Montreal-based Media Ranch is taking on the Dining With the Enemy format from Norway by producing a French-language version airing on TV5 in Quebec that sees a journalist and chef covering war zones.
The documentary series, to be locally known as À Table avec l’ennemi, will follow journalist and author Frédérick Lavoie and Toqué! restaurant chef Charles-Antoine Crête as they bring together members of two opposing parties at the dinner table.
Shooting will begin in January of 2014, and the 6 x 60-minute series will air on TV5 in the fall. Production will take place in Mexico, Rwanda, Afghanistan and more.
Media Ranch has also licensed the format for English-speaking Canada and the UK.
“We forget that, in war zones or risk areas, life goes on,” said TV5 programming director Pierre Gang. “People try to live a normal life and their main concerns are much like ours. Through a journey that will be dangerous at times and full of unforeseen events, we hope the dinner table will serve as a meeting place, a place for dialogue and hope between two cultures.”
“It’s amazing how a meal, prepared following local traditions and customs, can bring together opponents who’ve been confronting each other for decades,” added Sophie Ferron, Media Ranch president and producer. “Shooting a broadcast in a foreign country is something, shooting a broadcast in a war zone is something else. Our hosts are pretty brave to accept this mandate.”