Realscreen’s MIPCOM Picks, pt. 2

Here are several more projects currently being shopped to international buyers, selected by Realscreen‘s editorial staff. To see part one of this report, click here. (Pictured: I Am Invincible) ON THE ...
October 6, 2020

Here are several more projects currently being shopped to international buyers, selected by Realscreen‘s editorial staff. To see part one of this report, click here. (Pictured: I Am Invincible)

Partners: Warner Max, Jane Doe Films, Impact Partners, Level Forward, Artemis Rising, Shark Island Productions; distributed by Dogwoof
Broadcasters: HBO Max, Direct TV, TV2 Denmark, Globo Brazil, Sky UK, NITV Australia, Rialto NZ, VGTV Norway
Length: 95 minutes
Premiere: January ’20
Rights available: World excluding North America, Latam, UK, Denmark, Spain, Norway, Belgium, CEE, ANZ, Hong Kong

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are no strangers to difficult stories, as the team behind such films as The Hunting Ground, which explored sexual assault on college campuses, and The Invisible War, which examined rape in the U.S. military. Here, they follow former music exec Drew Dixon as she grapples with the decision to reveal allegations of sexual assault against hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. Testimony of other women who have also made similar allegations against Simmons is also featured (Simmons has denied all allegations). At its heart, it examines what the New York Times called “a survivor’s intimate confrontations with cultural pressures and trauma.”

Partners: Ventureland and Passion Pictures in coproduction with Piraya Film; KAN IPBC (Israel) and NDR (Germany); distributed by MetFilm Sales
Length: 76 minutes
Premiered: Sept. 2020 (Doc Aviv)
Rights available: Contact MetFilm Sales

Politics and religion are frequently intertwined, and in the United States, the relationship between various administrations and the Evangelical Christian church has often impacted the making of policy. This film from Maya Zinshtein explores how the “End Times” teaching prevalent in evangelical circles today is not only influencing the behavior of churchgoers, but also American foreign policy. As pastors implore their congregations to donate to Israel to protect it from the tumult prophesied in advance of the Second Coming, the film examines how preparations for an expected apocalypse are also feeding into political power plays in the U.S. and the Middle East.

Partners: Stellify Media for Channel 4; distributed by Sony Pictures Television
Length: 4 x 30 minutes
Aired: June 2020 (UK)
Rights available: Worldwide excluding the UK

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. As global lockdowns effectively froze the television production landscape, broadcasters faced the dilemma of dwindling programming reserves, and captive audiences clamoring for new content. Thus, what came to be known as “COVID-friendly” production came to the rescue, with the bulk of the content self-shot. And in this instance, the cinematographers came from, shall we say, a different talent pool. Celebrity Snoop Pets provides tours of sumptuous celeb abodes, but with the celeb’s pets (in the case of the UK series, dogs) doing the filming via GoPros strapped to their backs, and no doubt in search of treats.

Partners: White Spark Pictures / Banovich Studios / Cross Boarder Productions; distributed by Off the Fence
Length: 90 minutes
Airing: TBD
Rights available: All rights worldwide

As rhinos hover on the brink of extinction, much attention has been paid to the work done by those trying to stem the illegal wildlife trade and rhino poaching. This film takes us to South Africa, where its Kruger National Park has become a flashpoint for the battle against poaching. Filmmakers follow the efforts of two conservationists as they work in tandem with a covert operation determined to defeat one of South Africa’s primary poaching syndicates. With footage stemming from the undercover operations and interviews with some of the poachers themselves, this project delves deeply into the complex issues and figures enmeshed within the battle against poaching.

Partners: Melbar Entertainment Group; distributed by TVF International
Length: 1 x 44 minutes; 1 x 89 minutes; 1 x 106 minutes
Premiere: September 2019 (TIFF)
Rights available: Worldwide excl. Canada, USA, UK, Eire, Malta, Australia and New Zealand

Filmmaker Barry Avrich turns his lens on multiple Grammy winner, composer and record producer David Foster, the man behind hits from such heavyweights as Whitney Houston, Michael Bublé, Chicago, Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion, among others. Here, viewers will gain insight into the recording process behind some of the biggest hits of the last few decades, as well as the inner workings of the producer who shaped the final product.

Partners: Butternut Productions for CBC documentary Channel; distributed by Cargo Films and Releasing
Length: 1 x 78 minutes; 1 x 60 minutes
Premiered: November 2019 (Canada)
Rights available: All rights worldwide

Tucked into the hills outside of San Sebastian, Mugaritz has frequently been hailed as one of the world’s best — and most daring — restaurants. The Michelin two-starred resto is also home to Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz (seen on Netflix’s Chef’s Table), proclaimed as “a rebel in the kitchen” who prioritizes “culinary evolution and an interdisciplinary approach,” or so says his bio. This doc follows the action as a group of young aspiring chefs takes part in a nine-month apprenticeship under Aduriz and serves as both a study of the talented hopefuls, and the “anything goes” approach to edible exploration employed by the head chef and his home base.

Partners: Jamie Oliver Productions for Channel 4; distributed by Fremantle
Length/volume: 24 x 30 minutes
Premiered: August 2020 (C4)
Rights available: Worldwide excluding UK

While some interesting culinary trends have emerged out of lockdown — sourdough bread, anyone? — one thing is for certain. More time at home means more time to up your cooking skills. And who better to help you on that mission than Jamie Oliver? This series, originally for the UK’s Channel 4, showcases the congenial chef at his country home, prepping healthy and hearty meals that won’t intimidate novice cooks or break the bank, as many of them feature eight ingredients or less.

Partners: Produced by Scientifilms for Planete+ France and NHK
Length: 1 x 52 minutes; 1 x 90 minutes
Premiered: April 2020 (France)
Rights available: All rights worldwide

In any other year that wasn’t marked with a global pandemic, massive civil unrest and unstable global superpowers, the news that the U.S. government declassified video footage of unidentified flying objects zooming over the Earth’s oceans would be “stop the presses” stuff. Still, this doc should satisfy those who want to know more about the secret U.S. government program centered around UFOs that has been active for years, and the “unidentified aerial phenomena” that appear in the videos now officially released by the Pentagon. They’re out there… but what exactly are they?

Watch the trailer here.

Partners: Woodcut Media for Sky Crime; distributed by Woodcut International
Length/volume: 3 x 60 minutes
Aired: August 2020 (Sky Crime)
Rights available: Worldwide excluding UK

In a case that shocked the UK and the world, Beverley Allitt, a nurse working in a Lincolnshire hospital in 1991, was convicted in 1993 of four counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and six counts of grievous bodily harm carried out against 13 children in total over the span of 59 days. Nicknamed “The Angel of Death” by British tabloids, Allitt is currently serving 13 life sentences in the UK. This probing doc features interviews with survivors, medical professionals and investigators, and features never-before-heard police interview tapes that shed more light on the mystery behind the heinous crimes.

Partners: Insight TV; distributed by Insight TV
Length/volume: 3 x 45 minutes
Aired: May 2020 (Insight TV)
Rights available: All rights worldwide

This series follows six competitors training for the Invictus Games, an athletics event for veterans founded by Prince Harry featuring sports such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball among others. Here, you’ll see how the athletes have moved from trauma to recovery and how they, through their dedication and talent, illustrate that living with disabilities doesn’t remotely equal inability.

Partners: Expectation for BBC3; distributed by Orange Smarty
Length: 1 x 60 minutes
Airing: October 2020 (UK)
Rights available: Worldwide excluding UK and Eire

Some non-fiction stories can easily be filed under the “stranger than fiction” heading, and this project is one of them. It explores the story of Oli, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome whose biological father was an anonymous sperm donor in the U.S. Suddenly, he finds out that the same man fathered 25 other children, which prompts Oli to travel to America and meet the family he never knew, and perhaps find a sense of belonging that to this point has eluded him.

Partners: Cardiff Productions for Channel 4; distributed by Silverlining TV
Length: 60 minutes
Aired: August 2020 (C4)
Rights available: Worldwide excl. UK and Eire, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Germany

In 2017, British robotics scientist Peter Scott-Morgan was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), a terminal illness that impacts the brain and nervous system and causes progressive weakness. But, like fellow scientist Stephen Hawking, who also had the condition, Scott-Morgan isn’t allowing it to limit him. In fact, it is inspiring him to move beyond what it means to be human, by incorporating cutting-edge technologies to aid his digestion, speech, mobility and more. The documentary provides a portrait of bravery and love for life that should resonate strongly with viewers.

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.