QUOLL FARM: A $600k Wildlife hit for ABC Australia, Smithsonian, ZDF/Arte & NHK

Quoll Farm is a classic natural history film about a very cute and little-known Australian marsupial, the Eastern Quoll. It has a gentle conservation message, and like several recent films, notably My Octopus Teacher, there’s a story of human redemption as part of the wildlife package. I was totally charmed by the antics of the …

Top 100 UK Documentaries in 2020: The Land & Country theme comforts viewers in a troubled year

This week’s post covers the UK’s highest-rated documentary and unscripted programs for the year in which COVID struck. My ratings snapshot for 2020 is comprised of: The Top 50 in the combined Documentary and Lifestyle / Hobbies categories. My Takeaways. Then #51-100. The challenging landscape The wonderfully inventive UK Factual industry is enduring the triple disruptions of: COVID, …

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 …

BBC STORYVILLE: Mandy Chang guides her legendary documentary strand through COVID turbulence. Our panel at virtual CCDF-CNEX

Mandy Chang, commissioning editor BBC-STORYVILLE recently joined my panel at Taiwan’s virtual CCDF-CNEX Documentary Conference. In this post, we recap Mandy’s valuable insights into the legendary STORYVILLE stand, and the impact of COVID on the BBC’s documentary commissioning process. Our fellow expert panelists were: Hong Kong-based, Phoenix TV exec Haibo Huang And from Washington DC, veteran …

Humboldt: Epic Explorer – A €600,000 Drama Doc from ZDFE, Spiegel TV, Arte and Smithsonian Networks. A Case Study

Humboldt: Epic Explorer is a historical dramatized documentary about the scientist Alexander von Humboldt and his pioneering work in South America. The project was sparked by Andrea Wulf’s best-selling biography, and developed by veteran producer Tilman Remme. It was successfully pitched to European and American commissioning editors at the Science Producers’ Congress 2018 in Stockholm. by …