26 JUN 2023

Sunny Side Doc 2023: Universum History celebrates 10th anniversary

During the market, ORF-Enterprise showcased its history line-up, with a thematic connection to the Pride Month.

26 JUN 2023

Armin Luttenberger

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In the frame of Sunny Side Doc, and on the occasion of the strand’s 10th anniversary, ORF-Enterprise shined the spotlight on brand new UNIVERSUM History titles. In addition to history films that reach further back into the past, guests from the industry were presented an exclusive first preview of “Pride and Persecution”, by filmmaker Fritz Kalteis, which addresses the struggles of queer movements during the 20th century in Central Europe in a two part documentary, which will become available later this year.

“This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of ORF-‘Universum History’. Its high-quality documentaries seamlessly follow the success of ORF-‘Universum’ blue-chip nature line-up. We are thrilled to showcase our latest titles at Sunny Side 2023, offering exclusive insights into captivating stories from different eras,” emphasizes ORF-Enterprise CEO Oliver Böhm in the run-up to Sunny Side of the Doc.

“Highly accurate depictions of history with engaging storytelling: ORF’s ‘Universum History’ has been pursuing this approach very successfully for a decade. In addition to some recently released documentaries, I am particularly proud that we had the honor to present a first look at a compelling upcoming project ‘Pride and Persecution’ together with the producer of the documentary, Alex Wieser. Her exclusive insights into the status quo, the challenges and the perspectives of producing such a highly relevant documentary, have been such a valuable addition to the presentation,” says Armin Luttenberger, Head of Content Sales International at ORF-Enterprise.

Among the recently published UNIVERSUM History titles is “Copernicus’ Secret - Triumph of Science”. Famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus hesitated to make his discovery of a heliocentric world public in fear of being denounced as a heretic. The film shines a light on his partner, Anna Schilling, who had a vital role in making his discovery public.

The two-parter “Age of Queens” (ORF, ZDF/ARTE) takes the viewer back to England’s Elizabethan era. In “Clash of the Crown Princes” (ORF, ZDF/ARTE) two princes with interlinked fates grapple with the burden of preserving a crumbling empire.

On the occasion of Pride Month, the audience in La Rochelle was also presented exclusive insights into the two-parter “Pride and Persecution” (ORF, ZDF/ARTE), which travels back 100 years in time to explore the rise and fall of the gay and lesbian movements in Central Europe.

“This project is a chance to shed light on the roots of Europe's modern queer movement and their struggle for acceptance and equality. The 20th century saw both remarkable progress and devastating setbacks when it came to LGBTQIA+ rights. We wanted to honor the courage and resilience of those who fought for their rights, as well as to raise awareness on the hate and bigotry that still persists to this day. The biographies featured in this project are unique, but their struggle is exemplary for so many others throughout the whole world,” adds Alexandra Wieser, producer of "Pride and Persecution."

The recent sales line up also includes “The Birth of Modern Brazil – Leopoldina of Habsburg”, “The Builders of the Alhambra”, “Venus of Willendorf – The Naked Truth”, “1278 – The Battle for Europe” and “Augustus and Livia – Empire of Blood”.