ZDFE.unscripted at MIPDoc & MIPTV: Highlights from the Wildlife, Science, History & Entertainment Catalog

With MIPDoc and MIPTV only a few days away, here is a sneak preview of what’s coming up from ZDFE.unscripted, the factual department of ZDF Enterprises. ZDFE.unscripted is heading to Cannes with an impressive slate of new programs and two sessions not to be missed: ZDF Enterprises’ Ralf Rueckauer and Off the Fence’s Ellen Windemuth …

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 …


UNITED SKATES: A First Documentary Feature Wins the Tribeca Audience Award and a HBO Deal. A Case Study

UNITED SKATES won the 2018 Tribeca Audience Award, attracted John Legend as an executive producer, and earned a deal with HBO. It’s a great achievement for the producer / director team of Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown: They worked for five years on their first documentary feature. Tina Brown shared the filmmakers’ inspirational story for …

Amazon Prime Video Direct Slashes Royalties for Creators in U.S., UK, Germany and Japan

Producers are on the receiving end of another rate card reduction from Amazon Prime Video Direct. The online retail behemoth is cutting U.S. royalties from the present range of 6 to 15 cents per-hour-viewed. The new rate is between 4 and 10 cents per-hour-viewed. A similar 33% rate reduction is being introduced in UK, Germany …

Sundance 2019: Women Filmmakers Crash Through the Celluloid Ceiling. The Key Takeaway by Peter Broderick

by Peter Broderick, Paradigm Consulting. The most important change at Sundance this year was the unprecedented success of women. US Dramatic Competition included nine films directed or co-directed by women and eight films directed or co-directed by men. This was a remarkable change from the consistent selection in each of the previous four years of …

Quibi: $1 Billion for Short-form Content. Watch the Pitch. Why I Think It’s a Long Shot. Lessons from CBS Cable, Discovery and China’s TikTok

Quibi is showing up in my conversations as an active buyer that is outbidding legacy networks. The ‘Quibi’ brand name does not refer to a Vietnamese appetizer: It is short for ‘quick bites.’ Funded by Disney, Alibaba, Comcast and others, it is a video streaming venture run by corporate heavyweights Meg Whitman (CEO) and Jeffrey …

Pitch your documentary project at Sunny Side of the Doc 2019!

Don’t miss the opportunity to pitch buyers and funders at the internationally-renowned documentary marketplace in La Rochelle from 24 to 27 June 2019. Each June, Sunny Side of the Doc creates a unique opportunity for the most exciting non-fiction concepts to be pitched in front of 300 top-level international buyers, commissioners and distributors. Through 5 …

Sundance: Buyers Bid $20 Million as the Feature Documentary Category Booms

The feature documentary is booming. That’s the message from Sundance 2019. Reported bids for rights approach $20 million. Topping the list is Knock Down the House, the Sundance Audience Award winner that captures the run for Congress in 2018 of the “AOC” superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The SVOD giant reportedly bid $10 million for worldwide rights. That’s …