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everyday reuters’ journalists will report science in the making A 6x52’ series

contact: 20/02/2019 15:56





ZDFE and Off the Fence make MIPTV debut after January acquisition; A+E execs on cutting through the factual clutter; Balanga brings shocking Catholic church documentary to Cannes; and more...



20 In search of untold stories

From access-based series to truecrime exposes, factual continues to deliver gripping and insightful storytelling. We meet the commissioners and find out what they want next



French Loving from O2B Films for Canal+, directed by Audrey Valtille, and brought to MIPDoc by About Premium Content


24 Paying for reality

Co-production remains the backbone of factual finance, but the range and choice of financial options is growing by the year

28 Better than fiction

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Proof that real life can be just as spellbinding as drama is confirmed by the growing demand for content exploring science, technology, current affairs, crime and investigation




Multiplatform content from around the world on sale at MIPDoc and onwards at MIPTV


TIPS & SERVICES DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS Paul Zilk MARKETING DIRECTOR Mathieu Regnault EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT E d it o r in C hie f Julian Newby D eputy E d it o r Debbie Lincoln S ub E d it o r Joanna Stephens C o n tr ib ut o r s Andy Fry, Juliana Koranteng, Joanna Stephens E d it o r ia l M a na g em en t Boutique Editions H ea d o f G r a phic S tud io Herve Traisnel G r a phic S tud io M a na g er Frederic Beauseigneur G r a phic D e s igner Carole Peres PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT P ub l i s hing D ir ect o r Martin Screpel P ub l is hing M a na g e r Amrane Lamiri P ub l is hing c o - o r d ina t o r s Yovana Filipovic, Emilie Lambert P r in t er Riccobono Imprimeurs, Le Muy (France) MANAGEMENT & SALES TEAM D ir ect o r o f the E n t er ta inm en t D ivs io n Jerome Delhaye D ir ect o r o f the T el e vis io n D ivs io n Laurine Garaude M I P C OM C o n f er enc e D ir ect o r Lucy Smith D ir ect o r o f M a r k e t D e v el o pm en t Ted Baracos P r o gr a m m e D ir ect o r Tania Dugaro D ir ect o r o f the B uy er s ’ D epa r tm en t Benedicte Touchard Marketing Director Bastien Gave Executive Producer, Conferences Julie Lechenault T V D ivs io n S a l es D ir ect o r Geraud de Lacombe D ir ect o r U K S a l es M us ic & T V D ivs io n Javier Lopez S V P S a l es & B us ines s D e v el o pm en t Robert Marking V P S a l es Louis Hillelson S a l es D ir ect o r Manual da Sousa D ir ect o r o f V is it o r s S a l es North and Latin America Matthew Rosenstein S a l es M a na g er Noah Buchwald S a l es M a na g er Hugo della Motta S a l es D ir ec t o r Sylvain Faureau S a l es D ir ect o r Aude Dionnet S a l e s R egio na l D ir ect o r Nathalie Gastone S a l es M a na g er s Paul Barbaro, Nancy Denole, Samira Haddi, Cyril Szczerbakow, Hicran Lefort, Pascale Lallemand Head of Sales, Buyers Yi-Ping Gerard Sales Manager, Buyers Eve Gualbert-Galvis Sales Executive, Buyers Laetitia Rouis-Carrero Australia and New Zealand Representative Natalie Apostolou China Representatives Anke Redl, Tammy Zhao, Kristian Kender CIS Representatives Alexandra Modestova G er m a n y Representative Marc Wessel India Representative Anil Wanvari Japan Representative Lily Ono Middle-East Representative Bassil Hajjar Spain Representative Maria Jose Vadillo South Korea Representative Sunny Kim Taiwan Representative Irene Liu Reed MIDEM, a joint stock company (SAS), with a capital of €310.000, 662 003 557 R.C.S. NANTERRE, having offices located at 27-33 Quai Alphonse Le Gallo 92100 BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT (FRANCE), VAT number FR91 662 003 557. Contents © 2019, Reed MIDEM Market Publications. Publication registered 1st quarter 2019. ISSN 1963-2266 / ISSN 2108 4246. Printed on PEFC Certified Paper


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MIPTV stand no. P-1.L2, P-1.M1

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Cele rating factual s new golden era MIPDoc marks “the first celebratory coming out” of Off the Fence following its acquisition by ZDFE in January of this year. Off the Fence’s Ellen Windemuth and ZDFE’s Ralf Rueckauer spoke to Julian New y ahead of their MIPDoc Showcase

IN JANUARY of this year ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German state broadcaster ZDF, based in Mainz, acquired 100% of Amsterdamand London-based factual production and distribution company Off the Fence (OTF) and 50% of its SVOD business The WaterBear Network. “What that means is that the two companies are working very closely together but we’re not merging operations or staff or catalogue,” OTF founder, owner and CEO Ellen Windemuth said. “We are simply enhancing one another’s market reach and we are collaborating in the places where we can maximise business for both parties.” “That is very important because many people, especially production companies, ask us now if anything will change dramatically and we can say: ‘No, your partners at both companies will be the same as they used to be and the way of working with both companies is the same as before’,” vice-president, unscripted, ZDFE, Ralf Rueckauer said. “Both brands will still be around, but of course we will be looking for synergies in various ways and we will want to try and make things easier for our partners where possible.” Specifically, Rueckauer said, OTF “has a very attractive production arm in Bristol which has a very good network with mostly North American and British channels and partners. That is very attractive for us to have a more direct link into the English-speaking world than we had as a simple

distribution company.” He added: “The WaterBear element of the deal strengthens our presence in the SVOD market too.” For Windemuth, ZDFE has “strong expertise in history which we value very highly, and for us at OTF, besides having complementary skills to ZDFE and a comparably well-respected brand, we like very much the proximity to the public broadcaster ZDF as well as its many channels, because we do a lot of business there.” She added: “It was quite a no-brainer to be honest. When it all happened we thought, ‘Why didn’t we think about this years ago?’” Rueckauer said that while ZDFE has been “solid in the field of specialist factual” for over two decades, the market did become difficult for a while as big markets including the US and the UK “went more local. But what we feel now is there is a certain swing back and audiences are increasingly longing for these quality specialist factual programmes which inform you about things that you’ve always wanted to know, that are visually stunning and entertaining way without being dumbed-down,” he said: “And more and more players are appearing — for example CuriosityStream [John Hendricks’ non-fiction subscription VOD streaming service] who were in the news recently for investing more money into factual programming.” “A lot of the platforms are coming back around to factual,” Windemuth said. “A lot of them MIPDOC PREVIEW

the ence s Ellen


ZD E s Ralf Rueckauer

moved away from it for a while. We never did and ZDFE never did. So I think that ZDFE and OTF are in for a very healthy period because we never changed our tune. Both companies have all the reason in the world to be optimistic — and companies like our distribution partner Smithsonian are producing a lot of fac6

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tual programming and they are launching channels. So I believe this is a renewed golden era for factual programming.” • The ZDFE/Off the Fence keynote and content showcase is on Sunday, April 7, at 15.30 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott



Cu ng through the factual clu er A + E N etw or ks pr esen ts i ts f ac tu al pr og r ami n g de v el opme n t a n d international co roduction strategy during a MIPDoc keynote and showcase. E e ecuti es s oke to Julian ewby ahead of the e ent

Elaine rontain Bryant

MIPDOC presents an opportunity to hear from executives at A+E Networks about their activities in factual content, international co-production and live programming. A strategic update on A+E Networks factual programming is currently focusing on premium documentaries by premium directors and during the showcase delegates will have the opportunity to see clips of some of A+E’s most recent shows and exclusive previews of upcoming series. Elaine Frontain Bryant is executive vice-president and head of programming at A&E Networks, where she manages the A&E programming team and is responsible for overseeing the development, creation and execution of all programming for the network. Frontain Bryant said one area the company is developing is live. This following the success of Live PD, which shines a light on policing in America by showing law enforcement on duty in real time. Incorporating dash cams along with fi ed-rig and handheld

Mary E Donahue

cameras, the series captures the work of urban and rural police forces on a typical Friday night. The host, veteran journalist Dan Abrams, gives insight into what viewers are seeing in real time. “We are exploring more ways to be culturally relevant via live programming,” she said. “We have several series in development we think are quite exciting.” Frontain Bryant added that the company is also well positioned to exploit the growing number of outlets for high-end documentaries and factual series. “A&E has been creating groundbreaking documentary series like Intervention, The First 48, Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath without missing a beat for over a decade,” she said. “We also just re-launched our award-winning Biography franchise and are working with ama ing filmmakers on new films in the high-end documentary space.” Mary E Donahue, senior vice-president, development and programming for History, spoke of a crowded marketplace for

Patrick ien



premium factual content, but one which A+E has managed to navigate successfully for a decade. “In the 10 years I’ve been lucky enough to be with the A+E Networks family — most of them with History — mega-docs like America: The Story Of Us; Presidents At War; Men Who Built America; Jesus: His Life; Gettysburg; and our upcoming Grant And The Civil War, have allowed us to tell stirring and compelling stories in history in an informative, fresh and exciting way,” she said. “These tend to cut through a cluttered marketplace to attract passionate factual viewers — and they feel like family events.” Donahue said she believes that audiences will always seek out quality. “At a time when so much is questioned and ‘alternative fact’ is a phrase sometimes heard, a premium documentary which is scrupulously researched and presented in a fair and balanced way renews an audience s confidence in information. Which is why I believe the genre is emerging so strongly worldwide.” She added: • March

“In a time of heightened tension and questioning of ‘fact’ and in the constant bombardment of instant information, some of it questionable, a high-end documentary that is scrupulously presented is reassuring to an audience that wants to believe and trust in brands and in truthful, factual presentations of the past and present.” Donahue and Frontain Bryant will be joined at the showcase by Patrick Vien, executive managing director, international at A+E Networks where he oversees all of A+E’s businesses throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Vien leads the programming strategy, acquisitions and production for all TV channels outside the US and oversees international marketing. He also oversees the global content sales group with activities across 220 territories. • The MIPDoc A+E showcase is on Saturday, April 6 at 16.45 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott hotel


L o v i n g th e F r en c h F r an

c e i s Cou n tr y Of H on ou r — a n d F r en c h L ov i n g , th e minute documentary film by French director udrey altille is the MIPDO World Premiere Screening. he film e amines the world’s lo e hate relationshi with France and its eo le of the complex relationship between France and the rest of the world, a story where stereotypes say as much about the French as about the people and coun- t r i e s who perpetuate them. The film is directed by Audrey Valtille, who started out as a ournalist and moved from radio to television and ultimately to film er work ranges from popular culture and politics to world affairs. Valtille wrote the film with e ecutive pro-

ducer Olivier de Bannes. nd while the film is rich in humour and irony, the premise for French Loving has a serious element: November 13, 2015. After the terrible attacks that hit Paris, it was as though all these French sterotypes had never existed as the whole world expressed its solidarity in red, white and blue.

“The whole world expressed its solidarity in red, white and blue” They sang the Marseillaise at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at Wembley Stadium in London. Madonna sang La Vie En Rose during a concert in Stockholm. In Moscow, Seoul and ei ing, owers, candles and messages of support were placed in front of the French embassies. The great monuments of the world were illuminated with French colours — the


S te p h a n e M a n e l

FRANCE is the most visited tourist destination in the world. It is the land of romance, gastronomy and the arts. People the world over love France. So why in the media, in humour, in world culture is the country — or at least its people so ilified Many stereotypes are assigned to the French — stereotypes that are reaffirmed in ournalism, Hollywood movies, TV series and commercials. But as much as France and the French seem to be disliked around the world, France arouses love and passion in everyone. French Loving is a documentary that reveals the origins of these French stereotypes stylish film featuring the views and opinions of the famous, with references to history, current affairs and pop culture, it builds a picture of France and its people that questions, contradicts or explains this dichotomy. It tells the story


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Sydney Opera House, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the city hall in Tel Aviv, Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower, and the brand new One World Trade Center in Manhattan — the whole world, draped in the tricolor, was united in an unprecedented expression of love for France. The November 2015 attacks are the starting point of French Loving, as the Charlie Hebdo attack was the conclusion of Valtille’s film that came before it s French Bashing. French Loving is effectively a continuation of the first film French Loving promises humour and analysis and the use of strong cultural references — Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter books, played by Clemence oesy in the films ames Bond girls wrapped in the tricolor the ne er-ending success of the musical Les Miserables in London and on Broadway... French Loving is everywhere and expressed here through the voice of French actor, television director and humorist ean Duardin and the striking graphics of Stephane Manel. The names engaged to tell the story represent the greats of pop culture and politics from around the world including ick agger, ohn erry, Sofia oppola, harrell Williams, Asghar Farhadi, Paul McCartney, Bradley Cooper, arl agerfeld, atalie ortman, ane Fonda, Ren o iano, es Anderson, Placido Domingo and many more. French Loving is produced by O2B Films for Canal+ and presented at MIPDoc by distributor About Premium Content (APC). • The MIPDOC World Premiere TV Screening is on Sunday, April 7 at 17.30 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott Hotel


he Se Sla es In he atholic hurch is a two art documentary film that e osed the se ual abuse of nuns by catholic riests around the world. er some three years of in estigation during which time the filmmakers contacted the atican with their findings the Po e finally s oke on the scandal ust one month before its March br oa d c as t. J ul ia nN e w b y r epor ts T S S the film that has at last forced the Vatican and ope Francis to come out of their silence riests throughout the world ha e been se ually abusing the nuns under their authority for years These ser ants of the church ha e then found them-

sel es e pelled from their communities and forced to abort when they become pregnant ntil now the priests ha e been protected by the Vatican s own system of ustice histleblowers ha e been ignored and numerous opes ha e come and gone MIPDOC PREVIEW • 1 0

without e er putting a stop to this sla ery big-budget international co-production, the two-part film The Se Sla es n The atholic hurch is produced by RT and aris-based Dream ay roductions t was broadcast on • M a r ch2

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RT , and French channel a haine parlementaire The film pre-sold to RT F and VTF elgium , RTS Serbia , SRF Swit erland and Radio anada ll supported the pro ect from the outset alanga is international distributor bringing the

‘A c fo r C a t c h u

a th h

la m it y e o lic rc h ’

film to Doc and TV “From my point of iew it s a ery important film that shows how crucial independent ournalism and media are in our democracies, and how strongly films can contribute to change our world, alanga president hristophe ochnacki said “ nd our role as distributors is to spread this message as widely as possible The film is made by arie- ierre Raimbault, a filmmaker whose work has always focused on difficult social issues tele ision ournalist ric uintin, who has produced in estigati e reports for most of the ma or broadcast outlets in France and ournalist li abeth Dre illon, who led ne-

gotiations with the Vatican O er three years ago, these three authors proposed to Dream ay roductions ric olomer, a pro ect focusing on the de iant and illegal se ual beha iour of men of the atholic church Their iew was that, with many churchmen now known to ha e se ually abused children, why would the nuns be spared their abuse of power The Dream ay roductions team began to collect the testimonies of nuns and e idence of reports on this issue hidden by the Vatican “Se eral elements made our task ery comple , olomer said “These women, who are the ictims of the priests, belong to the MIPDOC PREVIEW • 1 1


ay Production s Eric Colomer

hurch They ha e de oted their li es to od and were schooled in obedience to the religious institution and its cult of secrecy e added “These nuns are sub ect to the power of priests t was therefore e tremely difficult to identify those that we could con ince to break the silence, to free themsel es from their fear and to publicly confront the atholic institution Some sisters, mothers superior and priests, ha e supported us in this task, but it took a lot of patience and persuasion to con ince them to help us t the time of e Too and a worldwide mo ement of mobilisation against the abuses perpetrated against women, the systemic se ual iolence committed on the nuns “is a calamity for the atholic hurch , olomer said e belie es the ope speaking out on this issue will not lead to radical change “The only way out would be to attack the causes of the e il that is eating away at it and to initiate radical reforms such as the ordination of women, the issue of celebacy and the denunciation of abusi e priests to ci il ustice ut for the time being, the ope is simply referring to isolated cases of abuse of nuns, which he belie es should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis The Titanic sinks and its captain bails with a small spoon • M a r ch2

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• The Sex Slaves In The Catholic Church features in The French Touch showcase of factual programming from France, part of the Country Of Honour programme of events. The French Touch showcase is on Sunday, April 7 at 12.30 in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott hotel

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RALF RUECKAUER Vice President ZDFE.unscripted ZDF Enterprises



DANNY HORAN Head of Factual Channel 4

6-7 April 2019, JW Marriott, Cannes


KATIE BUCHANAN Creative Director Sundog Pictures



MIKE GUNTON Creative Director, Factual and Natural History Unit BBC Studios and BBC

Presented by About Premium Content


8.30-9.00, PRODUCERS’ HUB

8.30-10.00, PRODUCERS’ HUB

NEW VISITORS’ PRESENTATION Meet us in the Lobby at 8.30


9.30-10.00, GRAND THEATRE


FACTUAL TRENDS - A GLOBAL OVERVIEW In association with K7 Media

10.15-11.30, GRAND THEATRE

10.15-10.45, GRAND THEATRE


TALENT BEHIND THE SCENES: MIKE GUNTON, BBC STUDIOS AND BBC Presenting the World Screen Factual Trendsetter Award

Followed by Meet the Pitchers

11.45-12.15, PRODUCERS’ HUB

11.00-12.15, GRAND THEATRE

Followed by Meet the Pitchers


12.30-14.30, MAJESTIC HOTEL

By registration



12.30-13.00, GRAND THEATRE



Sponsored by PBS International

14.30-15.00, PRODUCERS’ HUB






Followed by Snack lunch 13.00-14.00 In partnership with TV France International and LaScam



14.15-14.45, PRODUCERS’ HUB

Speaker to be announced DOC

15.15-15.45, PRODUCERS’ HUB




14.50-15.20, PRODUCERS’ HUB



16.00-16.30, PRODUCERS’ HUB



15.30-16.15, GRAND THEATRE DOC

16.45-17.15, GRAND THEATRE





17.30-18.00, GRAND THEATRE




Presented by About Premium Content 18.30-20.30, MAJESTIC HOTEL


THE MIPFORMATS & MIPDOC HAPPY HOUR! Open to all registered participants

MIPDoc thanks its Sponsors & Partners Programme as of February 22, 2019. Subject to change.

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Visit for regular updates.

22/02/2019 16:20

product news

H er e w e look a t some of th e f ac tu al pr og r a mi n g rb ou g h t to Can n es b y c omp a n i es f r om la ov er th e w or ld na d on sa l e a t MIPDOC a n d on w a r ds a t MIPT V CINEFLIX RIGH TS

AMC STUDIOS ON THE documentary slate from AMC Studios are: Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America (6 x 60 mins), in which artists deconstruct iconic tracks that had a big impact on them; Ministry Of Evil: The Twisted Cult Of Tony Alamo (4 x 60 mins), which traces the rise and fall of the evangelical couple and subsequent cult leaders, Susan and Tony Alamo; Ride With Norman Reedus (24 x 60 mins), a travel show featuring The Walking Dead star and avid motorcycle rider who travels with various companions; and Jonestown: Terror In The Jungle (4 x 60 mins), about Jim Jones’ transformation from charismatic preacher and champion of civil rights into an egomaniacal demagogue who led the biggest Hip Hop The Songs That Shook mass suicide in American history. America AMC Studios

LEGENDS Of The Deep (4 x 60 mins) features Celine and Fabien Cousteau, the new generation of the legendary sea-exploring family, as they dive deep to investigate some of the greatest ocean riddles of all time, including: a mammoth 40-yearold wreck near Cyprus; a dive to investigate one of the best documented UFO sightings in history in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia; and exploring the legend of a sea serpent lurking in the depths in the Great Blue Legends f The Deep Cine ix Rights Hole of Belize.


DRG DRG’s factual slate at MIPTV is led by The Oslo Killing, a six-hour true-crime series that examines an unsolved murder. In 1974, Anni Nielsen Iranzo was murdered in Oslo. Initially, police focused their investigation on male suspects, including her husband. However, the only witness, Anni’s four-year-old daughter Maria, said she saw a woman sitting on her mother’s legs, which led to Minna Treadwell Thompson, Anni’s husband’s mistress, becoming the main suspect. By this time Minna was home in America and has never been extradited. This series follows Maria’s journey from her home in Argentina to find justice for her mother. The slo Killing DR

JANSON Media brings new feature documentary The Creepy Line to MIPTV. The current affairs investigative documentary reveals how much power Google and Facebook wield over society. Offering first-hand accounts, scientific experiments and detailed analysis, the film examines what is at risk when tech titans are able to utilise the public’s private and personal data. Featuring interviews with Jordan B Peterson, Robert Epstein, Peter Schweizer, Brad Shear and Luther Lowe, a one-hour version is available from the New-York-headquartered Janson Media.

Jordan Peterson in The Creepy Line Janson Media

MEDIAWAN ON THE occasion of its 60th anniversary in 2020, the European football championship will take place in some of the most legendary stadiums in Europe. Due later this year, Megastadium (6 x 52 mins) looks at the challenges of building these megastructures, and is brought to Cannes by France’s Mediawan, formally AB International.

Megastadium Mediawan


TERRANOA NEW PROGRAMMES showcased in Cannes by Paris-based Terranoa include: science series Human +, Taking Our Senses To The Next Level (5 x 52 mins); a rare intimate portrait of writer Salman Rushdie, Death On A Trail, 30 years after the publication of The Satanic Verses; and Planet Chefs (8 x 52 mins), about a new chefs whose version of French cuisine meets the flavours of their home countries, including Brazil, Lebanon, Japan, South Africa, Sweden and Italy. Also Decolonisation (3 x 52 min), a co-production by Program33 and AT productions in Belgium for ARTE, is set for delivery at the end of 2019. Death n A Trail Terranoa

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product news



C OLOGNE-based documentary specialist Autentic Distribution comes to Cannes with a number of new titles, including: Call Of The Wild (10 x 45 mins), in which two men explore survival techniques fighting the elements, hunger, thirst and fatigue; Almighty Amazon (1 x 45 mins), which investigates the power of the online giant; and history documentary Sisi: Assassination Of An Empress (1 x 45 mins), which profiles the tragic chain of coincidences by which the Austrian Empress Elisabeth fell victim to an anarchist. Call f The ild Autentic Distri ution

PHOTOS That Changed The World (6 x 60 mins), produced by Touchdown Films for History channel, takes a look at the past century by examining powerful and defining photographs. Each episode focuses on two photographs, exploring the events of the day, the images themselves, their subsequent circulation and the world’s reaction to them, using archive, stills and exclusive interviews.

J AVA FILMS F AV ELA Frontlines looks at the ba le between police and drug tra ckers in Brazil. Interspersed with the stories are interviews with judges, journalists, favela residents and historians. Further documentaries from France’s Java Films include: Soyalism, which follows the industrial production chain of pork, from China to Brazil through the US and Mozambique, and describes the enormous concentration of power in the hands of giant corporations; Sunken Eldorado: The Underwater Gold Rush , about the numerous shipwrecks that still contain precious cargoes; and Worlds Of Ursula K. Le Guin, looking at the life and legacy of F a v el a F r o n tl ines ( J a v a F il m s ) the late feminist author.

ZD F ENTERPRISES ( Z DFE) AMONG the factual titles brought to Cannes by DFE are: Just Animals (10 x 50 mins), which looks at a range of creatures, their physical a ributes, sensory perceptions and communication skills; Planet Of Volcanoes (1 x 50 mins), which looks at the people and wildlife that live alongside volcanoes; and Cirque De Soleil O , the latest show by the creative acrobatic company which is inspired by the concept of infinity and the elegance of water.

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LAGARDERE STUDIOS DISTRIBUTION LAGARDERE is launching two new factual crime and investigation series in Cannes. In Clandestino (6 x 52 mins) Spanish investigative journalist and war correspondent David Beriain meets with some of the most dangerous mobs and criminal armed groups around the world, including the Albanese Mafia and the heirs of Pablo Escobar. Deadly Souls (6 x 45 mins) explores the background to famous serial killers, looking at what drives them to kill. A former US police captain alongside a renowned British forensic psychologist re-examine case files of killers, including Israel Keyes, Wolfgang Beate’ Schmidt, Joanne Dennehy and Guy Georges. Clandestino Lagardere Studios Distri ution

Z ED F RANC E’s ed is in Cannes with a special focus on scientific programmes, including Pyramids: Solving The Mystery (6 x 47 mins). Granted exceptional permission by the Egyptian authorities, the crew filmed archeological sites by drone. The aerial footage is used to explore how it was possible to build such complex structures nearly 5,000 years ago. Featuring CGI and VF , The Prehistoric World (1 x 52 90 mins) is a 4K film that brings the ancient world back to life to explore five important extinction events in Earth’s history. Also, following the tsunami in Indonesia, ed obtained exclusive access to the UN team of tsunami hunters and is currently producing a documentary for ARTE France that will reconstruct previous tsunamis in order to predict future events. P y r a m id s : S o l ving T heM y s t er y ( Z ed ) • M a r ch2

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product news



PARIS -based producer and distributor APC is scaling up its factual output, and launches documentary special Moon Wars (1 x 52 mins) at MIPTV. The science special for ARTE explores the political, economic, ecological and strategic challenges that humans will have to face in their desire to extend their influence to the moon and beyond. The stepping stone to any future missions to Mars, a land of opportunity for a new kind of investor and with new sources of energy and resources, the conquest of the moon has already started. APC is also debuting documentary series French Bashing French Loving (2 x 52 mins) in Cannes, which takes a light-hearted look at the stereotypes associated with French people as depicted in the press and Hollywood movies.

C O- PRODU C ED by Earth Touch and Smithsonian Channel, Fishing For Giants (3 x 50 mins) is hosted by extreme fisherman Andy Coetzee who travels the world searching for elusive fish, including the Nile perch with its giant maw, the dogtooth tuna and the giant barracuda with razor-sharp teeth. The series is brought to Cannes by Washington DC-, Durban- and F is hingF London-based Earth Touch.




HG DIS TRIBU TI ON returns to MIPDoc with World Laughs (20 x 60 mins), a global journey to explore where, why and how people laugh. The uebec-based distributor also highlights Earth: Seen From The Heart (1 x 90 mins), in which Hubert Reeves and Frederic Lenoir are joined by scientists, writers and artists to sound the warning that biodiversity is under threat. The film features testimonies of people moving from environmental thinking to environmental action.

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LI TTLE White and Li le Grey are two beluga whales who were captured as youngsters and for the last 10 years have been performing together in Changfeng Ocean World in China. The new owners of the park are commi ed to returning them to the ocean. The Whales That Flew Home (1 x 60 mins) brought to Cannes by the UK’s Magnify Media is the story of their release. The logistics are fraught with danger and hugely expensive, but the hope is that they will be to be the first of many releases.

orld Laughs H Distri ution

BRISTOW GLOBAL MEDIA ( BGM) C LEARED F or Chaos 9 / 1 1 (2 x 6 0 mins) , p roduced by Canada’ s BG M in association with TCB Media Rights, Bell Media’s Discovery Networks (Canada) and National Geographic, profiles the extraordinary story of a group of air tra c controllers operating in the small Canadian town of Gander, Newfoundland, when on September 11, 2001 4,500 planes were in the air over North America as a second jet hit the World Trade Center. Some 400 planes are flying westbound across the Atlantic, and another 167 are past the point of no return and must land immediately.

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NEW DOCS THE LI NE- u p from German documentary distributor New Docs includes: Defender Of The Faith (1 x 90 mins), which investigates the structures of the Vatican under Pope Benedict VI, that systematically obstructed investigations a ith( N e w D o cs ) into cases of child sexu- D e f end er O f T heF al abuse in the Catholic church; The Unknown Life Of Antarctica (1 x 90 mins 52 mins), about King George Island, where different nations operate research stations located in stunning scenery; and 1979 Big Bang Of The Present (1 x 90 mins 2 x 45 mins), which examines events from 1979 that continue to influence the world the breakdown of communism, the rise of market economics and the power of politicised religion. The project is in production and looking for co-production partners and pre-sales. • M a r ch2

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ARTE DISTRIBUTION ARTE Distribution brings 35 new titles to Cannes, including 10 in 4K. Highlights include 700 Sharks, a night-time immersion into the largest pack of sharks in the world, using state-of-the-art filming. Other new wildlife films including Surviving In The Lagoon, a family-friendly story about a li le fish who survives against all odds, and Killer Ki y, a look at the killer instincts of the domestic cat. ARTE also brings three new ancient-history titles: The True Story Of King Tut’s Treasure, an investigation with unprecedented access to the treasure itself; Saving Egypt’s Temples, a look at the most spectacular rescues of Egypt’s emblematic temples; and The Illiad, a 10 x 26 mins sequel to the series Great Greek Myths.

THE F RENC H-language documentary roster f rom Paris-based Cinexp ort includes: Betsileo, V illage Chronicle In The Country Of Lemurs (1 x 52 mind/ HD), the story of a traditional village with a community of lemurs living in a cemetery; Hippocrate’s Desert (1 x 52 mins), an investigation into problems facing medical care in the north of France; and Well-Known And Unknown Cities, a travel series that explores cities off the usual tourist paths.

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PASSION DISTRIBUTION AMONG the factual titles brought to Cannes by the UK’s Passion Distribution is One Hour That Changed The World: The Moon Landing (1 x 60 mins), a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. The film begins with the momentous event, before rewinding the clock to explore the preceding dramatic sixty minutes in detail. The film reveals that the moon landing almost didn’ t hap p en due to system f ailures, accidents and bad luck. One Hour That Changed The World: The Moon Landing f ocuses on the heroism of the astronauts and the ingenuity of the team back in Houston, who overcame these setbacks and successfully landed a man on the moon.

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A JOI NT venture between Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks, in association with Plimsoll Productions, brings what they describe as a natural-history docu-soap, Big Cat Country (6 x 60 mins 4K HD), to the international market. Commissioned for Love Nature 4K, the series will air on its linear and streaming video pla orms internationally and via Smithsonian Channel in the US. Shot in ambia’s Luangwa Valley, one of the most remote and brutal wildernesses in Africa, the series takes an in-depth look at three dynasties of lions that are poised on the edge of collapse. Nathan Pilcher, a native of ambia with a unique knowledge and understanding of this cat family has been filming in the country for more than 15 years.

UH D LAB PRODUCTION U HD LAB Production is launching documentary series Mystic Reality (10 x 26 mins) in Cannes. The series focuses on places that at first glance are unremarkable but are in fact locations where mystical events took place, and in some cases continue to occur and often had a direct relationship with real historical characters. The series includes re-enactment scenes.

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SPANIS H-G erman distributor 3 Boxmedia brings the second season of the science-travel series Children Of The Stars (10 x 5 mins 4K) to Cannes. It f ollows a jo urney f rom Patagonia to North Canada that reveals a number of mysteries and wonders, including the northern lights, volcanoes that reveal the origins of life, ancient civilisations and glaciers that show the future of water on the planet. Other titles include: Saliega’s Ki ens, The Return Of The Iberian Lynx (1 x 48 mins HD), about the most endangered feline in the world; The Magic Forest Of Spain (1 x 50 mins); I Am The Revolution, about the fight for gender equality and freedom in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria; and One Girl, that follows four young girls for one day in South Sudan, Romania, Palestine and Finland.

TI TLES brought to Cannes by R ai Com include The Passion Of Anna M agnani, a portrait of the great Italian actress, an icon of world cinema; Baikanour, Earth, a film about Kazakhstan; and Seven Women, a documentary profiling Rosita Missoni, co-founder of fashion house Missoni; Rula Jabreal, a Palestinian journalist; Patricia Field, costume designer; Bethann Hardison, an Afro-American top model and civil rights activist; Susanne Bartsch and Alba Clemente, New York artists; and Fran Dresher, an actress.

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PARIS -based distributor Prime E ntertainment G roup comes back to Cannes with a new line-up , including: two biop ics, F ritz Bauer: A Prosecutor Against Nazism (1 x 2 6 mins) and Bessie Coleman: F irst Black W oman Aviatrix (1 x 52 mins) ; E insatzgrup p en: The Nazi D eathsqu ads (4 x 52 mins); feature documentary Melting Souls (1 x 90 mins); and Love And Sex In Maghreb (1 x 52 mins), a poignant investigation into the taboos of love, sex and women’ s op p ression in North Af rican society and including exclusive interviews with single mothers and coup les sentenced to p rison for showing affection in public.

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THE F AC TU AL catalogue from PBS International includes: Sex Tra cking (1 x 60 mins working title), a Frontline investigation into the lucrative sex tra cking industry across the US and the efforts under way to combat it; and Next Pompeii, In The Shadow Of Vesuvius And Pompeii (1 x 60 mins HD), about a lesser-known volcano Campi Flegrei that puts millions of residents in the city of Naples at risk. The documentary investigates the possibility that an innovative warning system might prevent Naples becoming the next Pompeii.

KEW MEDIA DISTRIBUTION A C ANNES p riority f or London-based Kew Media is Leaving Neverland, a Channel 4 and HBO co-production by director D an R eed, a two-p art documentary about the exp eriences of two young boys who were both bef riended by Michael Jackson and later said that they were sexually abused. They and their f amilies were entranced by the singer’ s Leaving Neverland Kew Media Distri ution fairy-tale existence as his career reached its peak. Through extensive interviews Leaving Neverland explores their accusations and the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences.



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ALBATROSS WORLD SALES ALB ATROSS World Sales’ MIPDoc lineup includes: Going Nuts Tales From The Squirrel World (1 x 52 mins 4K), which portrays the amazing abilities of squirrels to survive in a diverse range of habitats, including cities, deserts, rainforests, mountains and even the Arctic; Magical Iceland (1 x 52 mins 4K), G o ingN ut s – T a l es F r o m T he which explores the challenges for Ice- S q uir r el W o r l d ( A l b a tr o s s W o r l d land’s wildlife; Garibaldi Freedom S a l es ) Fighter And Womanizer (1 x 52 mins HD), which follows the life and loves of the legendary Italian national hero of the War of Independence; and Autumn World Of Colours (1 x 52 mins HD), which depicts a time of dramatic changes and dangers in forests, fields, gardens and parks.

THE PLANETS (5 x 50 mins) is an ambitious series that brings to life the most memorable events in the history of the solar system, by using ground-breaking visual effects. The series reveals how the latest science makes it possible to imagine the development of all the planets, including lost waterfalls on Mars, the mass planetary migrations as they jostled for position, and the distant fate of Saturn as one of its moons awakens to form a beautiful water world. The Planets is a BBC Studios production with Nova and WGBH Boston for BBC and PBS, co-produced by Tencent Penguin Pictures.

DW TRANSTEL REAC HIN G For The Stars (12 x 30 mins) is a documentary series available in HD and 4K, and brought to Cannes by Germany’s DW Transtel. The series profiles the history of space exploration: the space race between the two Cold War superpowers; the 1957 Sputnik 1, the first satellite to go into orbit around Earth; the first manned rocket with Yuri Gagarin; the first moon landing in 1969; and how rivalry has since given way to co-operation with the International Space Station. The series is available in English, SpanR ea ching ish and Arabic.


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B LOOD On The Tracks (1 x 60 mins) is a true-crime documentary unraveling the 30-year-old mystery of a teenage boy found dead in a small country town. The Australian company also brings a one-hour documentary to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, following a Chinese-Australian street artist in exile. F o r T heS

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SOU TH K orea’ s D aehan M ediaworld is introducing two 4 K U HD f actual titles in Cannes. The Underwater Cave, Cenote (1 x 52 mins), is about the sources of water that have great significance to the Mayan people, which they believe are also entrances to the underworld. Cenotes translated as sacred wells provide keys to the unsolved mysteries of the Maya and attract tourists, divers and archaeologists from all over the world. Men And Whales (2 x 52 mins) looks at how the biggest mammals on Earth have inspired humanity and provided sustenance since ancient times.

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ETX EB ARRI , Earth And Fire (1 x 55 mins), explores how in a hidden valley in the Basque Country a chef challenges the rules of modern cuisine. Bittor Arginzoniz believes in using only local produce and his fire. Rising in the early hours he begins preparing the day’s menu for a select group of around 30 people. People from every corner of the world flock to his unique building, transformed from a humble village store into a culinary shrine. The documentary is brought to Cannes by Spain’s Onza Distribution.

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ALBATROSS WORLD SALES ALB ATROSS W orld Sales’ f actual line-up includes: W e Are Half The W orld (2 x 52 mins 1 x 90 mins HD), a docu-drama about the international fight for women’s right to vote, set in the early 1900s; Naked Mole-Rat Nature’s Weirdest Superhero (1 x 52 mins HD), about naked mole rats that live to a very old age, never get cancer and are impervious to pain, and are the subject of investigation by scientists who want to find out how this could benefit modern medicine; Ian Redmond The Ally Of The Cave Elephants (1 x 52 mins 4K), about a unique elephant population that scratches rocks off cave walls with their tusks; and Matsalu Moose Strangers In Bird Paradise (1 x 52 mins 4K), about an important stopover for migrating birds which is also the home of the Matsalu Moose.

NARRATED and presented by Jackie Chan, Yangtze (1 x 90 mins 2 x 60 mins 4K) combines world-class cinematography aerial, underwater, microscopic, time-lapse and super slo-mo shots to profile the legendary river. The journey begins on the freezing inghai-Tibet Plateau. With one third of the Chinese population living on its banks, the river is of vital importance to China’s economic and agricultural life, and this film reveals the geography, fauna, flora and people of the Yangtze. Y a ngtz


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CITVC SEC RETS Of China is a three-ep isode documentary series brought to Cannes by China’ s CITV C, f ocusing on the history of the royal residences of the last two feudal dynasties. The series incorporates footage from two CCTV documentaries — The Summer Palace and The F orbidden City — and adds a global perspective for the international market. The programme showcases the beautiful Chinese garden art at the Summer Palace, and shares the rich stories that took place in the palaces and gardens over centuries and offers audiences exclusive insight into the day-to-day life of the emperors and their families. The programme also delves into the complex history of the Forbidden City, the epicentre of power in ancient China.

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THE C ATALOGU E f rom Parisian distributor Beliane includes: G lobal Thermostat (1 x 52 mins), about scientists testing new geo-engineering technologies to modify the climate on a large scale in an effort to limit the effects of global warming; Growing Up In (3 x 52 mins 4K HD), each episode of which centres around the daily life of a 10- to 14-year-old from a village community; Meeting Nomad Neanderthal (1 x 52 mins 4K HD), looking at enigmatic Neanderthal archaeological traces, studied by English and French archaeologists and anthropologists; and Healing Hearts (1 x 52 mins), about a hospital on the outskirts of Jerusalem where Israeli and Palestinian doctors join forces to save the lives of Palestinian children suffering from deadly congenital heart defects.

STUDIO H AMBURG ENTERPRISES GERMANY ’s Studio Hamburg Enterprises showcases a line-up of factual programmes in Cannes. Included are: Secrets Of The Mediterranean and Christmas Island Realm Of The Robber (1 x 52 mins), both from producer doclights; and current-affairs special Never Again America’s Youth Against Gun Madness (1 x 52 mins), which investigates America’s di cult relationship with gun restrictions and the fight-back from the younger generation agitating for a secure future.

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Wh i le bi g -bu dg et dr ams an d sh i n y en ter tai n me n t f or ma ts continue to generate headlines there’s no question that factual TV pla y s a key r ole i n sc h edu le s. F r om ac c ess-bas ed ser i es to true crime e oses the genre continues to deli er gri ing and insigh ul storytelling. Andy Fry r epor ts


UBLIC broadcasters remain a pillar of the factual business. “The BBC has a unique commitment to factual,” says Alison Kirkham, BBC controller of factual commissioning. “I don’t believe any other broadcaster in British TV has such an extraordinary breadth of output. Our aim is to make programmes that are central to people’s lives. We want to be the home for creatives to do their most personal work, and seek out the untold stories.”

Alison Kirk ham:

“Our aim is to m ak e prog ram m es that are c entral to people’ s liv es” In 2019, Kirkham is continuing to place emphasis on environmental stories — a theme that was also prominent in BBC schedules last year with Blue Planet II and Plastics Watch. Under the banner Protecting MIPDOC PREVIEW • 2 0

Our Planet, she has commissioned programmes including Green Planet (working title), Meat: A Threat To Planet Earth and Population With Chris Packham. Underlining the corporation’s openness to co-production, Green Planet is a partnership with US pubcaster PBS. Using robotics, moving timelapse, super-detail thermal cameras, deep focus ‘frame-stacking’ and ultra-high-speed tech, the series will explore how plants interact with their environments. Programming around “shared • March

cultural experiences” also remains key to Kirkham’s strategy: “We reached over 22 million people with our coverage of the Royal Wedding and 20 million joined us across the weekend commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Later this year, we’ll be covering the moving ceremonies to commemorate D-Day, 75 years on.” The WWII theme is further extended with BBC One’s The olocaust nd e, a film marking the liberation of Belsen; and a BBC Two series exploring the rise of the Nazis. TV personality Robert Rinder — aka Judge Rinder — will look at the wartime experiences of families in the two-part series My Family. This also continues a BBC strategy of attaching known talent to factual series.


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No BBC line-up would be complete without Sir David Attenborough, who will present natural-history landmark One Planet, Seven Worlds later this year. The BBC is also building on the success of its Blue Planet franchise with Blue Planet Live, a series of four live shows broadcasting from the US East Coast, the Bahamas and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Tom McDonald, head of specialist factual and natural history commissioning, says the series “promises to bring spectacular encounters with some of the most extraordinary marine life on the planet”.

co-productions are Blue Planet, Out Of The Cradle: The Migration Of Early Modern Humans, Our Liveable Universe, The Body and Antarctica: The Frozen Time Capsule. NHK’s co-produced one-off docs include Undercover In The AltRight, Newtopia, The Fake Galileo Moon and The Secret Versailles Of Marie-Antoinette. According to an NHK commissioning executive, international event series such as Blue Planet II with the BBC, Deep Ocean with ZDF and other nature and wildlife films perform well in weekend/evening primetime slots, and there is a core audience that welcomes alternatives to the domestic point of view. “But overall,” the commissioner says, “the trend is towards entertaining factual content, featuring popular TV personalities. Younger audiences sometimes prefer less structured storytelling to commentary-heavy series.” NHK is experimenting with various factual entertainment shows in the hope of drawing in younger audiences. Over the last year, Don’t Sleep Through Life and muscle-building series Let’s Kinniku Together! have generated “a wide buzz from the public. We also have a strand called Document 72 Hours, which centres on the fi ed-obser ation of certain limited spaces in a town. A Chinese broadcaster has bought the programme’s format and is de-

Japanese public broadcaster NHK has also underlined its ongoing commitment to factual through a series of event documentaries and support for agship strands orld Documentary, for example, airs four times a week and explores a broad range of subjects, including current affairs, history, science, technology, human interest and health. Priorities include investigative documentaries, heart-warming human stories and experimental series that challenge traditional ways of storytelling. World Documentary handles 100 new titles from foreign filmmakers e ery year Of those, around 90 are acquired and the remainder co-produced. Among NHK’s big-budget


Nat eo s Bernade e McDaid

veloping its own version. Other fi ed-camera formats include Station Piano, Airport Piano and World Taxi.” Still with public broadcasters, France Televisions has just acquired Expedition With Steve Backshall from Fremantle. Made by True to Nature and commissioned by the BBC and UKTV in association with Fremantle, the 10-part adventure series includes world firsts, such as the first descent of a white-water river in the Himalayas and the first trek through une plored jungle in South America. “The combination of real-life adventure and stunning scenery packs a real emotional punch,” says France Televisions commissioning editor Amandine Picault. “The series fits perfectly with our remit to provide strong, intelligent content in a lively, accessible format.” In the Netherlands, meanwhile, Jessica Raspe, deputy commissioning editor at Avrotros, says one of her key priorities is a strand called Close Up. “The slot is exclusively devoted to documentaries about art and design for a broad audience. Our very loyal audience consists of mostly women of age 45 and upwards, though we tend to attract a younger audience with our docs about fashion, and our titles about architecture and photography also attract male audiences.” • March

Avrotros Jessica Raspe

In terms of sourcing content, Raspe says: “We both acquire content and co-produce it. We co-produced a documentary about musician and composer Astor Piazzolla, The Years Of The Shark, by director Daniel Rosenfeld with French producer Ideale Audience. We also co-produced a documentary about Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei with director/producer Pietra Brettkelly from New Zealand, as well as a documentary about Le Corbusier with French director and producer Gilles Coudert.” Irrespective of subject, Raspe says, it’s vital that a story be well told. “We’ve noticed that storytelling, as well a focus on the human-interest part of artists’ lives, has become more important in the past few years,” she adds. “We have tried showing documentaries about younger, less established artists in the past year but, as it turns out, people still tend to prefer watching films about big-name artists.” Public-broadcaster commitment to factual programming is matched by that of the global thematic channels. National Geographic commissioning editor Bernadette McDaid says her company has fi e key requirements for shows: “We’re in 172 countries, so shows have to be global in appeal. In addition, we’re looking for ideas

FEATURE: MEET THE COMMISSIONER S that are ambitious, have the potential to return and work across platforms. Above all, shows must be entertaining and anchored in take-away information — what I call ‘substance with sequins’.”

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“A bov e all, shows m ust be entertaining and anc hored in tak eaway information — what I c all ‘ substanc e with seq uins’” McDaid says factual investment by the streamers has intensified the competition, but she welcomes it: “Competition is exciting for factual television. It means everyone has to bring their A-game.” Among the content areas in which McDaid is currently interested are marquee series, for example One Strange Rock, hosted by Will Smith and The Story Of God, hosted by Morgan Freeman. She adds: “Nat Geo is story-driven, so productions like these always start with the concept and then we look for talent that will fit organically alongside the series. Audiences demand authenticity.” Alongside these blockbuster events, McDaid is in search of what she refers to as “premium host-driven series and premium non-host driven series”. Previously commissioned examples of the former include Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted and The Curiosity Of Jeff Goldblum, a 12-part series in which the actor explores the complex science behind seemingly basic things. “As for the second group, it

Steve Backshall

could be something like archive-based series In Their Own Words or Inside North Korea’s Dynasty,” McDaid says. final priority for at eo is high-volume series, such as Primal Survivor and Drain The Oceans. The latter, a maritime mystery series, is now up to 30 episodes and three series. “It’s a great example of a show that uses the latest technology to tell a story in a way that has never been done before,” McDaid adds. While her remit is centred on commissions, McDaid says Nat eo also has a firm focus on acquisition and co-production opportunities: “We did a great co-pro with Channel 4 called Lost Treasures Of The Maya Snake Kings, which used new scanning technology to reveal buildings hidden by Guatemala’s jungle.” Smithsonian Networks is another factual leader in expansionist mood. In January, it announced a partnership with Blue Ant Media that will see the channel expand its distribution in Asia-Pacific, Turkey, srael, the iddle East and Africa. Under the deal, Blue Ant Media will operate the network’s HD and 4K SVOD platforms, free-to-air and payTV linear services, and branded programming blocks in all the above territories. Executive vice-president David Royle is in charge of programming for Smithsonian NetMIPDOC PREVIEW • 2 2

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works. He says: “We target a broad, diverse, family audience. ike many non-fiction channels, we skew more male, but we really look for programming that encourages co-viewing.” In terms of recent hits, Royle cites “the most ambitious aerial filming pro ect in TV history , Aerial America: “Our helicopter film crew co ered o er , miles — enough to have circled the globe six times. We’ve produced more than 60 episodes of Aerial America and it’s sold all over the world. We’ve launched international versions, including Aerial Ireland and Aerial New Zealand, and we’re planning a Latin American series.” Like the BBC, Royle sees anniversaries as an opportunity: “This June is the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, and we have a wonderful six-part series called Apollo’s Moon Shot that explores the epic journey from merica s first manned orbit to the last man on the moon. e e drawn upon the definiti e collection of space artefacts and imagery from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and we are also creating an AR experience and VR content using 3D scans, including the lunar command module and Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit.” Royle shares McDaid’s enthusiasm for factual TV: “There’s never been a more exciting time. New technology is revolutionising the way we produce. In Epic • March

Sir David A en orough

Yellowstone, for example, we’ve utilised 8K cameras, FLIR thermal imagery, drone time-lapse, ine e aerials and e en miniature nest cameras to reveal the world of Yellowstone’s predators and prey.”


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“There’ s nev er been a m ore exciting time. N ew tec hnolog y is revolutionising the way we produc e” And he is equally enthusiastic about advances in colourisation: “The French production of Apocalypse a few years ago was the first time we really saw its full potential. We followed up with our cinematic America In Colour and are launching a new season of the series this year Our filmmakers sourced more than miles of film, and use the latest and most sophisticated colourisation techniques to tell the vivid history of America.” Royle stresses the importance of making programming available across all platforms, and points out that the organisation has just launched SVOD service Smithsonian Channel Plus. He adds: “We’re always looking to acquire strong factual con-


T H E S V O D and A V O D platforms have become key players in the factual market. The biggest investor is Netflix, which to date has focused mainly on feature-length documentary and true-crime series. This year, for example, has seen the launch of Conversations With A Killer The Ted Bundy Tapes, a high-profile follow-up to the Making A Murderer franchise. But there are signs that Netflix is diving deeper into factual, with the planned reboot of Unsolved Mysteries and a new talent deal with wildlife filmmaker James Honeyborne to


ith A Killer The Ted Bundy Tapes

produce nature and science series. Honeyborne, executive producer of Blue Planet II, and his partner Renee Godfrey will produce new series through their company Freeborne Media. Lisa Nishimura, vice-president of documentaries

and comedy at Netflix, says James has created some of the most captivating natural-history series of our time, with breathtaking vision. I m thrilled he will bring his unique exploration of the natural world to our viewers.

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tent. It needs to be shot in at least HD, although we prefer 4K, and we expect exclusivity in North America. However, co-productions remain vital to us. We could never have built our channel without international collaboration. Co-productions enable us to create extraordinary productions, such as The Coronation with the BBC or The Day We Walked On The Moon with ITV.” In terms of what is currently missing on the market, Royle adds “ e d like to find and create more programmes in popular science. We think there’s a growing audience, especially among younger viewers, for exciting science programmes — as long as they’re created in way that’s not didactic but are fun, dramatic and visually surprising.”



P a y ngi f or r e a l ti y

o roduction remains the backbone of factual finance but the range and choice of financial o tions is growing by the year as budget stra ed content makers add creati e funding to their tool kits. J ul ia na K o r a n t en g re orts


HE COST of putting together a premium non-fiction TV show is rising, but the budgets available from commissioning broadcasters, networks and digital platforms are, mostly, dwindling. While investment in premium drama has never been higher, getting uality documentaries off the ground remains tough. gainst this backdrop, forming the right partnerships has never been more important, says Solange ttwood, e ecuti e ice-president at anada-based factual-entertainment specialist Blue Ant International. “Today, the number of customers in the content business is increasing e ponentially and the e pectation of iewers is also increasing dramatically, she says “ ombined, this has inherently boosted the interest in co-productions. You have a larger number of buyers competing globally, with higher budgets across all the genres. So the market is turning to partnerships She adds that Blue Ant is “a partnership-driven organisation e look at all content-investment opportunities and it has been important for us to in est in co-productions Documentaries might be positioned as second-class compared

to tentpole dramas. Yet, they remain invaluable in a global business e periencing the uphea als brought on by consolidation, such as the merger of Disco ery ommunications and Scripps etworks nteracti e onathan Ford, -based e ecuti e ice-president of sales at Kew Media Distribution, says: “Factual is still a ery acti e market t s great for filling slots, especially for daytime programming. Therefore, there is still a market out there for good strong stories. There’s a new demand for them, because they fulfil specific re uirements for networks that want to differentiate themsel es from their ri als The cost of making premium drama ranges from $1.5m to m an hour, while factual entertainment costs between $100,000 and $500,000 an hour. old feature-length documentaries, howe er, can cost m or more an hour and that has seen producers becoming more creati e, not only in the sub ects they co er, but also in the way they source co-production funding Today, producers options include distributor-led co-productions, broadcaster- or pri ate in estment-led pro ects The emergence of the streaming-TV powerhouses, led by et i and MIPDO PRE IEW • 2 4

Amazon, has also expanded the financial options lue nt s ttwood says the second season of cooking competition show Best Cake Wins is the first of se eral distributor-led commissions for her company “The speed at which we get to say yes to lock in new co-production opportunities is an adantage we bring to the market, she adds “The alue that co-productions can bring when there is a clear strategy can be a win-win for e eryone in ol ed Distributor-led co-productions now re uire more e ibility. “Whereas in the past, our co-productions would typically involve a pan-regional linear pay-TV channel and one or two terrestrial free-TV channels, we now also work with local and global SVOD streamers, institutional partners, foundations, non-profit organisations, brands and philanthropists, says Ludo Dufour, managing director of sales and co-productions at Amsterdam-based Off the Fence, the non-fiction production and distribution outfit recently ac uired by ermany s ZDF Enterprises. Dufour adds: “Distributors not only contribute to the financing of a pro ect through distribution ad ances but, in the case of impact-dri en content, we also • M a r ch2

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play a key role in amplifying that impact beyond the reach of the co-production partners Traditional broadcasters continue to retain a core role in co-funding factual, says ecilie Olsen, senior ice-president, global content, non-scripted, at TV Studios lobal ntertainment TVS “ t the moment, we see distributors going in at all levels, from 10% of the budget to 100%. Our preferred option is still to have a lead broadcaster and top up the deficit needed but, in some instances, we can fully fund a pro ect

Cecilie Olsen:

“O ur pref erred o tion is still to have a lea roa caster an to u the e cit nee e ut in some instances we can fully fun a ro ect The pressure on networks to meet their own budgets is intensifying, Olsen adds “ producer is often asked by broadcasters to


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find additional funding before they will commission the show e always work with producers, both internally and externally, to help get the production started by co-funding, or by helping them to find co-producing partners in other territories inning down a broadcaster to guarantee a pro ect first is equally essential for independent productions, says ate eal, O of -based documentary-maker oodcut edia “ f it s a co-production, ll find a lead broadcaster, she adds “Then, I give the show a brand, so that other channels o erseas have an idea of its value to them. That way, you know how much money you need to fund it ou can get from the broadcaster and from a distributor, private investment and possible ta schemes eal also says that content commissioners are increasingly becoming part of the co-funding system. This makes sense, as experienced commissioners ordering shows know what it costs to meet the creati e re uirements “The job between funding and commissions is blending at networks, she adds “ t makes the con ersation a lot easier if they understand what you’ve done in other funding already. However, we must remember that broadcasters don t owe us a li ing We have to go out there. There

W o o d cutM B ea l


ia ’ s K a t e

was a time when people spent a lot of money, but times have changed n the independent sector, you need brilliant ideas and you also need a smart business brain

Kate Beal:

roa casters on t owe us a living. n the in e en ent sector you nee rilliant i eas an you also nee a smart usiness rain errit emming, managing director at erman distributor Quintus Media, says big documentaries that re uire co-productions also need a commissioning broadcaster “There’s no other way, because the distributor alone will not be able to re-finance the two to three big producers in ol ed, he adds The involvement of distributors in productions looks more and more entrenched for multi-territory sales, Kemming says: “If distributors put up the major chunk of the money, they need to make sure the pro ect will sell MIPDO PRE IEW • 2 5


Kew Media Distri ution s J o na tha nF o r d

Blue Ant International s Solange A wood

internationally. Being a distributor is not only about getting the programme made and selling it — it’s also about going in at the early stage with the producer to focus on topics that are internationally sellable Meanwhile, private investors are adding factual entertainment to their portfolios. These include Toronto-head uartered ew edia roup ew edia Distribution s parent company which also belie es partnering with TV networks is crucial to secure a return on investment. Although Haunted Hospitals, a mins paranormal series by Toronto-based Bristow lobal edia, was commissioned by Blue Ant Media, Kew Media Distribution nabbed the global rights rucially, the presales clients included the Disco ery hannel in the and Ireland. oodcut edia s eal says imaginati e documentary producers are following creators of mo ies and kids content when working with private investors. This is how Woodcut s andela, y Dad nd e was made the acclaimed one-hour documentary starring UK Hollywood star Idris lba and co-produced with his reen Door ictures, was made t was co-funded by pri• M a r ch2

0 1 9

ate-in estment firm ob o now nthology roup “We’ve worked with private investors, a strategy that has grown out of the movie-funding model, eal adds “ n the past fi e years, the factual community has looked at how film and kids content commissioning has worked to fund their content But Beal also has a word of caution for factual producers who take the private-investment route “Treat each programme like a mini-business model, because it s other people s money, and they e pect their money back She also says it is ital to work with the right distributor one “who will not in ate the figures ou need an honest pro ection for the different countries you sell into If you are going to invest in non-fiction shows for international distribution, make sure the sub ect matter will interest foreign audiences “The storytelling style could become an issue in a documentary about engineering, for e ample, says Quintus Media’s Kemming. “The erman way of doing this type of show would be to follow the experts as they get on with their work. But that doesn’t work internationally. Unless a story is unique, viewers will ask why they are being asked to



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watch it t needs to ha e international appeal and not focus on only one territory o-production might be popular, but there are risks to producers working with multiple funding partners. “Depending on the level of investment needed, investors may ask for editorial control or contributions, as well as a percentage of net profits, says TVS s Olsen “This would mean the editorial could mo e away from the producer s original ision for the pro ect, and the producer may have to juggle many masters giving differing editorial input. Additionally, the more investors needed, the less profit the producer potentially makes from the show, reducing the margins and creating a tough cycle for the producer Off the Fence s Dufour high-

lights another worry that multiple in estors can cause “One of the main challenges we face when building a co-production is timing, he says “ ll partners work with different timelines to greenlight pro ects Their budgets are being approved at different times and various situations outside of the commissioner s control can in uence the process nd compared to other genres, factuals in particular, natural history — are also at the mercy of other ature Shows that are based around certain seasons, or occurrence in the wild, like births and migrations, can be delayed by a year if the window of opportunity is missed So has the rise and rise of the streaming giants and the arrival of other SVOD ser ices made matters easier by boosting fi-

nancial support lue nt nternational’s Attwood says: “Those big budgets are facilitating a lot more commissions, co-productions and ac uisitions So the entire ecosystem is benefiting

Ludo Dufour:

hows ase aroun seasons or occurrence in the wil li e irths an migrations can e elaye y a year if the win ow of o ortunity is misse



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personal account


The formats and factual communities get together


The MIPFormats & MIPDoc

HAPPY HOUR! Sunday 7 April 2019

MAJESTIC Hotel, from 18:30 to 20:30

#MIPFORMATS #MIPDOC #HAPPYHOUR Open to all MIPFormats & MIPDoc delegates with badge


Be er than

fiction Pr oof th a t r eal li f e c an be j u st as spellbi n di n g a s dr a ma is confirmed by the growing demand for content that addresses science technology current affairs crime and in estigation. J u li a na K o ra nt e ng r epor ts


OME of the most gripping factual stories set in the worlds of science, technology, current affairs and investigative journalism will be showcased during this year’s MIPDoc Project Pitch. During the two sessions, creators and producers are invited to meet commissioning editors, investors, buyers and distributors to pitch content ideas based on those four sub-genres. Expect to discover that real life can compete with fiction in terms of drama and excite-

ment. And this is particularly true of non-fiction and documentaries that target a generation used to being informed and entertained by real-life stories on social media. “Social media provides only a snapshot, because you are reading the headlines without the context,” says Nha-Uyen Chau, founder and CEO of Melbourne-based distributor Looking Glass International. “Television allows more depth and catches your eye.” Looking Glass’ Einstein’s Brain Unlocked, a one-hour documenMIPDOC PREVIEW

tary originally made by Japanese broadcaster NHK, brings together science, technology and investigation. Anyone thinking they have come across all there is to know about the founding father of the theory of relativity should take a look at Einstein’s Brain Unlocked, Chau says: “ t s a road trip to literally find

Nha-U yen Chau:


ars APC

the missing pieces of his brain. During the Cold War, there were scientists who wanted to buy Einstein’s brain and sell parts to the highest bidder to crack the code for building weapons.” Chau’s company is also showcasing VR101 (8 x 30 mins), which considers the potential impact of virtual reality on people’s lives;

“D uring the C old W ar, there were scientists who wante to uy instein s rain an sell arts to the highest i er 2 8

• March

Valerie Cab rera:

ictures, and et i hit nside The World’s Toughest Prisons. Despite the lengthy time investigative research requires, the end result of exceptionally made documentaries can be as timely and relevant as anything announced on Twitter or Facebook, Tong says. “Producers such as Plum Pictures obtain unique and brilliant access to stories and perpetrators,” she adds. “So although the crimes might be known, the stories have never been told in the same way or with the same detail. This was especially true in the Piers Morgan-fronted franchises Killer Women and Serial Killer.”

One way to ensure that your true-crime shows are captivating is to include unique material, Cabrera says: “Neverseen-or-heard-before footage and stories from the key people involved in or affected by the crimes, can be wrapped up in a discernibly produced TV series that hopes to provoke thought and discussion.” Sarah Tong is director of sales at Hat Trick International, which has been selling crime documentaries since 2014. The UKbased distributor is heading to MIPDoc with Car Crash: Who’s Lying?, made by the UK’s Summer Films, which uses investigative journalism to seek out the truth behind a fatal car crash. It joins a portfolio that includes Killer Women With Piers Morgan, made by UK-based Plum

Another UK distributor of true-life crime stories is DCD Rights, where CEO Nicky Davies Williams has no doubts about the incessant demand for the genre. She says people will always identify with the pain of crime victims and question how society deals with habitual and malevolent lawbreakers. Of social media, Davies Williams says: “I think that one of the impacts of so much information being available so quickly and unfiltered is that people are increasingly interested in their personal safety.” But TV can engage viewers with the same stories in a more authoritative way, she adds: “There continues to be a fascination with true-crime stories and how they are solved. People are interested in the take-away gained from insightful information from experts. They are interested in the information used to do that, as well as the emotional content of how friends and family dealt with such tough situations.” Among the factual crime shows on DCD Rights’ slate are 21st Century Serial Killers, Stalkers Who Kill and Nurses Who Kill. The Who Kill franchises feature crimes committed around the world, including the US the UK,

Twisted Cult Of Tony Alamo; and forthcoming The Preppy Murder: Death In Central Park. “I think the true-crime genre has always fascinated the global public,” Cabrera says. “We just have more ways for viewers to find and engage with truecrime content now.” She adds that Cold Blooded and Jonestown, ranked among the highest-rated series launches for AMC, have been accepted into international film festi als and have performed well on the international market.

“The true- c rim e genre has always fascinate the glo al u lic. e ust have more ways for viewers to n an eng ag e with truecrime content now

and Make Me A Super (12 x 30 mins , which looks at fictional superheroes’ powers from the point of view of real-life science. Chau says thoroughness is required when it comes to selecting factual shows for her international portfolio. Looking Glass is part of an exclusive group invited by NHK to take part in regular pitching sessions. The distributor then works with NHK to identify those shows with international appeal. Viewers don’t watch factual content for escapism, Chau adds: “They watch because they

want to know more about the world around them.” This may also explain why viewers are fi ated on real-life crime Valerie Cabrera, senior vice-president of distribution at AMC Studios, says audiences cannot get enough of the US content-maker’s true-crime franchise, which consists of Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger; Jonestown: Terror In The Jungle, co-produced by Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio; Ministry Of Evil: The MIPDOC PREVIEW

• March


Looking lass International s Nha- yen Chau

Australia, Italy and Poland. Whether it is homicide, fraud, theft or assault, viewers are intrigued by the forensics used to solve crimes, Davies Williams says. “Authenticity of the participant’s insights is important to presenting the full story around a crime,” she adds. “Criminologists, psychologists, journalists and detectives come together in 21st Century Serial Killers to reveal exactly what the tell-tale signs are as we analyse the chilling behaviour of killers who have murdered over and over again.” The techniques applied to solving modern cases and the storytelling skills required to re-enact them are growing more sophisticated, Davies Williams says: “DNA, CCTV and social media now all play a significant part in piecing together the lead up to and the incidence of the crime itself riminal profiling is e er more complex, and friends and families can use social media, as well as be part of the process of piecing together the stories.” The unpredictability of people’s lives and the events covered in news and current-affairs reports continue to inspire great TV. In January, China boosted its reputation as a global superpower when it announced that it had landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the moon — the

DCD Rights Nicky Davies liams


first time any space mission had successfully done so. Around the same time, Paris-based About Premium Content (APC) unveiled Moon Wars, a 52-minute documentary made by La Compagnie Des Taxi-Brousse about human beings’ ambitions to in uence life on the moon and beyond. This year also happens to mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing “But Moon Wars is not just an anniversary documentary for the first moon landing, says Laurent Boissel, APC’s joint CEO and co-founder. “It goes much further and provides an accurate and exhaustive account of the current stakes surrounding space exploration — stakes that have a direct impact on our everyday lives here on Earth.” Moon Wars comes at a time when people are eager to form their own opinions about world affairs — but unfettered access to a fragmented global media landscape can raise more questions than answers. Current affairs can help fill those gaps, Boissel suggests: “There is a growing distrust between the people and the knowledgeable figures t impacts the work of journalists immensely and pushes current affairs and investigative content providers to set even higher standards for themselves and the content they creMIPDOC PREVIEW

Hat Trick International s Sarah Tong

AMC Studios

ate. Going beyond what is commonly expected from a classic documentary to unearth exclusive and unheard information is definitely part of that effort This may partly explain why The New York Times has launched The Weekly, described as the iconic S newspaper s first-e er narrative news TV series. It “targets audiences who are seeking an in-depth look at the way the world is working and want to discover more about the human stories behind the headlines”. Commissioned by US network FX with streaming platform Hulu, and brought to MIPDoc by Red Arrow Studios International, The Weekly aims to do more than just report the facts about the work done by its reporters. “The show will be of interest to an international audience as it focuses on the journalists themselves, their unrivalled knowledge and in-depth investigations,” says Alex Fraser, senior vice-president of acquisitions at Red Arrow Studios International. “We follow them

Alex Fraser:

alerie Ca rera

as they discover what drives individuals to extreme actions like terrorism, and explore international topics, including money from the top and bottom of the pay scale, and the promise and perils of technology.” He adds that The Weekly “taps into the craving for authentic reporting”. As Looking Glass’ Chau points out, the best factual programming tells a good story while revealing new information and little-known facts. “The industry talks about people’s short attention span,” she says. “But I also believe that great content does draw in an audience. If you look at the success of the BBC’s Blue Planet franchise, it has drawn in a huge crowd. If it’s interesting, it will sell.” CONFERENCES & EVENTS MIPDoc Project Pitches: Science And Technology, April 6. 11.00; Current Affairs & Investigation, April 7, 10.15; both in the Grand Theatre of the JW Marriott hotel

he ee ly focuses on the ournalists themselves. e follow them as they disc ov er what driv es indiv iduals to extreme actions li e terrorism • March










your mipDoc experience

6,7 APRIL 2019 JW MARRIOTT HOTEL, 50 boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes

Opening Times 6 April: 08.30-19.00 7 April: 08.30-19.00

Registration Hours 5 April: 16.00-19.00 6 April: 08.00-19.00 7 April: 08.30-19.00

We look forward to welcoming you in Cannes, but first here are some tips to prepare your journey to MIPDoc

Prepare for MIPDoc in advance Visit the MIPDoc website to organise your travel and benefit from: • reduced rates on your transportation with our partners Air France and KLM Global Meetings with discount code: 34497AF. • the best deals on accommodation with our partner hotels and agencies. • fixed rate taxi bookings of €80 from the airport to Cannes (incl. motorway tax).

Prepare your agenda and meetings ahead of time

Your badge: your key to getting into MIPDoc

Visit for easy access to all the MyMIP Database features:

• Did you receive it by post? Don’t forget to bring it with you. Your MIPDoc badge also provides access to MIPFormats conferences.

• Fill out your profile and personalise your agenda • Browse the list of attending participants and companies • Get meeting recommendations based on your business preferences • Send one-to-one messages to other delegates and organise business meetings • Browse the conferences and networking events

• Why not save time with an e-ticket? Sent to you by email, simply print it out to collect your badge at a self check-in point at registration. • Do you only have your confirmation email? Collect your badge at the registration area, located in the lower level of the JW Marriott Hotel. Registration hours can be found above. Please carry your badge at all times. It is strictly personal and non-transferable.

How to access the Screenings Library Screenings Library Access the world’s biggest international Screenings Library of Doc & Factual content! The at-show Screenings Library will be available online after MIPDoc for catch up screenings.

Buyers & Sellers reports Log in to the Screenings Library with the login & password indicated on your badge. As a buyer, you can review a list of the content you have screened during the event and as a seller you can receive the list of buyers who screened your content during the event. These lists are available at dedicated stations in the Registration Area. They will be sent to your mail box (if you have provided it in your contract) at the end of each day.

MIPDOC PREVIEW • 32 • March 2019

Important: At MIPTV, these lists will be available by request at the Palais des Festivals (Help Desk - Palais 0). Buyers can carry on screening post MIPDoc and the online reports post show will be available on

your mipDoc experience

Don’t miss the networking opportunities MIPDoc Networking Lunch

New Visitors’ Presentation

Sponsored by

Saturday 6 April, 8.30-9.00 Producers’ Hub

Saturday 6 April, 12.30-14.30 Majestic Hotel

Meet us in the Lobby at 8.30

The MIPFormats & MIPDoc Happy Hour!

MIPDoc International Co-production Summit


Sunday 7 April, 18.30-20.30 Majestic Hotel Open to all registered participants

Sunday 7 April, 8.30-10.00 Producers’Hub By invitation DOC

The French Touch Showcase

ZDF Enterprises & Off the Fence: A Strategic Update

Sunday 7 April, 12.30-13.00 Grand Theatre

Sunday 7 April, 15.30-16.15 Grand Theatre

Followed by Snack lunch 13.00-14.00 In partnership with

What can you find at MIPDoc? Lounges & Refreshments • Networking Lounge, Level -1 • Lobby - Lounge, Ground floor Coffee breaks are available in both venues.

Registration Area

Conference Rooms

Sponsored by

• Grand Theatre • Producers’ Hub

• Badge collection • Email Points • Screening List stations

Both situated on Level -1

Screening Library Rooms • Reserved access for buyers

See the programme p.12 and plan your journey

See you in Cannes!

For further information: • Help desk: +33 (0)1 79 71 99 99

MIPDOC PREVIEW • 33 • March 2019

Profile for MIPMarkets


MIPDOC 2019 PREVIEW MAGAZINE; MIPdoc world premire screening French Loving; ZDFE and Off the Fence content showcase; France Country Of Hono...


MIPDOC 2019 PREVIEW MAGAZINE; MIPdoc world premire screening French Loving; ZDFE and Off the Fence content showcase; France Country Of Hono...