Get our latest storiesin the feed of your favorite networks
We want to hear from you! Send us a tip using our annonymous form.
Sign up for our breaking news alerts
Deadline is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2022 Deadline Hollywood, LLC. All Rights Reserved.