ARTE France and The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have announced a two-year coproduction agreement for the creation of at least two web documentaries. Within the arrangement, one web doc will originate from Canada, the other from France, while creative teams from both countries will collaborate on the content. The agreement was announced during an ARTE press luncheon at Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle, France. Each partner will invest a minimum of €50,000 in each project, with more funds potentially available via various multiplatform funding initiatives in both countries.
Both partners have made significant strides in the realm of web documentary, with ARTE France’s Prison Valley project (prisonvalley.arte.tv), produced with Upian, generating much buzz and the NFB consistently innovating in the online doc space, via streaming docs online at nfb.ca, and through its recently launched interactive portal, //interactive.nfb.ca. Robert McLaughlin, director of digital content and strategy for the NFB, told realscreen that user engagement will be a key focus of the initiative: ‘We like to say that when a project finds itself in front of an audience, that’s only the beginning.’ The projects are in development, with first fruits of the agreement expected to debut in March of 2011.