Paris, July 13, 2017
Federation Kids & Family, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises are pleased to announce the selection of the principal cast members and directors for its premium time-traveling-ballet series, FIND ME IN PARIS. principal photography for the high-budget international co-pro kicked off in Paris this week with recently appointed directors, Matt Bloom and Randall Thorne.
Selected from an international pool of multi-talented actors – selected as much for their acting experience, as for their dancing abilities – leading roles have gone to mostly Canadian and English actors. The starring role of time-traveling ballerina Lena Grisky has been filled by dual Canadian/UK performer Jessica Lord. Jessica’s recent credits include Lola, a British dancer in the multi-award winning dance series from the Family Channel’s hit show The Next Step and Lego Friends, and SyFy’s Paranormal Witness. Playing the role of Jeff, Canadian Castle Rock brings a vast array of dance styles to the show, previously flaunted on Disney’s Descendants and Nickelodeon’s Make it Pop.
Other cast members include: Christy O’Donnel as Henri; Rory J. Saper as Max; Eubha Akilade (BBC#’3 Clique and CBBC’s Lily Watson) as Ines; Hiran Abeysekera, who brings his vast experience in theatre as well as TV to the role of Dash; and Hannah Dodd (face of Burberry model with Romeo Beckham in 2014) as Thea.
FIND ME IN PARIS’ talent pool also extends to the creative and production team: director Matt Bloom previously worked on the beloved series Hank Zipzer while director Randall Thorne’s previous credits include the iconic series Degrassi, Backstage and Make it Pop; creators and Executive Producers Jill Girling and Lori Mather–Welch are also the successful creators of Nickelodeon’s hit series RIDE; and finally, the show is produced by industry veterans David Michel, Zoé Carrera Allaix, Cecile Lauritano and Pascal Breton, along with Co-Executive Producer Leila Smith.
ZDF (Germany) is the leading broadcaster of the series which is being distributed by Cottonwood Media’s sister company Federation Kids & Family and ZDF Enterprises. The show has also been pre-sold to HULU (USA), France Télévisions (France), Disney (France and Italy), ABC (Australia) and VRT (Belgium).
The Cottonwood producers of the show, David Michel, Zoé Carrera & Cécile Lauritano, commented, “We are very excited about the quality and wide array of the acting and directing talent that has joined our superb production team. FIND ME IN PARIS has a perfect mix of US, Canadian and European talent (from directing, scriptwriting and acting), and a timeless, classic backdrop that will make it a universal success. Together with amazing music and dance, this formula is sure to appeal to tween audiences everywhere, especially in the very demanding English-speaking markets.”
Providing insight to the shows cross-family appeal, lead actress Jessica Lord added: « I truly can’t describe how excited I am to be part of this show – and to work both as an actor and a dancer, my two greatest passions! Mixing two of my favourite dance styles, Ballet and Hip Hop, FIND ME IN PARIS is full of mystery, suspense and humour, with an added surprise of time-travel, something everyone can enjoy, tweens and adults alike. »
In a kids TV first, FIND ME IN PARIS will take place against the backdrop, and with the participation, of the world-renowned Garnier Opera House in Paris, which is also a co-producer on the show. Featuring mainly ballet as well as hip hop, the cast will work with both the choreographers from the Garnier, and a world-renowned hip hop collective, ensuring that the dance sequences – central to the heart of the show – will be both authentic and of extremely high standards. The multi-disciplined actors all come to the show with a solid background in dance to further ensure the outstanding artistic level of the show.
FIND ME IN PARIS centers on Lena Grisky, a young dancer (and Princess) poised to become the next young star of the ballet world in 1905. When her boyfriend Henri gives her an old family necklace, it changes everything. How could he know that it was going to send Lena hurling into the twenty first century?! While a frantic Henri does everything he can to find a way to bring her home, Lena does her best to fit into her new world, and even finds herself enjoying it, loving the fashion, the music, and all the new styles of dance. She makes new friends, including her handsome dance partner Max, who also runs an underground hip hop dance crew. Lena has no idea what Henri’s going through to bring her home. And he’s not the only one after her – a trio of rogue misfits called the Time Collectors are hot on her trail and after her timepiece. When Henri arrives to take her home and Max asks her to stay, Lena has to make a decision that will alter the course of her life. What life will she choose?
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