Sophie Ferron, President and Executive Producer of Media Ranch, an award-winning format production and distribution company, announced major news on HorsePower – their French-Canadian format incubator initiative, with partner Quebecor Content.  Writer, drama teacher, and media coordinator Isabelle Laperrière was named this month as the winner of the second edition, Horsepower 2.0Also announced was a multi-year co-venture between Media Ranch’s Horsepower and South Korea’s FormatEast (an SBS Korea initiative), which is a first-look between the two incubators who will split IP and co-develop and co-distribute. HorsePower 1.0 winning format Family Tripped, created by An Tran, will be the first project of the exchange.

The winning HorsePower 2.0 program is a dating show format titled Heartbreak Hotel. Creator Laperrière workshopped over a 6-month period with mentor Lisette van Diepen, well-known format expert, veteran acquisitions executive for both Sony and Endemol Shine Group who now consults for Marphes Media. The winning format will receive funding from Quebecor Content to develop its format for broadcast and Media Ranch will manage production and global distribution.

Ferron states: “Media Ranch, along with our partner Quebecor Content, are thrilled that HorsePower is proving to be a tremendously successful venture. HorsePower 2.0 saw the development of several outstanding formats. The six-month process was even more arduous due to Covid-19 however we came out with great ideation.  Winner Isabelle, with the guidance of her phenomenal mentor, has created a show format that is sure to be a major hit.”

Once again this year, the variety and quality of the projects made choosing the winning format very difficult. Horsepower has once more put the spotlight on the talent of Quebec creators. Congratulations to Isabelle Laperrière for her very promising format, as well as to all the other participants. We are happy to partner with Media Ranch to develop and promote our local expertise internationally” highlighted Christine Maestracci, Vice President, Acquisitions and International Distribution, Quebecor Content.

Over 80 applicants entered the competition and eight finalists (5 women, 3 men) were chosen to participate in Horsepower 2.0 with the goal to create eight fresh formats for broadcast and distribution. Formats created by remaining candidates may also be developed and distributed. Phil Kalin-Hajdu, Media Ranch’s Head of Content & Storytelling provided overall project supervision with input from the company’s Amsterdam-based SVP, Tanja Van der Goes, along with Ferron.

FormatEast will represent select Horsepower formats in Asia while Media Ranch takes all territories outside of Asia for select FormatEast properties. The first project is an exchange of formats — the winning HorsePower 1.0 program, dating format Family Tripped, will be developed and shopped by FormatEast, and likewise, Media Ranch will represent a new Asian format Boundary from the creator of South Korea’s hit, Running Man.

Ferron continues: “We are also delighted to partner with S. Korea’s FormatEast, and look forward to representing their new show from the creator of Running Man, while they take the HorsePower 1.0 winning format, Family Trip, and other HorsePower formats around Asia.  Media Ranch continues to be the go-to company for content creators, producers, and broadcasting platforms — attracting and fostering the best talent in the world.”

Il Joong Kim, Executive Director of FormatEast says: “FormatEast is the subsidiary of the major South Korean Broadcaster SBS, driving the big success of Running Man in China and Asia. Following the massive success of The Masked Singer, South Korean Creativities are receiving growing attention internationally, and FormatEast aims to distribute such creativities around the world. Media Ranch’s HorsePower and FormatEast are companies founded around the same time in two completely different continents. They share highly identical visions and values, which offers FormatEast a great privilege of having HorsePower as one of its partners. Korean Creators are very much anticipating such a partnership model of the two companies.”