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News in brief

07 June 2022 à 14:48

New technologies, ecology, and inclusivity are central to 'Droners,' a crazy adventure series

Raphaëlle Mathieu, executive vice president of sales at Cyber Group Studios, tells us how the series 'Droners', which combines adventure, new technologies, ecology, and characters from all walks of life, has already won over French audiences and several international broadcasters. With a first season that reached the top 3 of TF1's ratings, secured international partners in Germany and Benelux, and a second season in preparation, 'Droners' has no intention of stopping there.

Unifrance: What is the philosophy behind 'Droners'? How did the project come about?
Raphaëlle MathieuRaphaëlle MathieuRaphaëlle Mathieu: We feel that as a producer and distributor of content for children, we have a great responsibility in what we convey. So, originally, we were looking for projects that would allow us to highlight topics such as modern technology or ecological issues, which are important to our society. 'Droners' is the result – the marriage in a way – of these two desires.

So we wanted a series that takes place in the world of drones with strong societal issues and engaging, kick-ass characters. An entertainment series above all, of course, but which conveys very strong values: to inspire without wanting to teach.

The positioning of the female characters is of course something that is particularly important to us. The idea is to make people understand that girls can do anything, including getting involved in technological fields that prejudices or self-censorship reserve for boys. We also want to show that girls don't have to be caricatures to be cool!

But 'Droners' is above all the artistic and amicable encounter with Sylvain Dos Santos, the series' showrunner and its creator.

The series targets 6- to 10-year-olds. What are its strengths in speaking to children around the world? 
RM: The challenge is always to speak to the widest audience. With 'Droners', we believe we have a deeply inclusive series that has the potential to speak to both boys and girls. The approach we have chosen, which is both entertaining and open to the world, also means that it is a series that can find its place with both public and private partners.

The series is also set in the islands with heroes who all have very original and diverse physical appearances and looks. And we believe that this way, literally, children all over the world will be able to recognize themselves.

How has feeback been after the broadcast of Season 1 on TF1?
RM: We are very proud that TF1 is our historical commissioning partner. The series regularly ranked in the channel's top 3 ratings and with peaks of over 32% of audience share. It was this initial success that made TF1 quickly want to launch a second season. The quality of Season 1, which was followed from the start by WDR (Germany) and Disney France and Benelux, convinced its financing partners to continue the adventure of a second season even though they had not yet launched the first. We are very proud of this and are particularly grateful to them.

Your partners have indeed seen the potential of the series and trusted you very quickly. What's your take on this?
RM: As I mentioned, the broadcast success of the leading TF1 channel has of course motivated our other initial partners. WDR in Germany and Disney in France and the Benelux countries, who were involved very early on in the creative process, were thus able to be associated with all stages of the creation. We are also fortunate to have in Sylvain Dos Santos a showrunner who is very available for international promotion and sensitive to the challenges of international distribution.

In short, since the writing and conception there has been a great collaboration between the talents, producers, financial partners, and international distributors.

How do you see the future of the series internationally?
RM:  We are very confident that the series will be successful internationally, especially since we have a second season, which is even more important for a 26-minute series. The series has already sold in Australia to ABC, Portugal to SIC, and Canada to Télé-Québec, to mention only the first buyers, and we involved in very active discussions at the platform level as well as many other territories.

Last but not least, the licensing potential of the series is naturally very important. In France, we have launched different collections in publishing with a novelization, manga, and a comic book! The drones of course are in preparation and many other perspectives are in gestation in France and internationally.

All these parameters make us happy and proud to have produced and distributed 'Droners' worldwide, and we are convinced that the series will grow and appeal to more and more viewers in the months to come.

Contact : TV Department

Latest update : 07 June 2022 à 14:48 CEST

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Cyber Group Studios

Activities :  Film exports/foreign sales, Executive Producer

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Activities external to film production :  Foreign distributor (feature film)

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