27 SEP 2023

Sandrine Frantz: "We need to have titles with local interest and international appeal"

The Managing Director at Lukarn describes the vast and diverse catalog the French distributor has for global buyers and analysed the main challenges the documentary sector is facing nowadays.

27 SEP 2023

Sandrine Frantz

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French sales company Lukarn was attending Unifrance Rendez-Vous in Biarritz with a raw of variety titles for international buyers. "As a distributor what we need today is really topics that have a local interest, but also an international appeal," asserted Sandrine Frantz, Managing Director at the company. Currently, Lukarn is working on project in different stage. "Some of them are in very early stage, others at the writing stage, some are in pre-production, some are in production, and some are finished," she commented.

Ahead Olympic Games next year, Frantz pointed out “Olympic Games, A Story of Friendships” (90' + 52'), a documentary with the proposes to relive the best of the history of the Olympic Games through these 3 words-DNA of the most prestigious sporting competition. "It's a really international documentary, very positive to see what people are able to do to help others," said Lukarn executive. The documentary is in the early stage, and Lukarn is in the process of financing. "We are looking for pre-sales or co-productions, and in France, we are also looking for a main broadcaster," she commented.

Lukarn has also new art and culture and cinema documentaries with big names such as Visconti with “E trema ancora, the other voice of Luchino Visconti” (52’) or Elia Kazan with “My name is Elia Kazan" (60’), as well as history and megastructure programs that are very interesting worldwide. “De Gaulle vs. Churchill: War of Memories”, (52') narrates the battle of memorialists that Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill fought while writing their respective Memoirs which tell their Second World War but not always from the same point of view. "One Struggle: On the solidarity between Jewish and Black People in The United States" (52') is a story about the solidarities between two worlds, despite and beyond tensions. "They really historical archive documentary that I think should be of interest worldwide," indicated Frantz.

Lukarn is also offering global buyers a collection of five titles called “Mysteries of Ancient Egypt” (5x52') series that includes "Tutankhamun’s Curse"; "The Mummie's Case; "The Last Secrets Of The Great Sphinx of Giza", "Akhenaten, the secrets of the forgotten pharaoh" and "The Lost Silver Pharaohs Of Tanis."

Lastly, the French distributor is promoting “Tulum, Mayapan, Coba: The Last Mayan Cities” (52') about Maya cities, and the title in production “The Secret of the Rafale" (70'), about the French war plane that was sold all around the world. "We work with any kind of clients actually, linear, non-linear but also in-flight clients, we have many different kinds of clients worldwide," she expressed.

Frantz has discussed the evolution of the documentaries in recent years. "French documentaries have really improved in the past five to 10 years on the narration. The one which is working very well internationally is the RMC découvertes narration, which is narration which looks like National Geographic or Discovery or BBC, that this one is really what works worldwide," she commented.

On the other hand, the executive mentioned French producers are working with French channels that have their budget getting down and what is less expensive is to produce a very French documentary about a French content. "What should be improved on our side, as international distributors, is really to focus on international content topics," she affirmed. "What French broadcasters say is that their audience are really looking forward to having local content, so what we need today is really topics that have, of course, a local interest, but also an international appeal", she concluded.