First Hand sells “Bergman’s Video” to Israel, Australia

Distributor First Hand Films has sold Bergman's Video (pictured), a six-part series which looks at themes in cinema by way of late Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's VHS collection, into Israel and Australia.
October 16, 2012

Distributor First Hand Films has sold Bergman’s Video, a six-part series which looks at themes in cinema by way of late Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s VHS collection, into Israel and Australia.

The 6 x 45-minute, tentatively titled HD series features films by and interviews with directors including Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ang Lee, Sir Ridley Scott (pictured above), Michael Haneke and Gus van Sant. Each episode looks at certain themes in movies, such as death, comedy, fear and silence.

First Hand, which has offices in Zurich and Berlin, was selling the series at MIPCOM in Cannes last week, and has inked deals with SBS in Australia, which has taken all rights bar theatrical; and Channel 8, which has taken the rights for Israel.

The distributor previously sold the title to Pretty Pictures in France, which has taken all rights for both the series and for a forthcoming single doc cut, at either 90- or 120-minutes.

The series was acquired for SBS by network programmer Jane Roscoe, and comes after the Australian net previously acquired the series America in Primetime. First Hand is billing the two series as complimentary.

“We think it’s cool to follow up on America in Primetime with Bergman’s Video,” First Hand Films MD Esther van Messel told realscreen, “as the first is an ode to TV and the latter is an ode to cinema, both in passion and persistence of brilliant storytelling.”

Bergman passed away in 2007, leaving behind a VHS collection of almost 1,500 tapes, which producers have acquired exclusive access to. Bergman’s Video was produced by Sweden’s G├Ądda Five in conjunction with SVT Sweden.

The directors are Jane Magnusson, Hynek Pallas and Fatima Varhos, with the latter also serving as producer.

About The Author
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.