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 …

SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOC – NEWS ROUNDUP, June 2021: Unscripted Investment Frenzy & more

Story of the Month: Investors Target Unscripted Production. There’s a frenzy of investment in unscripted production // Wall Street Journal. New SVOD’s fail to understand that success depends on streaming addiction // Lightshed Partners. Netflix Australia: Revenues surge but avoids taxes and local production // The Age + Documentary Business. Audiences want more documentaries in streaming libraries …

BBC STORYVILLE: Mandy Chang departs. A lookback at her strategy. Our panel at virtual CCDF-CNEX

Update: Mandy Chang is leaving her post as legendary BBC-STORYVILLE‘s commissioning editor. Last year she recapped her STORYVILLE strategy in detail for my panel at Taiwan’s virtual CCDF-CNEX Documentary Conference. Our fellow expert panelists were: Hong Kong-based, Phoenix TV exec Haibo Huang And from Washington DC, all-knowing veteran programmer and senior consultant Dan Salerno. Read on …

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News: An ANZAC Day Reflection on the How a Kingmaker Father Inspired the ‘Aussie Prince’ (Updated)

Rupert Murdoch stepped into his father’s shoes when he took aim at global power and profit.   Rupert’s father Keith was the Australian kingmaker who taught the young Rupert how to blend media ownership and political influence. The son’s values differ from the father: Rupert promotes racial and class resentment saturated with bigotry.  His objectives: Build …

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, …