Docs

Radarscreen: Lorenzo Hendel, RAI

Continuing our series of Radarscreen Global Pitch Guide previews, realscreen talks to Lorenzo Hendel (pictured), commissioning editor for Italian broadcaster RAI's DOC3 strand, about the non-fiction titles he's looking for and the best way to pitch to him.
August 22, 2011

Continuing our series of Radarscreen Global Pitch Guide previews, realscreen talks to Lorenzo Hendel (pictured), commissioning editor for Italian broadcaster RAI’s DOC3 strand, about the non-fiction titles he’s looking for and the best way to pitch to him.

WHAT HE’S LOOKING FOR:

The DOC3 strand is primarily committed to “giving the audience information about the world, and increasing critical knowledge and the capacity to judge the world,” according to its commissioning editor Lorenzo Hendel. “Our target is mainly educated people and intellectuals, but we constantly try to break these walls down and interest all people.”

He adds that he is not looking for lighthearted, fluffy or entertainment-oriented docs. Recent successes for the strand have included Donor Unknown by Jerry Rottwell, China Blue by Micha X Peled, Street Babies by Koen Suidgeest, Muyeye by Juliane Biasi and Sergio Damiani, Hair India by Raffaele Brunetti and Marco Leopardi, and Il Lupo In Calzoncini Corti by Nadia Dalle Vedove and Lucia Stano.

MONEY TALK:

“We give €25,000 [US$36,000] for pre-sales and €15,000 [US$21,600] for acquisitions,” says Hendel. “We don’t take series, only one-offs.”

HOW TO PITCH:

Hendel stresses that he wants information about the documentary – its style, characters and narrative structure – much more than information about the issue the doc covers.

“Sometimes I read proposals where it says everything about the issue, and then all it is says is, ‘We are going to make a documentary about this issue,’ without any details,” he explains. “This is very frustrating.”

Those pitching for DOC3 should contact Hendel directly (via l.hendel@rai.it), sending a synopsis and a link to a trailer. DVDs can be sent by mail to: Lorenzo Hendel, Room 130, RAI. Viale Mazzini 14, 00195 Rome, Italy.

There are no rules for the length of synopses, but Hendel suggests pitchers try to be succinct. “It is hard sometimes to read 20 pages for a project,” he says. “For the trailer also there are no rules, but what we are mainly interested in are the main characters, since we mostly search for character-driven documentaries.”

Check out previous Radarscreen previews with Current TV UK’s Lina Prestwood and France 2′s Fabrice Puchault.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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