Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and the range of topics and genres represented in the clips submitted to realscreen for consideration for this year’s MIPCOM Picks echoes that sentiment. From hilarious unscripted formats to hard-hitting exposés, and from breathtaking natural history to fresh takes on historical subjects, if our selections here are any indication, buyers will have a wealth of tantalizing projects to pick from in Cannes.
See part 1 of our MIPCOM Picks for 2018 here.
ORANGUTAN JUNGLE SCHOOL
Partners: NHNZ for Love Nature; distributed by Blue Ant International
Length: 10 x 60 minutes
Premiered: August 2018 (Love Nature)
Rights available: Contact Blue Ant International
At the Nyaru Mentang Orangutan Rescue Center, young orphan orangutans are given a chance to learn all they need to know about living in the wild, and with graduation comes the chance to live freely in Borneo’s jungles. From the arrival of the world’s only reported albino orangutan to the planning and implementation of a “banana heist” by one of the more enterprising students, this series gives viewers an incredible glimpse into the world of this endangered species, and the truly unique service designed to reintegrate these animals into the wild.
CULTS AND EXTREME BELIEFS
Partners: The Intellectual Property Corporation for A&E; distributed by A+E Networks
Length: 9 x 60 minutes
Aired: May 2018 (U.S.)
Rights available: All rights, worldwide
In October of last year, the New York Times ran a piece concerning what it called “a secretive group where women are branded,” based in upstate New York. That sparked widespread interest in the activities of NXIVM, which presented itself to the outside world as a self-help organization, but, with subsequent defections and testimonials from former members, is now alleged to be a “sex cult.” Its founder Keith Raniere, was recently arrested and charged with sex trafficking and related offenses. A&E, having scored success with its series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (also produced by IPC), has teamed up with investigative journalist Elizabeth Vargas to explore controversial organizations, including NXIVM and others, through revealing and shocking interviews with former members.
CHASING MONSTERS: EL NINO
Partners: Insight TV Productions and the Go Big Project; broadcast and distributed by Insight TV
Length: 10 x 48 minutes
Airing: September – November 2018 (Insight TV, Europe)
Rights available: All rights, worldwide
Those of us who have a hard enough time swimming a breaststroke across a calm, chlorinated pool will find much to be in awe of here, as cameras follow big wave surfers during the 2016 El Niño season, in search of maximum wave action. Combing the surf from Oahu, Hawaii to California’s Mavericks, this series depicts these athletic thrill-seekers as they navigate tempests in their personal lives while in search of the perfect wave.
MYSTERIES OF THE LOST PAINTINGS
Partners: Sky Arts Hub and Balandi Productions; distributed by Sky Vision
Length: 7 x 60 minutes
Aired: May 2018 (Sky Arts)
Rights available: Contact Sky Vision
This series shines a spotlight on the stories behind works of art from globally renowned painters that, through a variety of reasons, didn’t wind up taking their rightful places in the world’s finest galleries, but gained notoriety nonetheless. Marrying cutting-edge technology with artistic prowess, teams of artists attempt to recreate lost paintings from such masters as Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh and Graham Sutherland, while the tantalizing stories behind the fates of the art works are also revealed.
AMERICA’S HIDDEN STORIES
Partners: Lone Wolf Documentary Group for Smithsonian Networks; distributed by Off the Fence
Length: 8 x 60 minutes
Rights available: All rights worldwide, excluding North America
Sometimes, for whatever reason, the recorded history of a particular event is incomplete, and it isn’t until new evidence is found concerning the event itself, that a clear picture of what really happened emerges. This series uses the findings of archaeologists, forensic scientists and historians to delve deeply into the stories we thought we knew, but are discovering new dimensions of. From Pearl Harbor to the Salem Witch Trials, America’s Hidden Stories shines its spotlight on the dark corners of the stories that shaped American history, illuminating much in the process.
Partners: Rondo Media; distributed by Cineflix Rights
Length: 6 x 60 minutes
Airing: TBD, S4C Wales and JTV Korea
Rights available: All rights worldwide, excluding South Korea (JTV Region)
As a migrant crisis and inflamed political rhetoric concerning the desire for stronger borders reach a critical point, this series, which looks at six “iconic” man-made barriers from around the world, certainly is a timely one. From the Demilitarized Zone that splits the two Koreas to the U.S./Mexico border that American president Donald Trump is looking to fortify, the six-part series from Welsh prodco Rondo Media explores how what divides us ultimately impacts us.
YOU KIDDIN’ ME?!
Partners: Produced by Lionsgate (Format only)
Length: 10 x 30 minutes
Aired: September 2018 (Facebook Watch)
Rights available: Format rights, worldwide
Combining the prank and hidden camera genres and slotting in several celeb families as talent results in a hilarious format that could be the offspring of Punk’d or Candid Camera. This series, which made its debut via Facebook Watch, puts celebrities at the mercy of their families, who guide the good sports through wacky situations with unsuspecting people from the safety of a production studio. Celeb guests include Kris Jenner (who gets to throw a temper tantrum at an art gallery opening — supposedly her own — under the direction of her daughters) Zoe Saldana and Lisa Rinna.
THE FOOD AMBASSADORS
Partners: Maagalot for Kan, Israel; distributed by Armoza Formats
Length: 8 x 60 minutes
Aired: July, 2018 (Israel)
Rights available: All rights worldwide, excluding Israel
Celebrated Israeli chef Barak Yehezkeli hosts this culinary travelogue with a twist. As a successful chef in his home country, Yehezkeli was often approached by top restaurants in other countries, with the aim to woo him away from his homeland. But while he never took the bait, several other chefs who made their names in Israel did head off to other continents to ply their trade. Here, Yehezkeli jets around the world to meet with the “food ambassadors,” to learn about the reasons behind their moves, their approaches to their work, and of course, to taste their wares.
MERCHANTS OF THE WILD
Partners: Buck Productions and Little Bear Big Wolf Pictures; distributed by Beyond Distribution
Length: 13 x 30 minutes
Airing: Late 2018/early 2019 (APTN, Canada)
Rights available: All rights worldwide, excluding Canada
In a world where technology touches every facet of our lives and convenience is all-important, modern society has grown woefully out of touch with the land that has always sustained us. In this docuseries, produced in Canada for APTN, six participants from Indigenous backgrounds hit the wilderness to learn from Elders and Knowledge Keepers about how their ancestors navigated life’s challenges. Traveling along routes used in the fur trade of the 16th century, the young participants gain invaluable knowledge about their own history and their individual strengths and weaknesses.
THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS: LIFE IN THE TWILIGHT
Partners: Studio Hamburg DocLights GmbH in association with ORF and NDR; distributed by ZDF Enterprises
Length: 1 x 50 minutes
Airing: TBD on NDR and ARTE
Rights available: All rights outside German speaking territories and Sweden
Sometimes you just want to sit in front of the big flatscreen and be whisked away to somewhere so incredibly gorgeous that you forget about the smog, clamor and chaos of your urban environment. If you fit that bill, this exploration of one of the world’s most majestic landscapes will provide you with what you need. Orcas, humpback whales and salmon are among the inhabitants of this magical part of the world, beautifully photographed here.