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Ex-Viacom execs form distributor

MIPTV: Two former Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) sales execs have launched a global distribution company focusing on family entertainment and animation.

London-based Media IM, headed by Maria Ufland and Irina Nazarenko, is targeting worldwide broadcast, ancillary and multi-platform markets.

So far, it has secured multi-territory rights to around 900 episodes of children’s animation from Russian production houses, including Melnitsa Animation Studio, Petersburg Animation Studio and Studio Nebo.

They include preschool series Luntik (440×4.5’) and kids’ animation series The Pooches (130×4.5’) from Melnitsa Animation Studio, both of which premiered on Russia-1.

Luntik, about a creature from the Moon who falls to Earth, has generated more than 3,000 branded consumer products, along with at least 1.7 billion accumulated views on YouTube in 2013.

Other titles include Kikoriki: The New Adventures (52×11’) and Pin-Code (52×13’), a science fiction series, both produced in CGI HD by Petersburg Animation Studio.

The two series follow the success of Kikoriki, said to be one of Russian animation’s most successful programmes of all time.

Launched in 2003 as part of a cultural educational project called World Without Violence, the show follows the adventures of nine spherical inhabitants of the world of Kikoriki.

Media IM is also distributing Studio Nebo’s The Bubbles, a new 52×6.5’ animated comedy aimed at kids and adults that follows the adventures of a scatty professor and his best friend. 

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