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C21 DIGITAL SCREENINGS

Bomanbridge Media

Programming Profile

Bomanbridge lines up kids, factual, formats

10-02-2021

Reflecting demand from the market, Bomanbridge Media has a slate of children’s shows, factual and factual entertainment on offer via its playlist on C21’s Digital Screenings.

 

Singapore-based distribution and production company Bomanbridge Media has a catalogue of over 5,000 hours of programming, spanning genres from lifestyle and kids to factual, formats and drama.

 

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company has seen a “significant” increase in sales from “the surge of broadcasters needing to fill their schedules,” says CEO Sonia Fleck. One genre in particular that has experienced strong demand, according to Fleck, is children’s animated content.

 

“One of the areas where we definitely have seen a boom, not only in our own sales but across scheduling, is with kids’ programming. Our animation sales have increased by about 33% beyond what we would have expected. So that’s actually been an area of serious expansion in terms of our focus and opportunities,” she says.

 

Fleck
Sonia Fleck, Bomanbridge Media

In light of this, Bomanbridge is featuring three animated series in its C21 Digital Screenings playlist this week. The first is Ivy & the Inklings, a 52×11’ preschool series Bomanbridge invested into to kickstart development with UK prodco Jellyfish Productions. The toon is about a little girl, Ivy, who loves to draw. Ivy’s doodles – or Inklings, as she likes to call them – are an artistic expression of how she is feeling. But they are no ordinary drawings, because they have the ability to magically come to life and make plans of their own.

 

The show is currently in development and Fleck is particularly excited as it is a major priority project, for which Bomanbridge and Jellyfish are seeking further coproduction investment and broadcast partners.

 

“Emotional intelligence allows children to understand their thoughts and feelings, to take control of behaviour and encourage greater self-belief. The show gives a rare uniqueness that is not commonly found in the current market. It explores the imagination, but also communicates authentic feelings through various means of expression. We’re quite confident we will be getting this off the ground; the feedback is very, very strong,” Fleck says.

 

Another of Fleck’s highlights, Animal Rescue, is a 52×11’ animation about a team of Animal Heroes who save other endangered animals all over the world. Packed with action, the Korean production by Hong Dang Moo recently premiered on KBS Media, and was sold to Cartoon Network South Korea, according to Fleck, who says she expects “strong pick-up” for the series.

 

The third animation is Magic Adventures: The Crystal of Dark (52×11’), also originating from Hong Dang Moo in South Korea. The series is based on a comic book about a young princess who embarks on a quest to find four wizards and seven magic crystals that will help her stop the Dark Wizard of Light from conquering Magic Land.

 

Magic Adventures: The Crystal of Dark
Magic Adventures: The Crystal of Dark

Within the children’s space, Fleck notes that “broadcasters are looking for entertaining content for kids to distract them from the grievances that adults are dealing with” during the pandemic.

 

On top of the above three titles, Bomanbridge is featuring a live-action series in its playlist that also taps into that ‘escapist’ theme. Kids Safari (72×7’ or 36×15’) follows two young siblings who head off on a global mission to learn about the animals that inhabit various places around the world, including the savannahs of the African bush, the Pacific Ocean, the Rocky Mountains of the US, the jungles of Madagascar and the towering sand dunes of the world’s oldest desert.

 

The final kids’ show that Bomanbridge is featuring in its playlist is one of Fleck’s personal highlights. My Stay-At-Home Diary (20×4.5’ or 4×30’), which this month won the Best Web Series award at Kidscreen in 2021, is a series in which children from around the world share their personal stories about life during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

My Stay-At-Home Diary
My Stay-At-Home Diary

Featuring children from countries including Japan, India, Israel, South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico and the US, the series is produced by Canada’s Lopii Productions. Created with support from TVO, Shaw Rocket Fund and CMF, it has received a syndication deal with PBS in the US, and is now being released for worldwide sales.

 

“It’s not really focusing just on the difficulties of the pandemic experience, but rather giving us a chance to get to know their personal stories and giving them a voice. I think it’s really important to put this one forward,” she says.

 

Elsewhere, Fleck explains that another genre that is in high demand among linear pubcasters is blue-chip, premium factual content. With this in mind, Bomanbridge is offering a series of factual shows on its playlist.

 

Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes
Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes

First up, and another of Fleck’s highlights, is Walking the Yangtze with Ash Dykes, a 2×60’/1×90’ copro with CICC and Mandarin Films in China. The show follows the Welsh explorer as he breaks the world record to become the first person to walk the entire 6,300km length of China’s Yangtze River.

 

“Ash ended this long, long trip only a couple of months before Covid broke out,” Fleck explains. “We did have delays in our own post-production, but finally got the premiere on National Geographic in October. One of the things that’s really interesting about watching this is to see how different everything was. Ash was moving through Wuhan just a couple of months before the pandemic started, seeing the city and seeing the kindness of the Chinese who invited him in. Ash faced a lot of challenges on that trip and it gives a very interesting perspective of a before and after.”

 

Bomanbridge is now working on a second series with Dykes, in which he will be taking on a new challenge. More information on this is expected to be announced in the next couple of months.

 

Epic Animal Encounters
Epic Animal Encounters

Two wildlife-themed shows from Bomanbridge’s factual slate are also on the playlist. Epic Animal Encounters (13×60’) digs up the stories behind some of the most spectacular wildlife videos, featuring interviews with the people who experienced amazing animal interactions first-hand, while Wild Kingdoms (3×60’) explores the vast landscapes of Earth and the lives of the creatures that inhabit them.

 

Also in factual are four food-related titles, starting with another of Fleck’s top picks, Sweet Art with Janice Wong. The 6×30’ series, which is currently in development as a copro with Australia’s Mago Films, sees Singaporean pastry chef Wong create immersive pieces of edible art in Japan.

 

Donal’s Asian Baking Adventure, meanwhile, is a 10×30’ series for UKTV that, according to Fleck, has travelled very well globally. The show sees Irish food writer and cook Donal Skehan explore the growing popularity of baked goods in Asia. It is currently sold to BBC Asia, Foxtel and SBS in Australia, RTL Netherlands and Ananey in Israel.

 

John Torode’s Korean Food Tour
John Torode’s Korean Food Tour

A third Asia-based food series is John Torode’s Korean Food Tour (10×60’), in which the celebrity chef discovers South Korea’s top 100 dishes, before creating his own versions at home. It is currently sold to National Geographic Asia, Foxtel and SBS in Australia.

 

All three of these food-related titles are centred around Asia but the fourth – Paul Goes to Hollywood – is based in the US. As the title of this 4×60’ series suggests, the show sees British chef Paul Hollywood on an adventure to explore the connection between films and food, as he journeys his way across the US to Hollywood.

 

Originally premiering on UKTV, the show has “sold widely” and performed “amazingly well,” according to Fleck, who is including it on Bomanbridge’s playlist in order to target the remaining territories in which it hasn’t yet been licensed.
Fleck notes that travel-themed series like Paul Goes to Hollywood have been experiencing contrasting feedback from broadcasters recently.

 

“A few Asian broadcasters are telling us that some of the international lifestyle and travel programming is a bit uncomfortable to introduce on the schedule right now, simply because we cannot travel. Others are binge scheduling the genres because we want to travel. There is interestingly a show of conscience to try not to promote these activities that we’re not actually able to do ourselves,” Fleck says.

 

Paul Goes to Hollywood
Paul Goes to Hollywood

“Even before the Covid shutdown, our Asian broadcasters were very much trying to emphasise a focus on Asian locations, and as that is the only current option, I think the channels are hoping to reinforce a more local angle on travel.”

 

The remaining two series in Bomanbridge’s playlist are in the factual entertainment/formats space. Another of Fleck’s top picks is Gamerz, produced by Gamingzone, which is available as a format for adaptation or as a completed series of two 20×60’ seasons. Receiving sponsors such as OMEN by HP, Intel and Puma, the programme originated in Scandinavia and aired on Youtube, Facebook and Twitch. It is a reality show in which a group of gaming enthusiasts move into a house where they compete to win contracts as professional gamers.

 

After acquiring the worldwide rights to the format a year ago, Bomanbridge developed a local adaptation with GMM in Thailand, after which it struck a deal across Asia with TechStorm. Fleck says after recently licensing it to SIC in Portugal, Bomanbridge is currently in discussions with other European broadcasters about the format, which she says is garnering “a lot of interest as it is a tried and tested format, and can be produced in a bubble relatively comfortably during this complicated Covid period.”

 

Strong by NM
Strong by NM

Meanwhile, Strong by NM, produced by Omni Films in 4K, is a 25×30’ instructional fitness series, organised into five themed packs of five episodes each, focusing on kickboxing, resistance training, athletic movement, boxing and weight training. It is perfect for any fitness platform, and is suitable on any number of successful FVOD and AVOD platforms globally.

 

Bomanbridge initially began life as a distributor in 2009 before entering the production space in 2014. As we progress through 2021, Fleck says she will continue investing in the development side of the business.

 

“We plan on injecting quite a bit of money into the development of formats, factual and the kids space. Some of the launches were delayed since Covid erupted but there has been a lot of development activity underway. We are seeking to deficit-finance more and investing money at the development stage to try to help some of these projects off the ground,” she says.