Hervé Michel, President of TV France International and Sarah Hemar, Executive Director
TV France International carried out the first edition of LeRendez-Vous DOCS, a new and unique market dedicated entirely to documentariesof which 124 international buyers from 38 countries participated along with 24 exporters. In the online event were presented three super highlights and 18 project pitches in four categories besides the screening of 180 new programs in a dedicated screening room.
Hervé Michel, President of TV France International and SarahHemar, Executive Director affirmed that this brand new event provides an opportunity for TV France International members to expose their programs and ambitious projects to internationalbuyers and commissioning editors.
Laëtitia Moreau, President at SCAM presented the association,commented about the benefits offered by the French Government to documentary productions and affirmed that "the diversity and quality of our French documentary films and French projects prove that documentary is a major sector in France". On the other hand, Mathieu Fournet, Director of European and International Affairs at CNC described the current situation of the audiovisual sector inpandemic times and asserted that all players were forced to adapt and rethink and the context is acting as an accelerator of changes and "this online interactive initiative of TV France shows us the way."
Filmed in live conditions at Le Shack, the three superhighlights "Lil’ Buck, Real Swan"; "Hitler, Stalin: a secret relationship" and "Top of the Rocks" were hosted by France 24and France Culture journalist Marjorie Paillon. "Lil’ Buck, Real Swan" is a production from Lechinski Machine Molle, Tanit Films and tells the story of a hip-hop dance prodigy from Memphis Lil Buck, one of the most admired street dancers of his generation, who latertrained in ballet, taking his dance to a whole new level. The title is distributed internationally by Federation Entertainment. Sarah Zarka, International Sales at the company mentioned that she went to see ""Lil’ Buck, Real Swan" in the theater this summer and she really "fell in love with the project".
Guillaume Pommier, Sales & Acquisition Manager at Federation Entertainment, confirmed that the distributor has a great reputation in the drama side but not yet on documentary one. "We are really picky onthe titles we choose on our catalogue so when Sara presented me Lil’ Buck, Iwas really amazed. I thought the film has the Federation DNA".
Zarka also described the documentary film as inspirational while Pommier asserted that it is "bigger than life". "It's more than one story that is why all the buyers have to watch the movie and maybe buy it for their audiences".
The second highlight presented during the first edition of LeRendez-Vous DOCS was "Hitler,Stalin: a secret relationship" (working title), a film that describes the relationship between two the most ruthless dictators of the 20th century. Despite the fact that they never met each other, their complicity and theircollaboration have remained a mystery for decades. This film brings to thelight the last discoveries about the most infamous relationship of moderntimes. Entirely made in colorized archives with VFX, the film was produced bySiècle Productions and distributed by Balanga.
Christophe Bochnaki, President of the distribution company commented that the documentary is so unique for its editorial approach. “We have never told this story for the personal angle of the relationship between the two dictators, their long time complicity, the mutualfascination and the collaboration between them", explained the executive."With this documentary we are offering a fresh look on history", he added. The documentary film was commissioned by Viasat in Scandinavia and ATVS in Slovakia and Balanga is talking with huge broadcasters in Europe and North America, including a global platform.
The last superhighlight of the day was "Top of the Rocks" is a 360° journey acrossthe planet around five iconic source rocks: Granite, Limestone, Sandstone,Basalt, Clay. They have shaped the planet and have inspired human civilizations. An ambitious 4K seriesto reveal the way the mineral world connects cultures together and still impactsour environment today. The series is a co-production between Petit Dragon, Haut & Court, ARTE France and is distributed by Terranoa. Isabelle Graziadey, Executive Director International Copro, Sales & Acquisitions at Terranoa said that when she was first pitched the series she “fell in love with the idea of revising the world around us based on source rocks, of which the earth is made and the documentary presents fascinating stories of people, nature, science and the sense of traveling which takes from India to Namibia, to the USA and to Europe is really we'are craving for on these days when we can not travel anymore", commented. The series have been commisioned by Access Prime Slot by ARTE.
PITCHES FOR FRENCH DOCUMENTARIES
Following on from an initiative launched at Le Rendez-Vous Bi@rritz 2020, TV France offered to its members in the documentary community the chance to pitch their new projects. 18 projects have been chosen by a poll conducted among international buyers and commissioning editors from every corner of the globe.
The documentary projects chosen were:
Arts & Culture: "Milan Kundera" (Illégitime Défense); "Monk, Pannonica & the Jazzmen" (Lukarn); "The Story of Freddie Mercury" (Lukarn).
History, Civilization & Discovery: "Magellan’s extraordinary Odyssey" (CLPB Rights); "Flying Knights, planes in wartime" (INA); "Ancient Builders" (Kwanza); "Wonder Ship: Titanic Engineering" (Kwanza); "After Chaos" (Terranoa).
Nature, Green & Science: "Braving the Tides" (Arte Distribution); "Environnemtal Justice? Can the law save the planet?" (CLPB Rights); "France, a journey through time" (France tv distribution); "Science & Sports" (Lucky You).
Current Affairs & Social Issues: "Celibacy of Priests – the Specter of Schism" (working title-Balanga); "MATCH #664" (Federation Entertainment); "Asia-Pacific, the New Powder Keg" (Lucky You); "Space Wars" (Taxi Rights); "If you kill, call me" (Terranoa) and "You will be happy!" (ZED).