12. September 2007

Beta Film sets new focus on children's programs


Beta Film is presenting three new high-quality animated productions at MIPCOM Junior (October 6 - 7) and MIPCOM 2007 (October 8 - 12), thus returning to its tradition of offering fine children's programs in its portfolio. The TV and feature-film distributor is also coproducing Moonbeam Bear (WT, 26 x 12' and 70'), Princess Lillifee (WT, 70’) and Chi Rho – The Secret (26 x 25'). 

Princess Lillifee and Moonbeam Bear tie-in books are being released by Germany's Coppenrath Verlag, whose own merchandising firm, “Die Spiegelburg?, is selling the products to both figures worldwide. The successful Coppenrath / Spiegelburg team has already turned the travel-loving rabbit Felix into a universally known brand. 

The stories of Moonbeam Bear, who loves the moon more than anything else in the world, are based on the books by Rolf Fänger and Ulrike Möltgen, which have already been published in nine countries, including the U.S., France and Spain, and have won countless fans. Moonbeam Bear and his friends Rabbit, Ladybird, Old Badger and Frog are now coming to TV and theaters. The adventures of the little bear who wants to befriend the moon invite all children to dream, whether they're toddlers or elementary-school-aged kids. Moonbeam Bear is a 3D animation produced by ndF: neue deutsche Filmgesellschaft mbH and Caligari Film GmbH in coproduction with Beta Film GmbH and Universum Film GmbH, in association with ZDF and with backing from FFA and FFF. KI.KA - Der Kinderkanal ARD / ZDF airs the series daily starting on 15 September at 6:40 pm. 

Princess Lillifee is enchanting children – girls in particular – all over the world with her fantasy-like, fairy-tale charm. She first became known as the title figure of the books by Monika Finsterbusch, which have been published in over 20 countries. Shortly thereafter, Lillifee became one of the most popular merchandising figures in all of Europe. The products range from chocolate and shampoo to children's furniture. Now the little Princess is playing the lead role in her own animated film, which is currently in production. Princess Lillifee loves flowers and butterflies and, above all, the color pink. When she flies with her bumbling piglet Pupsi in the morning, it is very likely that a few windows will be shattered... But it isn't until there are serious differences between various groups of elves in her kingdom of Pinkovia that Lillifee realizes how difficult it is to rule... Yet she doesn't give up, and manages to restore harmony and friendship in her realm. A series is also being planned in addition to the theatrical film. Princess Lillifee is produced by ndF: neue deutsche Filmgesellschaft  and Caligari Film in coproduction with Beta Film, Universum Film, Ismael Feichtl and WDR and with the support of FFA, DFFF and Filmstiftung NRW. 

Breathtaking stories and lots of action: Chi Rho – The Secret is about exciting adventures full of suspense and fun. The fast-paced children's animated series addresses above all kids between 6 and 10 thanks to modern young protagonists and a dynamic background story. When Cora's father Professor Petersen, a famous archeologist and Bible expert, suddenly vanishes, Cora and her friend Habib, a boy from Jesus' time, undertake a dangerous quest to find him. With the help of the "Cubus Temporis," a magical time cube, she travels back in time to the fascinating world of the biblical stories in order to save her father and the holy scriptures.

Chi Rho – The Secret is produced by Cross Media Medienproduktion, KI.KA - Der Kinderkanal ARD / ZDF and TFC Trickompany Erfurt in association with Beta. The series is currently in production and was developed in association with the Evangelical and Catholic churches. A theatrical version is also being planned. 

Beta Film Executive Eric Welbers: "With Moonbeam Bear, Princess Lillifee and Chi Rho, we have three absolute premium programs for children of various age groups in our portfolio. Beta Film already had strong kids' programs in the 1990s, such as the animated series Heidi: Girl of the Alps and Maya the Bee, as well as Pippi Longstocking. These were distributed under the JUNIOR label. After the sale of JUNIOR to EM.TV through Kirch Media, which then owned Beta Film, Beta now picks up this fine tradition of supplying top-notch children's entertainment to broadcasters with these new productions."

Among the stringent criteria Beta Film applies before deciding to invest in children's and youth films are positively conceived characters, a high degree of character recognition, meaningful contents, top quality standards and collaboration with established children's film producers. 

Other top titles with which Beta Film serves the children's and family segment are such theatrical hits as Constantin Film's Mr. Woof (97') and Hui Buh - The Goofy Ghost (103'), the series LasseMaja's Detective Agency (12 x 30'), produced by the Astrid Lindgren specialist Svensk Film, as well as the fantasy film The Eye of the Bear (106'). Studio Hamburg's family mega-production The Three Investigators: The Secret of Skeleton Island (100’) is being brought to German cinemas this November by Disney, and is distributed by Beta Film.