Oz Zombie project wins format competition

07 April, 2014 by Don Groves

Australian multi-platform production company The Feds has won the top prize at the MIP formats international pitch competition in Cannes.

Warner Bros. International Television Production will invest up to €25,000 ($A37,000) to develop Zombie Boot Camp, a hybrid of reality, horror and gameshow.


The format was developed from an original idea by Claire Marshall, The Feds’ associate producer, development.  It's an endurance challenge with 16 contestants in each episode, which envisions how each would survive a Zombie apocalypse.

Two teams compete in a test of skills in everything from skull protection to improvised bullets. The winning team gets immunity while the losers must choose three contestants to face the Zombies.

Two are allowed to escape but the last to reach the escape hatch will be “eaten.” In the finale the remaining two will face 200 Zombies, including their old team members.

Marshall and The Feds' head of content Lisa Gray made the pitch to TV delegates in Cannes, beating four other finalists from Italy, Spain and Ireland on Sunday.

The judges included Nick Emmerson, CEO of the UK’s Ricochet, Taco Ketelaar, senior VP, prime time entertainment of Germany’s Sat.1, Sandra Kleinfeld, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s director of development, studio and unscripted Content, and Cathrine Wiernik, head of development and format acquisitions of Sweden’s TV4.

“This win is a testament to the rich and diverse content that is coming out of Australia right now and The Feds are proud to be taking our innovation globally with such a supportive development partner in Warner Bros.,” said The Feds’ founder and director of content and broadcast Lizzy Nash.

Last October The Feds secured funding from Screen Australia’s enterprise program, which assists producers to develop a stronger presence in the international marketplace.

The company has produced two series of Stay Tuned, a factual entertainment music show aimed primarily at 8-to-12-year-olds, for ABC3.

“This year's finalists showed a great variety of original and entertaining ideas and they all did a brilliant job pitching to our jury, “ said Andrew Zein, WB International TV Production Senior VP, creative, format development and sales.

“Zombie Boot camp is definitely a unique idea. We look forward to working with The Feds on developing their format further for the international market."

Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner is receiving the Médaille d’Honneur award at the Cannes market.