The MIPTV 2016 Shopper’s Guide, part two

With MIPDoc kicking off in Cannes tomorrow (April 2) followed by MIPTV on April 4, realscreen presents the second part of its annual round-up of new non-fiction and unscripted titles from distributors heading to the Croisette. (Pictured: Beyond Distribution's Too Many Cooks)
April 1, 2016

With MIPDoc kicking off in Cannes tomorrow (April 2) followed by MIPTV on April 4, realscreen presents the second part of its annual round-up of new non-fiction and unscripted titles from distributors heading to the Croisette. Read the first part of our guide here, and don’t forget to catch up on our MIPTV Picks.

108 Media

The Toronto-headquartered distributor returns to Cannes with 115 hours of new factual feature films and series, including the newly acquired doc Liemba (1 x 60 minutes), which tells the story of a journey aboard Liemba, the world’s last surviving steamship that still serves the communities of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania.

The doc is part of an exclusive film package 108 Media recently acquired, which contains the rights to 44 feature films from indie film distribution specialists Indican Pictures.

Other new titles include the doc T-Rex (1 x 91 minutes), about 17-year-old American boxer Claressa ‘T-Rex’ Shields, who becomes the first woman in history to win a gold medal in Olympic boxing; and Run Free (1 x 92 minutes), on an American ultrarunner who helped the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico preserve their traditional running culture through the creation of a 50-mile ultra marathon.

Headlining the distributor’s series package is chef Nobu Matsuhsia’s factual TV series, Nobu’s Japan (5 x 30 minutes; Japan Cable Television Ltd.), which looks to find “traditional Japanese bounty” with internationally known chefs across the globe; the original copro Tourism Salvation (10 x 60 minutes), a travel series that explores under-travelled places, which also has a completed pilot and is available for pre-licensing; and finally Nightclub Confidential (17 x 30 minutes), on the challenges of operating a night club in a small town. The title is available both as a completed series as well as a format for the international market.

Argonon International

The global super-indie’s distribution arm is headed to the Croisette with a trifecta of factual properties spanning crime, drama and animal emergencies.

The hour-long special The Pusher (Britespark Films for Channel 4) follows ex-murder detective Tony Blockley as he reviews the cases of three young men who mysteriously drowned in the canals of Greater Manchester. Blockley questions whether the cases could point to the existence of a waterway serial killer, or are simply part of an urban legend.

The 2 x 60-minute Penguin A&E (Remedy Productions for Channel 5) follows the daily activities of Cape Town’s SANCCOB Western Cape Centre, which tends to penguin patients. The series follows the frontline care afforded to the creatures, including rescues, lifesaving procedures, rehabilitations and releases. The program is to debut on Channel 5 this spring.

Rounding out Argonon International’s MIPTV slate is the hour-long special 24 Hours to Save a Face (Transparent TV for Channel 5), which shadows Erick, a 17-year-old Ugandan, as he undergoes an operation to remove a 2kg tumor on his face. The ob-doc follows top surgeons as they perform ground breaking surgery – which has only a 40% survival rate – in order to construct a new face for their patient. 24 Hours will also air in the UK this spring.

A+E Networks' Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown for FYI

A+E Networks’ Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown for FYI

A+E Networks

The international media company will be at the Palais with more than 35 attending execs and, alongside such highly anticipated entries as the scripted Roots miniseries, a host of unscripted titles and formats.

The docuseries 60 Days In (12 x 60 minutes; Lucky 8 TV) follows seven people who enter one of America’s most dangerous jails – the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex in Jeffersonville, Indiana – in a bid to expose the realities of life behind bars. The series is made possible through a program devised in which participants are able to live among the facility’s general population for 60 days, with all actions caught on 24/7 cameras, without officers, fellow inmates or staff knowing their secret.

Also launching is the series Billion Dollar Wreck (8 x 60 minutes; Original Productions), which finds treasure hunter Martin Bayerle enlisting the help of his son Grant to solve the mystery of the RMS Republic and recover a billion dollar treasure.

A+E Networks’ newest format is Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown (60 minutes, Kinetic Content), a culinary competition series that pits some of the world’s most talented young cooks against professionally trained, adult chefs. Chef and TV personality Adam Gertler hosts the series, which includes judges Mike Isabella, chef and Washington DC restaurateur, and Alia Zaine, LA-based private chef.

Elsewhere, two formats being demoed include The Rap Game (60 minutes, Intuitive Entertainment), which follows rapper and music mogul Jermaine Dupri as he mentors five aspiring young American rappers, as well as Fit to Fat to Fit (60 minutes; Renegade 83), which finds trainers putting themselves to the weight-loss test along with their clients.

Beyond Distribution

The British daytime cooking show Too Many Cooks (20 x 30 minutes, pictured; True North for Channel 4) leads the new titles Beyond is launching at MIPTV. The series focuses on three amateur foodie couples who compete to please demanding party hosts in order to win cash.

Other new titles on the company’s UK-centric slate include the doc The Other Prince William (1 x 60 minutes; Doubleband Films for Channel 4), about the Queen’s playboy cousin; Ice Stars (10 x 30 minutes; Drummer TV for CBBC), which follows the lives of a group of young skaters; and Quarx, (26 x 11 minutes; Screen Glue for CuriosityStream), a science education series starring three teens who do experiments and post them online.

Corus Entertainment

The Canadian producer and broadcaster – which operates W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada and CMT Canada – is bringing two new unscripted lifestyle series to Cannes.

My Baby’s Having a Baby (10 x 60 minutes; Our House Media) looks at pregnancy from the point of view of a grandmother and a teen mom. The series follows five families in the U.S. and Canada over six months to see how they deal with milestones such as birth, relationships and high school graduation.

Meanwhile, Worst to First (10 x 60 minutes, Great Pacific Media) stars contractors and brothers-in-law Mickey and Sebastian, who transform the worst-looking houses in one of Vancouver’s best neighborhoods. Each episode features the pair working with a different family. Both series are in production.


The Toronto distributor is bringing more than 200 hours of new programming to Cannes this April, including eight new series from boomer-targeted lifestyle and arts broadcaster Zoomer Media.

The Zoomer (38 x 60 minutes) is a magazine series hosted by former media baron Conrad Black; Messages from Spirit (26 x 30 minutes) explores the afterlife with medium Colette Baron-Reid; The Concert Series (26 x 30 minutes) is a classical music performance program; and IdeaCity (60 x 60 minutes) features talks by author Margaret Atwood, astronaut Marc Garneau and others.

Bollyfit (26 x 30 minutes) focuses on traditional Indian dance; Divine Intervention (18 x 30 minutes) stars Shmuley; Healing Yoga (86 x 30 minutes) is a restorative yoga series; and Ask Doctor Zach (15 x 30 minutes) is a health advice show featuring ER doctor Zach Levine.

Distribution360 is also representing the 4K-shot series Tales By Light (6 x 30 minutes; Untitled Film Works and Canon Australia for National Geographic Channel), which follows photographers working in extreme environments.


The London-headquartered indie acquired a raft of titles in the lead-up to the market, including the worldwide rights (excluding the UK) to stripped daytime game show format Masterpiece (20 x 60 minutes; ITV1), in which teams of antique and history fans go head to head in a series of challenges that include valuing collectables and finding practical uses for strange historical objects.

Other DRG titles include If Walls Could Talk (6 x 60 minutes), in which the owners of old houses get to know their homes from the inside out, as well as The Power Stays With Me (8 x 60 minutes), where eight youths invite a politician over to their homes for 24 hours.

FranceTV Distribution

Among the projects being shopped by the distribution arm of France Télévisions: Champions Factory, which looks at how various countries nurture their athletes and become “champion factories” for specific sports. Season one includes six 52-minute episodes and season two will be available by 2017. The project is produced by Camera One Télévision.

Also in the sports area but with a historical twist, there’s Artline Films’ Hitler’s Champions, which looks at the intertwined fates of the leading sports figures during the Third Reich. It’s available in 2 x 52-minute and 1 x 102-minute formats.

Another instalment in the acclaimed ‘Apocalypse’ series from CC&C is available as a single 90-minute film or two 45-minute episodes. Apocalypse: The Battle of Verdun looks at one of the biggest battles in any war – a battle which has its centenary this year.

Other Second World War titles being shopped by FranceTV Distribution at the market include Label Image’s I Betrayed Hitler and Drancy 1943: The Big Escape (both 52 minutes), and Varian Fry’s List.


My First Holiday

Formats originating in the UK, Finland and Italy are headlining the global distributor’s programming slate. The company is targeting the game show Bang on the Money (8 x 60 minutes; Thames for ITV) at mainstream broadcasters searching for primetime, family-oriented fare. The show pits two teams of young people against one another in a series of physical studio challenges.

Football Nightmares (8 x 60 minutes; FremantleMedia Italy) is a format co-developed with Italian football manager and former player Gianluca Vialli. The show follows two ex-pro players as they set out to transform a troubled local football club in a week’s time.

Finally, the reality format My First Holiday (12 x 60 minutes; FremantleMedia Finland for Nelonen) tags along with travelers from diverse backgrounds as they embark on a foreign vacation for the first time. The series became the highest-rated program launch on Nelonen.

Keshet International

Three new factual titles will join the Israeli distributor’s catalog at MIPTV this month. Touch (Keshet for Keshet Broadcasting) is a TV and mobile game that uses touch screens to enable viewers to play along with the show on air or independently offline. Contestants in the studio and players in the audience are challenged to look at a picture and figure out what is wrong with it.

Keshet is also selling the competitive factual entertainment format Battle of the Chefs (Keshet for Keshet Broadcasting), which launches in Israel this summer. In the series, two celebrity chefs used to judge the work of others are sent to a country where they are unknown and must compete for the title of Best Chef. The third new title is the drunken taxicab confession series Walk of Shame Shuttle (13 x 30 minutes; Brian Graden Media for VH1), which is available as a format or finished series.

PBS International

The U.S. pubcaster’s distribution arm has added four documentary titles to its 2016 MIPTV line-up. Munich ’72 and Beyond (1 x 45 minutes; Foundation for Global Sports Development) revisits the shooting deaths of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich; while both The Nazi Games: Inventing the Modern Olympics (1 x 60 minutes; Taglicht Media) and The Boys of ’36 (1 x 60 minutes; American Experience for PBS) are in production and due for release in August to coincide with the Rio Olympic Games.

Nasser’s Republic: The Making of Modern Egypt (1 x 56 minutes; Mermaid House/Filmmakers Collaborative) looks at the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt’s second president; and Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain (1 x 60 minutes; Detroit Public Television for PBS) delves into the world of bipolar disorder to dispel stereotypes around the illness. Finally, the distributor will be selling the first instalment of the two-part A Year In Space (1 x 55 minutes; Red Border Films for PBS), which profiles astronaut Scott Kelly, the first American to spend a year in space. The second part will air in 2017.

Peace Point Rights

Inspired with Anna Olson

The Toronto-based distributor’s slate includes food series, docs and scripted content and includes new title Inspired with Anna Olson (10 x 30 minutes; Peace Point Entertainment for Scripps Asia-Pacific).

The 4K-shot lifestyle series follows the pastry chef – star of Bake with Anna Olson and Fresh with Anna Olson – on a journey through Southeast Asia, where she learns about the region’s signature dishes as well as local cooking techniques and ingredients that she can adapt for North American kitchens.

Pilot Productions

Producer/distributor Pilot Productions is bringing chocolate and coffee to the Croisette. The travel-focused seller’s MIPTV catalog includes the doc The Story of Chocolate (1 x 52 minutes), a globetrotting history of cocoa; as well as The Story of Coffee (2 x 52 minutes/3 x 26 minutes).

New history titles include The Lost World of Sir Joseph Banks (5 x 26 minutes), about the explorer who accompanied Captain Cook on his voyage to Australia; and Ottomans and Christians: Battle for Europe (3 x 52 minutes), featuring host Julian Davison. Pilot is also repping the miniseries Tough Boats (6 x 52 minutes), about “the most epic boat journeys in tough and challenging environments on the planet.”

TCB Media Rights

London’s TCB Media Rights will have 19 new titles on offer for buyers in Cannes. Among them are the documentaries Beaver Las Vegas (2 x 60 minutes; Middlechild for Channel 5), about beaver dams that are helping Vegas’ water shortages; Kitten Impossible (2 x 60 minutes; Middlechild for Channel 5), about cat antics; the ob-doc series The Big Ward (10 x 30 minutes; Greenstone for New Zealand’s TV2), which follows obese patients who undergo stomach-stapling surgery; and The Cruise (6 x 30 minutes; Wild Pictures for ITV1), set on a luxury cruise liner.

The company also announced a handful of pre-sales deals for Handel Productions’ Definitive Guides: Extreme Sea Monsters and New Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle to RMC Découverte France, N24 Germany and SBS and Foxtel in Australia. Foxtel and RMC also acquired Inside Secret Societies (6 x 60 minutes; Like A Shot Entertainment for Discovery), which looks at the worlds of cults and militant groups.

Zodiak Rights

Banijay Group-owned Zodiak has stunts, comedy, puppies and the British Royals on its 2016 MIPTV slate. Leading the pack is the Arnold Schwarzenegger-hosted countdown of the world’s 50 greatest stunts, Arnie’s Greatest Ever Stunts (1 x 120 minutes; Zig Zag Productions for Channel 4).

In Billy Connolly Tracks Across America (3 x 60 minutes; 7Wonder for ITV1), the comedian travels on Amtrak trains across the U.S. while strumming a banjo; while Saving Lives at Sea (4 x 60 minutes; Blast! Films for BBC1) looks at Britain’s lifeboat rescue service.

Choose the Right Puppy For You (2 x 60 minutes; RDF Television for BBC2) pairs dog lovers with new pets with help from trainer Louise Glazebrook; while The Royal Good Guys (1 x 60 minutes; CB Productions for France 5) looks at the philanthropic endeavors of the British Royals.

Buyers interested in more hard-hitting fare might look at Paris Attacked: One Year of Terror (1 x 60 or 90 minutes; Memento Films for Planète), which looks at the Charlie Hebdo and November 2015 attacks on the French capital; or the doctor-assisted suicide doc How to Die: Simon’s Choice (1 x 90 minutes; Minnow Films for BBC2) – Realscreen’s MIPTV Picks 2016 Best In Show winner.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.