Mirjam Strasser: "We extensively evaluate how we can support the projects in the best way"

The Head of Sales & Acquisitions at Autentic Distribution explains how the company gets involved in different projects and anticipates its main goals for the rest of the year.

30 JUN 2022

Mirjam Strasser

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Factual and documentary specialist producer and distributor, Autentic, focuses on a broad portfolio ranging from wildlife, nature, science, and technology to history and travel. Mirjam Strasser, Head of Sales & Acquisitions at the company, reveals how and why Autentic gets involved in several projects and points out the current highlights of their vast catalog.

As a company that covers the entire value chain of the factual genre, what is Autentic’s current production and acquisition strategy?
“We always extensively evaluate how we can support the projects in the best way, be it as a co-production partner, as a co-financier, or as a sales partner. For programs we produce or co-produce within our production unit, we are always looking for unknown stories suitable for an international audience, preferably serial projects. Because we can support financially and editorially with our in-house production unit, we consult intensively on which form of support makes the most sense for the project. Therefore, it is even more important for us to understand our partners’ needs and remain in intensive dialogue with them. For our distribution catalog, we are increasingly looking for projects that fit broadcast TV slots and are suitable for streamers and FAST channels. Currently high in demand are wildlife and conservation titles referring to the climate crisis, saving endangered species, and more peaceful coexistence of humans and animals. We are also looking for current affairs titles about the ongoing space race, the Russian War against Ukraine, and films about trade relations, especially in the context of China. Travel programs are also still in demand, as well as strong factual entertainment series. We have also acquired true-crime titles, a genre that Autentic had not covered before. Last but not least, we are constantly looking for history titles, especially ancient history, and science programs, especially pop-science series.”

Autentic also co-finances factual shows. What features should those projects have to decide to be involved in them?
“When we get involved in projects as a co-financier, they should not only have strong international potential but also deal with topics that are still unknown or deal with a new angle of a well-known topic. Serial projects are particularly interesting for us, but feature docs are also experiencing a new boom. As we secure exclusive rights and territories through co-financing, it is also crucial for Autentic to have distribution rights for as many territories as possible. Furthermore, the projects we cofinance must already have other partners’ commitments secured.”

What are the current highlights from Autentic’s catalog?
“From our in-house production department, the crime science series ‘Inside the Mind of a Con Artist’ is one of the titles that stand out the most. Another highlight is our latest travel doc, ‘World’s Most Punctual Train - Japan’s Shinkansen’, where we hit the rails with the record-breaking train, traveling to the most beautiful places in Japan. Another travel gem is ‘Cambodia – Land of Enchanted Temples and Floating Villages.’ We are particularly excited about two nature and wildlife programs from our brand-new summer slate. ‘White Winter –A Season on the Northern Alpine Rim’ revels in fairytale backdrops and tells various nature stories of the animals that survive the cold season. Moreover, ‘Wild Prairie Man’ is an intimate portrait of wildlife photographer James R. Page and Grasslands National Park in Canada. Another highlight is the documentary ‘Qatar - Between Boomtown and Burqa,’ showing a more nuanced picture of the emirate, just in time for the FIFA World Cup.”

What are the pending goals for 2022?
“We are always looking for the best content to curate for our partner. We plan to increase our financing activities in 2022 and beyond, to get into projects early, whether as a co-producer or co-financier. At the same time, we are also looking specifically for ready-made programs to guarantee our customers a steady flow of great documentaries”.

By Romina Rodriguez