Extra: WGA East to host showrunner program; Screen Australia backs 10 docs

WGA East to host showrunner training program The Writers Guild of America East has unveiled its second annual non-fiction showrunner training program. The program, which runs out of the WGA East’s Manhattan ...
July 17, 2018

WGA East to host showrunner training program

The Writers Guild of America East has unveiled its second annual non-fiction showrunner training program.

The program, which runs out of the WGA East’s Manhattan headquarters on July 21 and July 28, will set its sights on preparing qualified writer-producers to advance their careers to the showrunner level.

The training program will cover topics including pitching and development; staffing, budgets and schedules; and liaising with networks and production companies.

Experienced unscripted showrunners will lead this year’s training, including Jonathan Grupper (American Genius), Scottie Madden (Land Rush), Rashidi Hendrix (B.O.R.N. to Style, The Mo’Nique Show), Makario Sarsozo (Evil Talks: Chilling Confessions), Kyle McCabe (Mysteries of the Abandoned) and Tracey Izatt (What Not to Wear, 90 Day Fiancé: What Now).

The WGA East received more than 100 applications for this year’s training program.

Scorpion TV sends content through Europe

UK-based indie content distributor Scorpion TV has inked a package of sales throughout southern Europe for its slate of blue-chip documentaries.

AMC Networks in Spain has taken five of Scorpion’s best-selling titles, including natural history docs The Great Wild Indoors (1 x 45 minutes), Spinner Dolphins (1 x 52 minutes) and Alamto: A Reptile Wonderland (1 x 60 minutes). The Spanish broadcaster has also acquired Do Women Have A Higher Sex Drive? (1 x 52 minutes) and the Oxford Films-produced Brexit Means Brexit: The Unofficial Version (1 x 57 minutes; for BBC1).

French pubcaster TF1, meanwhile, has licensed documentaries for both its main channel and its thematic feeds. Among the highlights are Channel 4′s Diana: In Her Own Words (1 x 110 minutes, Kaboom Film & TV), Flying Rainbow (1 x 52 minutes), and PBS’s The Search for the Last Supper (1 x 52 minutes, Pantheon Productions).

The Search for the Last Supper has also been picked up by Sky Italy, while Rai Italy has acquired Chile: A Wild Journey (1 x 52 minutes), which explores the unique animals found in the South American country.

Elsewhere, Spain’s RTVE has licensed the 56-minute documentary It’s A Match, while AB Groupe in France has acquired Bloomberg’s science-tech series Hello World (10 x 30 minutes).

The deals were brokered by Mireia Garcia, Scorpion’s sales executive for EMEA.

Screen Australia backs 10 documentaries

Screen Australia, the Australian government’s main funding body for screen production, has awarded AU$2.9 million (US$3.9 million) in production funding to 10 documentary projects through its Documentary Producer and Documentary Commissioned programs.

In total Screen Australia will provide AU$1.5 million to the Producer program and AU$1.4 million to the Commissioned program.

The slate of projects includes Australian pubcaster ABC’s Aftermath: Beyond the Firestorm, a feature about the Black Saturday bushfires; SBS’s three-part docuseries First Wars from Blackfella Films; and The Australian Dream, about race, identity and belonging with Australian Football League great Adam Goodes (pictured).

For more information on the selected projects, click here.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images)

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 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.