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Programming Profile

Pixcom thinks local to become global


Montreal’s Pixcom is bringing its local Quebec hits to the international marketplace, with 10 programmes on offer via its suite on the C21 Digital Screenings platform.


Quebec-based production company Pixcom has 10 series in its C21 Screenings playlist, comprising six dramas and four factual shows, each of which was selected for their international appeal.


According to Ginette Viens, Pixcom’s VP of international production, the prodco’s “first focus” is to develop projects that not only become local successes but also have global potential. One such example is La Faille, known as The Wall: Cover Your Tracks in English, a drama about a murder that takes place in a small mining town.


Ginette Viens, Pixcom

“We’ve had great success with The Wall in the French market. It broke all records locally and even our prime minister tweeted about the series. The project is getting real interest from different markets in the world and we are working on an English version,” Viens says.


Another highlight from the playlist is Alerte Amber, or Amber Alert in English, a drama in which a young boy is kidnapped. Pixcom’s president, Nicola Merola, points out that the series, which he says was the number one weekly show in French Canada last fall, broke barriers by attracting younger viewers to terrestrial TV.


“It’s hard for a terrestrial channel today to appeal to a younger audience – it’s a huge challenge all over the world. This show managed to reach not only the general public but particularly young people, so for a terrestrial network that was the best news ever,” Merola says.


Nicola Merola, Pixcom

Also in drama is Le Monstre (The Monster), a series based on the book of the same name by Ingrid Falaise, which recounts the true story of the author’s relationship with an abusive man. This, Viens says, is part of Pixcom’s aim to create projects that raise awareness of certain issues.


Le Monstre
Le Monstre

“This series is very, very important for us because we always try to pick a unique side of a story or unique characters or unique environments and taking the time to tell that story and reaching out to women who also might be living in [a similar situation] is useful TV. So that’s part of what we care about at Pixcom – useful entertainment.”


The other dramas in Pixcom’s playlist are all three seasons of psychological thriller Victor Lessard, based on the novels by Martin Michaud; L’âge Adulte (Adulthood), about a man who wakes up from a coma to realise he is no longer attracted to women but men instead; Béliveau, which recounts the life of hockey legend Jean Béliveau; and Karl & Max, a dramedy in which the lives of the titular protagonists are changed forever after discovering a bag containing a gun and millions of dollars belonging to a drug cartel.


Hellfire Heroes 2
Hellfire Heroes 2

In factual are Hellfire Heroes 2, which follows firefighters as they tackle seasonal wildfires; classic car restoration show Restoration Garage 6; and My Worst Nightmare, which tells the true stories of people who experience nightmares that are so severe they become a threat to their survival.


According to Merola, each of the shows in Pixcom’s playlist have sold and performed well internationally and would appeal to both streaming platforms and terrestrial broadcasters.


Looking ahead, the exec hopes the Quebec production industry will reach the global success Scandinavian dramas have had in recent years. “We want buyers all over the world to buy shows from Quebec, particularly from Pixcom, of course. This is really our ultimate goal,” he says.

More programming profiles

  • 16-11-2022

    Nicola Merola of Dark Lake and Audrey’s Back prodco Pixcom says Quebec series are hot but have yet to reach their full potential. He will be at Content London with two new scripted projects he hopes will be Pixcom’s next hits.


    Montreal production company Pixcom is riding a wave of momentum after garnering several international awards and high-profile deals for its new drama Audrey est Revenue (aka Audrey’s Back) and continuing to rack up sales for its murder mystery drama La Faille (The Wall).


    The former, about a woman who wakes up from a 16-year coma at the age of 33, won the Grand Prize at France’s Canneseries television festival in April and has since been sold to France’s Canal+ and Italian pubcaster Rai, with additional deals being negotiated by international distributor Beta Film.

  • 11-11-2021

    Montreal-based Pixcom is beefing up its scripted content pipeline, president Nicola Merola tells C21, as it prepares for its trip to Content London later this month.


    Producer Pixcom has a catalogue of both French- and English-language productions across a variety of genres in both scripted and unscripted. The company used to distribute only its English-language projects internationally, but four years ago started exporting from its French-language slate too, mostly into Europe but also into the US.


    In light of this, the three series on the Montreal-based company’s playlist for C21’s Digital Screenings this week are all from its French-language slate and are all dramas, which are more in demand now than ever before, according to president Nicola Merola.