France’s Gulli seeks African animation
French broadcaster Gulli is searching for animated series created and produced by studios in French-speaking parts of Africa for its channel on the continent.
Speaking at the MipJunior conference in Cannes, France, last weekend, Maud Branly, director of children’s acquisitions, international TV channels and children’s programming at Gulli owner M6 Group, said she was pleased by the rise in the number of animated series being created in Africa.
However, the exec said so far these are originating out of English-speaking countries such as South Africa and she is keen to see more being made by creators in French-speaking nations, which include Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Algeria and Morocco.
“When the channel launched in 2015, I was looking for content featuring black children and at that time it was almost impossible to find them. Now the market is really changing and black kids are more and more represented, which is really good news. So we are looking for content featuring black characters and, of course, we’d also like to have more series produced in Africa,” said Branly.
French kids’ channel Gulli launched in Africa in 2015 and airs programming such as Pokémon, Power Rangers and The Loud House, alongside content such as Jabu’s Jungle, Jungle Beat and Magic Cellar.
Elodie Antunes de Sousa, children’s acquisitions officer at M6 Group, said it was important to feature local programming on the channel so that African kids can see black heroes on screen and identify with them.
Gulli has been part of M6 Group since 2019, after it was acquired from Lagardère Active. It also operates channels in Russia, the Middle East and, since 2020, Brazil. Branly said it can acquire programming for specific markets such as France or Africa as well as all the international territories where Gulli is on air.