Docs

First Hand Films sells “Torture,” “Footprints”

Swiss distributor First Hand Films is set to bring a political and current affairs-centric documentary slate to MIPTV next month with films including Sound of Torture (pictured) and Footprints of War.
March 25, 2014

Swiss distributor First Hand Films is set to bring a political and current affairs-centric documentary slate to MIPTV next month with films including Sound of Torture (pictured) and Footprints of War.

In the lead-up to the April market, the Netherlands’ VPRO for VARA and Al Jazeera Networks acquired documentary Sound of Torture, about kidnapped Eritrean refugees in the Sinai, while Switzerland’s RSI picked up Footprints of War, on the after-effects of the First World War.

Meanwhile, HBO bought The Defector: Escape from North Korea, on the experience of North Korean refugees escaping to China, while Japan’s NHK and Latin American net Telesur bought media censorship doc Shadows of Liberty.

Finally, Russia Today picked up Heroes for a Semester, where young European students try to help wrongly convicted prisoners, and Austria’s ORF took Surviving the Tsunami: My Atomic Aunt, which revisits Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

“Over the years, we have always selected our current affairs and political documentaries with a view to extending our reach in the international market to help draw attention to some of the key crises going on in the world,” said Esther van Messel, CEO of First Hand Films, in a statement. “Stories need to be told in their raw form in order to build awareness on a global level, and as the following sales reflect, demand is still very strong for this genre.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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