The MIPCOM 2013 shoppers’ guide

With MIPCOM 2013 kicking off in the south of France on Monday (October 7), realscreen highlights some of the new non-fiction content on offer from a host of distributors heading to the Cannes Croisette.
October 4, 2013

With MIPCOM 2013 kicking off in the south of France on Monday (October 7), realscreen highlights some of the new non-fiction content on offer from a host of distributors heading to the Cannes Croisette.

A+E Networks

The sales arm of the U.S. giant is bringing more than 500 hours of content to the South of France next week, including 32 new series, 20 returning titles, and 24 Lifetime original movies.

Headlining the slate will be H2 title Big History (16 x 30-minutes), a doc series coproduced with Bill Gates’ Big History Project; along with reality series Modern Dads, The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man and Double Divas.

Also on sale will be returning ratings hits Duck Dynasty, which is now at 49 x 30 minutes plus 4 x 60-minutes; and Ice Road Truckers, which is now at 102 x 60-minutes.

BBC Worldwide

Among the new titles being brought to market by the distribution arm of the UK pubcaster is the realscreen MIPCOM Picks’ ‘Best In Show’ (3 x 50 minutes), a series using the latest filming technology that puts the microscope on tiny animals; and Life Below Zero – The Thaw (6 x 45 minutes), which follows four Alaskan households in different corners of this territory as they face challenges after a harsh winter.

Also on the slate is Wild Brazil (3 x 50 minutes), a BBC-Discovery Channel coproduction which looks at the lives of some of the country’s most iconic animals, and the fact ent series The Moaning of Life. Karl Pilkington (pictured below), the star of the latter title, will be in Cannes to promote the program.

karl pilkington

Beyond Distribution

Two new crime series – Addicted To the Life (12 x 30 minutes) and A Stranger In My Home ­– feature on the Beyond distribution slate for 2013.

The former tells the stories of everyday men and women who get caught up in a life of crime and can’t break the habit, while the latter shares the true stories of trusting victims who opened their homes to a stranger, with devastating consequences.

Also on the slate are documentaries Charlotte: My Story (1 x 60 minutes), Flying Solo (1 x 60 minutes) and Anh Does Britain (2 x 60 minutes).


Connecticut-headquartered CABLEready will be bringing five new series to MIPCOM, with highlights including Into the Fire (11 x 30 minutes), a documentary series following professional Muay Thai fighters; and Fraud Squad: Scam Me If You Can (13 x 60 minutes), which is hosted by Frank Abagnale, the man who inspired Hollywood blockbuster Catch Me if You Can.

Also on the slate is The Real Story of Black Hawk Down, a 120-minute, Aquavision-produced doc in which pilot Michael Durant tells the story of having his Army Special Ops helicopter shot down over war-torn Somalia.


The Israel-based distributor has this week acquired all rights, excluding the UK, to feature doc No Fire Zone, from Nobel Peace Prize-nominated director Callum Macrae. The film is the culmination of a three-year investigation into the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war, and is narrated by British actor Rufus Sewell.

Also on the Cinephil slate will be festival hits Mission Congo and Ukraine is Not a Brothel, along with the anticipated, Wim Wenders-helmed series Cathedrals of Culture (pictured below, 6 x 26 minutes, 3D/2D), an architecture series that illustrates how buildings reflect our culture, with individual episodes directed by Wenders, Robert Redford, Karim Ainouz, Michael Madsen, Michael Glawogger and Margreth Olin.

cathedrals of culture

Discovery Enterprises International

On the eve of the market, Discovery Enterprises International has penned a deal to represent seven docs from New World Distribution’s programming catalog.

Among the titles available at MIPCOM will be The Cold War And Beyond, a doc promising an inside view of the Cold War era told through the eyes of the former Soviet and U.S. leadership; surf doc A Deeper Shade of Blue, from surfing filmmaker Jack McCoy; and Chasing Rainbows, which looks at the first lawsuit from a same sex couple in the U.S., suing a state over the right to marry.

Also on the slate is Running Dry, a doc about water shortages around the world; Mexico-set drug story Morenita; and breakdancer doc BBoy for Life.


Endemol will be bringing award-winning TV chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh to the south of France, to promote their BBC series The Incredible Spice Men. The show sees the duo livening up everyday cuisine using spices and exotic ingredients.

Also appearing in Cannes will be magician Troy Von Scheibner, the star of the forthcoming Channel 4 series Troy (working title). Showcasing stunts and tricks in front of an unsuspecting public, the series combines elements of street magic with close up studio illusions, and is a Zig Zag Productions and GroupM Entertainment coproduction.

Entertainment One (eOne)

The distribution arm of the Canadian firm has acquired the U.S. and international rights to Buck Productions’ factual titles The Project: Guatemala (pictured below) and Our Family Vacation.

The Project: Guatemala, which airs on OLN and CityTV in Canada, follows nine unsuspecting twenty-something travelers who head to Guatemala on a six-week vacation, only to find out they are volunteering on a construction project for a local charity.

In Our Family Vacation, meanwhile, sees two different families travel the world on vacation filming everything that happens with their own cameras.

the project guatemala

MercuryMedia International

Leading the slate for MercuryMedia will be two Tribeca hits: Nicholas Wrathall’s The United States of Amnesia, which examines the life of the late, lauded writer Gore Vidal; and Oxyana, a film about drug addiction which won two prizes at the New York festival earlier this year.

Also on offer will be Everybody Street, Cheryl Dunn’s portrait of the street photographers of New York City, and Defiant Requiem, which tells the tale of the prisoners of the Terezín concentration camp who performed Verdi’s Requiem in defiance of their Nazi captors.

The latter title is being offered to tie-in with the forthcoming Holocaust Memorial Day, in January 2014.

Off the Fence

Anglo-Dutch distributor Off the Fence will be launching some 800 hours of premium content to buyers, including titles from Smithsonian Networks, WE tv, the BBC, VH1 and PBS.

On the science front, Space Voyages (4 x 60 minutes) offers viewers insight into NASA’s work in developing space travel, while Shuttle Discovery’s Last Mission (1 x 60 minutes) is a celebration of the space shuttle Discovery after 27 years of service.

Historical title JFK50 – Eyewitness to History (1 x 60 minutes), meanwhile, from Dallas Morning News, looks at the assassination of JFK, while natural history title Saving Otter 501 (1 x 60 minutes), from Sea Studios in the U.S., follows the rehabilitation of a newborn otter pup that has been found abandoned on the beach.    

PBS International

New to Cannes from the distribution arm of American pubcaster PBS is Emmy-nominated series Pioneers of Television (6 x 60 minutes), which examines the behind-the-scenes stories and facts about programming genres and beloved U.S. TV shows such as The Thorn Birds, Dallas, Batman, and Bonanza.

Also new to market is Raw to Ready (4 x 60 minutes), which ventures behind factory doors to explore the process by which the most basic or raw materials and elements get turned into into powerhouse machines.

Finally, Secrets of Britain examines notable British landmarks, including the Tower of London, Selfridges, and Scotland Yard, via six one-hour specials. The show comes from Pioneer Productions, producer of the Secrets of the Manor House series.


French distributor Zed will be throwing its weight behind Jackie Without Jack (1 x 52 minutes, pictured below) in Cannes.

The documentary, which was a realscreen MIPCOM Pick this year, centers around a series of taped conversations featuring JFK’s widow, Jackie, conducted mere months after the assassination of her husband.

Also featuring on the French firm’s slate will be Stalin In Color (1 x 52 minutes or 85 minutes), which features colorized archival material of the famous leader; and The Nazi Nurseries (1 x 52 minutes), which looks at the Nazis’ secret Lebensborn breeding program.

jackie without jack


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