Euro broadcasters line-up behind “Great War Diary”

ARTE, NDR, SWR, WDR, the BBC, VPRO and ORF are among the European broadcasters that are supporting a €5 million (US$6.5 million) historical series (pictured) to mark the centenary of the First World War.
April 5, 2012

Several European networks have agreed a big-budget coproduction partnership to produce Great War Diary (pictured), a historical series that will mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The project is being produced by LOOKS Film & TV and Les Films D’Ici, and was initiated by ARTE, NDR, SWR and WDR. Those broadcasters have now been joined by the BBC, NTR/VPRO, ORF, RAI Education, S4C, TG4, and have entered into a partnership with Ceska Televize, Historia, RTV, SVT, TSR, YLE and the EBU. The project is also supported by MDM and the MEDIA program of the European Union.

The series is budgeted at €5 million (US$6.5 million) and is being developed in eight-hour and four-hour versions. Production will start this summer and the film will deliver in the third quarter of 2013.

The series will retell the story of the war through the perspective of people who lived through it. Producers have assembled a team of international authors and researchers to pore through journals and diaries of soldiers, women, children and non-combatants on all sides of the conflict and will also use “high-quality” dramatic reconstruction.

Other aspects of the project include a parallel series aimed at a younger audience called Great War Children’s Diary (8 x 25-minutes), in coproduction with NTR/VPRO; and an online experience.

Check out the first trailer for the project below:

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.