THE SIEGE OF MECCA: A Podcast with Producer Dirk van den Berg

THE SIEGE OF MECCA uncovers the violent event in 1979 that has shaped recent history, but that is still wrapped in secrecy. My Podcast / Case Study combo with Dirk van den Berg details how he and Pascal Verroust secured mainly European funding for their 620,000+ Euros project, beginning with a fast 150,000 Euros commitment …

The ZDF Enterprises / Off The Fence Panel at MIPDoc with Terra Mater’s Walter Koehler

My highlight for MIPDoc 2019 was moderating the panel with ZDF Enterprises’ Ralf Rueckauer and Off The Fence CEO Ellen Windemuth. The topic was ZDF-E’s acquisition of OTF, the leading independent factual distributor. OTF also celebrated its 25th anniversary at Cannes. We explored the parties’ motivations for the acquisition at this time of great change …

Off The Fence: Independent Distributor Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Cannes. A Podcast with CEO Ellen Windemuth

Ellen Windemuth launched OFF THE FENCE from her basement 25 years ago. In this week’s podcast, Ellen: Looks back at her company’s launch. Reflects on the particular challenges then for women in a male-dominated industry. Explores how Off The Fence grew into an industry-leading independent distributor / producer with a turnover of around $20 million. Describes her …

Russell Kagan, the “Mayor of Cannes” — International Television Pioneer, and an Always Generous Cheerleader and Inspiration

Today I learned that Russ Kagan had passed away after a brief illness. Russell played an outsize role in Discovery’s journey from struggling new channel to factual behemoth by introducing promising new sources of programs. He tutored Discovery’s fledgling programmers (and consultants) on how to execute numerous deal types that weren’t then considered possible for …