News Roundup: Climate Change Documentaries Breaking Through?

The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference opens in Glasgow on October 31, bringing urgency to the race to save our planet. Documentary commissioners, producers and distributors have responded with lots of new orders. Does global warming have the urgent audience appeal of programs that address hot button issues like true crime, gender, and social …

Afghanistan in Documentaries: Sunny Side’s Story of the Month. Plus: Is Barack Obama a celebrity-fixated documentary producer?

Essential Afghan Documentaries – War boosters & critics: 15 key documentaries about Afghanistan, From ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ to ‘Hell and Back Again‘ // Variety ‘Pat Tillman‘ and other films both critical and supportive of the war // Washington Post Art Workers in France Mobilize to Help Afghan Creators // Artnet Women journalists fear brutal Taliban // Vice Director’s escape from …

OSCAR win for MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Listen to executive producer Ellen Windemuth in our “How we sold OCTOPUS to Netflix” podcast (Update)

Congrats to MY OCTOPUS TEACHER‘s extended family for winning the Best Documentary Feature award at last night’s Oscars. I write “family” because it took a deeply committed and close-knit group of friends and colleagues to bring Craig Foster‘s unexpected subject from chilly False Bay to Netflix, and then to Hollywood’s #1 stage:   How It …

Selling OCTOPUS to Netflix. A podcast with executive producer & distributor Ellen Windemuth (reposted)

Ellen Windemuth executive produced Craig Foster‘s beautiful film MY OCTOPUS TEACHER, a new Netflix release. (Now OSCAR-shortlisted, I’m republishing my popular September 2020 podcast with Ellen in response to the undiminished hit-level appeal of “OCTOPUS” to Netflix subscribers of all ages and territories.) She describes the years’ long journey of her friend, South African wildlife …

Who are the documentary buyers? What do they want? How many? Deal highlights and more

Twelve documentary buyers and producers reveal what drives their decisions. Each commissioner is driven by a particular strategy, pipeline and budget ‘sweet spot’. Each producer describes a unique path from concept through funding and production to distribution. Since 2010, the mission of my Documentary Business newsletter has been to reveal how these individual production pathways …