Zorro, the famous masked hero created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley, will be the protagonist of MipJunior, the international kids’ audiovisual programs market that precedes Mipcom.
The latest version of this character who first appeared on our screens in the Sixties will, in fact, be the world premiere presented during the Mip- Junior inaugural evening and gala in Cannes, on Saturday October 3rd. Zorro, Inez and Garcia, the main characters of ‘Zorro the Chronicles’, the English title of the animated series produced by Cyber Group Studios in association with Zorro Productions, in collaboration with Blue Spirit Studios and with the participation of e France Télévision and Rai Fiction, will also be the stars of Mipcom’s opening gala where they will parade along the red carpet of the Grand Hyatt Hôtel Martinez, accompanied by their creators and producers. The series of 26 x 22’ episodes is directed by Olivier Lelardoux and the screenplay is by Pierre Sissmann and Annabelle Perrichon.
“Zorro is a popular character but it was, above all, the quality of the storyboard and the brilliant narrative idea behind this new version that immediately convinced us”, explains Luca Milano, deputy director of Rai Fiction.
“‘Zorro’ is a modern and contemporary kids’ series destined for Rai Gulp that we can’t wait to present on the Rai networks. The first computer graphics adaptation of Zorro ever made that, thanks to cutting edge technology, gives the TV series a cinematographic quality”.
“It is a great creative responsibility to produce a new series of Zorro, such a famous character who speaks to entire generations all over the world”, says Pierre Sissmann, president of Cyber Group Studios, and he thanks Rai for the trust and support provided throughout the entire production process.
“Once again the MipJunior World Premiere TV Screening salutes a great iconic series that represents television animation at its best”, comments Laurine Garaude, director of the Television Division of Reed MIDEM which is organizing the traditional Cannes rendezvous.
“The presence of “Zorro the Chronicles” and its creators proves that MipJunior is a true international launch-pad for the most important series”.
‘Zorro’ has already been pre-purchased by the Flemish channel VRT in Belgium, Tele-Quebec in Canada, Boing (Turner Broadcasting System Europe) in France, TV2 in Norway and RTVE Clan in Spain.
But Zorro is not the only new Rai series at MipJunior. On October 4th there will be the exclusive premiere of the animated series “Sette nani ed io” (“Seven and Me”), produced by Method Film in co-production with Rai Fiction and the French and German public broadcasters.
This is a European co-production from the same studios responsible for “The Little Prince” series made using the mixed live action and animation technique, which is “suitable for attracting wider audiences and has great viewer potential”, explains Milano. The “Sette nani ed io” series consists of 26 x 26’ episodes.
There are also some big international productions on the drama front.
Lux Vide is producing a series of 8 x 50’ episodes for Rai on “The Medici” (“Kingdom of Gold”), which will be filmed in English and features a first class cast (including Dustin Hoffman), shot in Rome, Tuscany and Florence, in the original locations such as Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo.
Amongst the big international titles, Rai Fiction will also be proposing eight x 50’ episodes of “Il nome della rosa” (“The Name of the Rose”), the masterpiece by Umberto Eco which was made into a successful movie in 1986 (produced by 11 Marzo Cinematografica) and announces the television version, still in the writing phase at Fandango, of the four part “L’amica geniale” (“My Brilliant Friend”) by Elena Ferrante, the pseudonym of the Italian writer who never revealed her identity and the author of this saga which became an international literary sensation.
Finally there is a modern detective series which has already been chri- stened “the new Piovra” (Octopus): “La Catturandi” (produced by Rodeo Drive).
Six 100’ episodes set in Palermo about the epic struggle between State and Mafia from the point of view of the élite Police squad entrusted with arresting big fugitives.