Canada’s Sophie Ferron and India’s Sunita Uchil strengthen format association’s global scale and reach
Amsterdam, September 7, 2020
FRAPA, the Format Recognition and Protection Association, has announced the appointment to two new advisory board members from Quebec and India, taking the number of territories represented by its board and ambassadors to 12.
Joining the advisory board this month are Sophie Ferron, president and founder of Canada’s leading unscripted player Media Ranch, and Sunita Uchil, executive vice-president of Indian media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE). Both executives bring decades of global experience to the FRAPA community, alongside extensive knowledge of their local format ecosystems.
With more than 30 years of format production, development and international distribution experience, Ferron helped to pioneer the Canadian unscripted formats business. She started out as Endemol’s French-Canada agent, before founding Media Ranch in 2008 to focus on the creation and sale of unscripted IP. Today, her company has 150-plus formats on its books, including IP from, among others, DR, FormatEast, TV Asahi, ICM Partners, Ubisoft and Trace South Africa Studios, as well as its own original IP. Media Ranch also creates and adapts premium unscripted IP for every major territory, fosters new storytelling talent through its annual Horsepower incubator and, with offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Warsaw, acts as bridge between the North American and European format communities. Internationally, Ferron serves as a business and government-affairs consultant, is a regular speaker at key industry events, including MIPTV, MIPCOM and SXSW, and serves as a judge for the International Emmy Awards, the Rose d’Or Awards and the International Format Awards. She also sits on the board of CACE (Canadian Association of Content Exporters).
Sunita Uchil is a career media professional with over 25 years experience in the TV, radio and print industries, and a vast working knowledge across sectors. She has worked at Zee TV for several years, rising through the ranks to become executive vice-president, responsible for the Indian media giant’s international co-productions and content development. A savvy executive with an entrepreneurial mindset, she is skilled in building new divisions and growing existing ones — a talent that led her to be named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s 20 most powerful women in global television in 2016. A sought-after panellist at industry events, including MIPCOM, ATF and NATPE, Uchil’s numerous career highlights include exec producing ZEE’s first global blue-chip documentary, Life of Earth from Space; co-producing the African remake of hit Indian drama Deceptive Measures; and overseeing the ZEE/ TelevisaUnivision co-production of culinary travelogue format The Spice Trails. Prior to joining ZEE, Uchil spent a decade working in print media, radio and live-event management in both India and the Middle East. She also serves as a judge for the International Emmy Awards, the International Format Awards and the Golden Trailer Awards, among others.
FRAPA co-chair Phil Gurin, president and CEO of The Gurin Company, said: “These two dynamic women from different regions of the world bring added perspective and insights to our expanding organisation. We were looking to recruit people with a passion for the business of intellectual property — people who care about protecting the creation of content and who are capable of inspiring good business practice. Both Sophie and Sunita share FRAPA’s vision and are committed to helping us create a fairer, safer formats marketplace for our growing global community.”
Sophie Ferron said: “I’m excited to be on FRAPA’s advisory board! Protecting formats and the creative process is paramount to our industry’s success.”
Sunita Uchil said: “The freedom to create and develop ideas into formats while being mindful and conscientious is a habit that FRAPA promotes and zealously guards.”