Please wait...
Please wait...
Please wait...



Programming Profile

Pixcom heads to Content London with growing roster of dramas


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.


Nicola Merola, Pixcom

Meanwhile, season two of The Wall, also sold by Beta Film, was recently licensed to SBS (Australia), Cosmopolitan TV (Spain), MBC (Midde East/North Africa) and NBCUniversal (France), while US pubcaster PBS picked up the second and third seasons.


Furthermore, Pixcom drama Lac Noir (Dark Lake), an 8×60’ suspense drama that follows a city cop who moves with her teenage son to a secluded village in the Laurentian forest, was picked up recently for distribution by Germany’s Bavaria Media.


With the wind in its sails, the Quebec company is heading to Content London 2022 with a pair of projects it believes could be its next international hits, says president Nicola Merola.


The first is Tributaries, an environmental thriller written and directed by Sophie Deraspe (The Amina Profile) for French-Canadian SVoD platform Club Illico. While much of the financing is already in place, Merola said Pixcom is looking for “the additional financing we need to start to bring the concept outside of Quebec.”


Pixcom will also be introducing a new title called Earth Bound, which it is co-developing with Germany’s ZDF Studios. While details about the seven-part show are under wraps, Merola says the companies will be at Content London looking for coproduction partners, commissions and pre-sales.


Anna & Arnaud
Anna & Arnaud

It is also looking for an international distributor for its recently released drama Anna & Arnaud, which premiered on French-Canadian network TVA in September. The project tells the story of a woman who mourns her living son as he loses himself in drugs and ends up living on the streets.


Pixcom has been a fixture in the Montreal production scene for 35 years, producing dramas, comedies and unscripted projects in both French and English. Over the past few years, however, it has made a concerted effort to expand its scripted development slate, in addition to putting a greater focus on the English-language market.


The fruits of these labours paid off with a green light from Canadian network Citytv for the female-led police procedural Wong & Winchester, with Lionsgate handling international distribution. The six-part English-language series centres on the unlikely partnership between a bitter cop-turned-private-investigator and a naïve former career student, and is currently in post-production.


Across French and English, the company usually has around 20 scripted projects in various stages of development, says Merola, and today it has around 10 projects in formal development with broadcasters, platforms and international distributors, as well as six scripted series in production this year.


Audrey's Back
Audrey’s Back

In terms of exporting Québécois series to the international market, Merola says the local production community has made great strides – but there is great potential for further growth.


“Are Quebec series in a better place today than five years ago? Definitely,” he says. “But I think we are just scratching the surface of our full potential.”


He cites the sale of Audrey’s Back to Rai – the first time the Italian broadcaster has acquired a French-Canadian scripted series – as an example of the opportunities for local Quebec scripted series to travel globally.


“That tells us that stories created in Quebec today really have the potential to touch the hearts of people all over the world,” Merola says.



For several years, Quebec scripted formats have been in high demand in the international marketplace, which Merola attributes to several converging factors. These include the relative uniqueness of Québécois storytelling, the focus on local storytelling and a greater receptivity to local-language stories.


“It has a lot to do with the fact most of the stories that have been produced in Quebec don’t spread all over the world, like English-language scripted series do,” he says.


“Also, a lot of what we do here in Quebec, not just at Pixcom, concerns stories about families. We create stories that are very close to the people, that are very local. I think the more local the story is, the more appeal it has, and the potential to have internationally, once adapted with the right culture.”

More programming profiles

  • 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.

  • 12-06-2020

    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.