Walker Books Managing Director Helen McAleer kicked off this casual exchange between book/TV content producers and publishers in the Licensing Lounge of the fabled Hotel Martinez, where MIPJunior is taking place this weekend.
McAleer kicked off by talking about how the publishing industry has evolved and enables them to get involved in the TV content production process earlier. While this muddies the territory over the short term, it enables more harmonious and scalable opportunities with producers later on – a greater good for everyone. She elaborated on this with us in private, as well as on the hot topic of toddlers with iPads…
Interestingly, producers also bear witness to an industry shift that dovetails with the changes in publishing. Their material increasingly reflects values they consider to be of global interest to both parents and children: issues of environmental sustainability, courage and bilingualism were the primary themes.
Satva Albanese of Italy’s Gem Licensing arrived bearing material for a show called “Boo the Bumbling Bee“, which is seeing plenty of interest on the licensing floor. The objective is to teach children about farming and nature: in short, where their food comes from. The show, filmed in live action, 3D and 2D animation, speaks to a conviction raised in him when he moved to the countryside. It was his farmer neighbours who taught him what their life work was about and why it was valuable.
“Children don’t know very much about the country,” he explained. “They don’t know where their food comes from. This is strange.”
On the other side of the room, Agnès Massot of Bayard Presse in France was busy chatting with Estelle Rinaudo of MuseWorld, who’s seeking wider pastures for the international girl characters in her company’s book series. Each country has its own brave heroine, like Guilia for Italy and Jeanne for France.
Lastly, Javier Roldan of Research Entertainment in Spain was found pitching his project, “Sing & Dance“, which he called “the funny way to learn English.” Its international appeal seems obvious: bilingualism in a shrinking world is a virtue, and fun is still the quickest medium by which to teach children.