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C21 DIGITAL SCREENINGS

HG Distribution

Programming Profile

HG Distribution offers TV channels ways to regain youth audiences

11-11-2021

Henry Gagnon, CEO of Quebec’s HG Distribution, talks us through the teen-friendly shows his company is focusing on via its presence on C21’s Digital Screenings this week.

 

Quebec-based HG Distribution has a programme catalogue focused on the three key areas of docuseries, children’s shows and web series. For its playlist on C21’s Digital Screenings, the distributor has selected three titles from its scripted slate, catering to the increased demand for drama the company has experienced in recent months.

 

“The drama part is growing a lot,” says CEO Henry Gagnon. “Does it have something to do with cinemas being closed for the last year-and-a-half, when we’ve all been looking for entertaining content? Most of the world has now finished watching the Netflix catalogue, so everybody’s looking outside of that and trying to find some new stuff.”

 

Gagnon
Henry Gagnon, HG Distribution

The three shows in HG Distribution’s playlist all come from Quebec-based production company Blachfilms, which Gagnon says have helped his company “compete with the majors.” All three series also target the youth, young adult and family demographics.

 

The first series, 422 (25×30’), is a sci-fi, coming-of-age thriller aimed at viewers aged 13-plus. With two seasons under its belt so far, the Tele Quebec show follows five teenagers who are transported into a parallel universe with the hopes of finding a treasure with exceptional powers.

 

422
422

However, the adventure turns out to be more difficult than expected when the youngsters learn that the only way to find the treasure is to complete eight tasks created by a mysterious celestial being who controls the borderless world.

 

Gagnon and Blachfilms’ founder Benoit Lach compare 422 to series like Stranger Things and film franchises like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, in that all of those shows and movies centre on children or teenagers but attract adult audiences too. The young characters in 422 are all between the ages of nine and 17, which the execs say reflects a growing appetite from both young people and adults for stories featuring teens.

 

The second show in HG Distribution’s playlist is web series Off (16×8’ & 1×50’), aimed at teens and also with two seasons under its belt, screening via Tele Quebec’s web presence.

 

Off
Off

In season one, five unlikely friends unite during a long power outage to drive out boredom and a coyote that terrorises the area. Spotted by one of the boys’ imaginary friend, the beast becomes the main quest of the young heroes, determined to recover the $1,000 reward offered for its capture.

 

In season two, the friends’ adventures continue when an unexplained car breakdown puts them on the trail of a mysterious yeti, who they say was responsible for the disappearance of the boy’s imaginary friend.

 

The third and final programme is web series Just the Two of Us, a romance-drama-thriller aimed at young adults, which also has two seasons, amounting to 8×7’ and 8×12’, and screening on Bell Media-owned French-language terrestrial television network Noovo. The plot centres on a young man and his female best friend who go on a road trip after they both suddenly break up with their respective spouses. Along the way trouble ensues, which endangers their friendship.

 

Just the Two of Us
Just the Two of Us

Gagnon points out that even though Off and Just the Two of Us are web series and therefore shorter in episode length than a traditional drama series, they are both “broadcast quality.” In addition, they cater to a desire by some platforms for series with shorter episodes.

 

“They were made to help broadcasters bring kids and youngsters from the web over to TV channels,” he says. “Web series are still connected to YouTube content, short content that is easy, quick and low cost but Off and Just the Two of Us are broadcast quality and represent an amazing rise in production value. There’s a difference. More and more, we’re seeing good, high-quality, short content that is ready-made for cinematic or traditional broadcast.”



More programming profiles

  • 02-09-2020

    Canadian distributor HG Distribution has scoured the globe to bring a new slate of content to showcase this week via the C21 Digital Screenings.

     

    Quebec-based HG Distribution traditionally only distributes programming that was produced in Canada, specifically from the Francophone province, but has recently widened its net to include content from outside the country.

     

    “We have focused for many years on distributing Canadian content, but more and more of the producers we work with have built coproduction deals all over the world, which has brought us many referrals,” CEO Henry Gagnon explains.

     

    “So now we have content from Vietnam, Italy, Poland, France, Germany – from all over the world. The majority of our content is still Canadian, but we’re picking up more and more international content to distribute internationally.”

     

    In line with this, three of the shows on HG Distribution’s playlist in C21’s Digital Screenings this week are from outside Canada. The first, Monta in the Odd Galaxy (10×30’/40×7.5’), is a children’s action comedy series from Vintata Animation Studio in Vietnam, in which Monta has to gather his friends to travel to odd planets and fix the oddest problems.
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  • 15-06-2020

    Henry Gagnon, CEO at HGagnon Distribution, talks us through his C21 Digital Screenings playlist and explains why his company is different from other Quebecois distributors.

     

    Montreal-based HGagnon Distribution prides itself on only distributing third-party programming and not producing any of its own to compete with that supplied by its content partners.

     

    “I’m one of the very rare independent distributors in Canada, meaning I’m not producing. I don’t think there are any others in French-Canada, they are all either associated with a production company or part of one,” says CEO Henry Gagnon.

     

    “We represent more than 106 producers but we make nothing ourselves. I wake up each morning thinking about the next buyer and I go to bed in the evening thinking about the next buyer for tomorrow, so I don’t develop or produce. I’m pretty much all about hunting buyers for the readymade content we represent.”
    READ MORE