Bossanova secures sales for Development Day pitching program projects

New deals were secured for BossaNova Original documentary series "The Flight Attendant Murders," a four-part title produced by award-winning Flicker Productions; and Spark Media’s premium history series "Ottoman Empire By Train."

5 DEC 2023

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BossaNova Media has announced new deals for several of the shows generated by its Development Day pitching program, which aims to fast-track the commissioning and production of factual projects with international potential.

New sales have been closed for two of the most successful projects to have been kick-started by the annual pitching event, the fourth edition of which was held in mid-October: ‘BossaNova Original’ documentary series "The Flight Attendant Murders," a four-part title produced by award-winning Flicker Productions; and Spark Media’s premium history series "Ottoman Empire By Train." "The Flight Attendant Murders," about an innocent man who was incarcerated for four decades for the murders of four flight attendants while a sadistic killer walked free, has been picked up by Sundance Now in the US, and Foxtel Group and SBS in Australia. "Ottoman Empire By Train," in which Professor Alice Roberts explores a civilisation that spanned three continents, more than 70 countries and 600 years, has been sold to BBC Studios. Both titles were originally pre-bought by Channel 4 in the UK following previous BossaNova Development Days.

Demand has also been consistent for AMS Pictures’ 60-minute documentary "The Andes Tragedy: 50 Years On," which looks back to 1972, when a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team disappeared into the Argentinean Andes. Freezing, starving and given up for dead, the survivors resorted to eating the flesh of their dead friends to stay alive. Deals have been closed with Telewizja Polsat Poland, RTBF Belgium, Movistar Spain, Foxtel Group and SBS Australia, Bell Media Canada (Canal D), TV4 Sweden and Finland, TV2 Norway and DPG Benelux for this most harrowing of survival stories, which was also acquired RTS and RSI Switzerland earlier this year.

Foxtel Group, TV4 and DPG have also acquired another Development Day-generated AMS Picture’ documentary, "Siegfried and Roy: The Original Tiger Kings." The hour-long special features exclusive interviews with friends and contemporaries of the German-American magicians, whose mix of showbiz glitz and white-tiger magic reinvented Las Vegas. But the myths that made Siegfried and Roy global superstars were more fiction than fact. The documentary reveals the shocking truth behind the lies they spun before and after the fateful night when an angry tiger severely wounded Roy — a terrifying moment that sparked countless conspiracy theories and cover-ups.

In addition, A+E Networks EMEA has announced that it has ordered a second six-part season of another series to come out of the initiative. Content Kings’ "Secrets of the Lost Liners" charts the triumphs and tragedies of the 20th century’s most beguiling mode of transport. With the help of experts, each episode tells the story of a magnificent ship lost through war, disaster or plain human error.

BossaNova’s fourth Development Day took place in Central London in the run-up to Mipcom in Cannes, timed benefit from the physical presence in Europe of many of the world’s top factual buyers and commissioners. The event was sponsored for the first time by Getty Images, which worked with BossaNova to help select a range of projects, many of which had potential to be archive-led. Buyers and commissioners from global channels and platforms were pitched a shortlist of 50 projects, curated by BossaNova’s Development Day producers Claire Runham and Jasmin Joseph from more than 200 original submissions.

Among the broadcasters present were A+E Networks EMEA, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Paramount+ UK, Foxtel Group, ITV, National Geographic, RTL/NTV Germany, SBS Australia, Sky, UKTV, BBC Studios, Viasat World, Warner Bros Discovery and WELT. A total of 26 producers pitched at the event, with many making their Dev Day debut including STV Studios, Alamo Pictures, Candour TV, Wildflame Productions, Nevision, Spirit Studios, Two Rivers Media, Untold Studios and Firecrest Films."

"As a prodco, the fundamental thing we need in a distributor is to bring together and excite buyers around the concepts we are pitching," Andy Streitfeld, founder of AMS Pictures said. "BossaNova is the only distributor we work with that creates a full day of pitching new concepts. In all my years of creating programming this is the first time I have had so much fun travelling from Texas to London to pitch three concepts to a full room of buyers whilst the deals roll in for our current productions – a good news story at last."