Extra: “Captains of Zaatari” added at Sundance line-up; news from DCD Rights and ZDF Enterprises

Feature doc Captains of Zaatari premieres at Sundance Egyptian filmmaker Ali El Arabi’s first doc feature Captains of Zaatari will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in the ...
January 13, 2021

Feature doc Captains of Zaatari premieres at Sundance

Egyptian filmmaker Ali El Arabi’s first doc feature Captains of Zaatari will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Documentary Competition. Shot in narrative-style the doc was filmed over six years and follows two best friends in a Jordan refugee camp who dream of becoming pro soccer players.

El Arabi previously produced documentaries for National Geographic, ZDF and Stern Germany. He also runs his own Cairo-based production company, Ambient Light, which focuses on topics relevant to the MENA region including refugee displacement and women’s and children’s rights.

DCD Rights sells multiple series globally

UK-based distributor DCD Rights has sold a slate of recent non-scripted programming to international platforms and broadcasters.

First up is A World Without NASA, produced by Go Button Media for CuriosityStream, and which reveals how NASA has impacted our lives. It has been acquired by Prima Group – Czech Republic, Da Vinci Channel – Russia, Poland, Turkey, Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, Baltic States, Emirates Cable TV E-Vision – Middle East, Virgin Media – UK, and, RAI – for Italian speaking Europe.

The six-part series Phantom Signals, produced by Go Button Media for Science Channel, which looks at the phenomenon of mystery signals across the universe, was picked up by Discovery – Spain & Andorra and for the A+E Networks UK channel Sky History in the UK, Gibraltar and Malta.

The series How To Make… follows material scientist Zoe Laughlin as she challenges herself to make her version of some of the most iconic and best-loved everyday items that we all use. Produced by Wonder Television for The Open University and BBC Four, this factual series was acquired by international broadcasters UR: Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, Geo Television – German-speaking Europe, RTV – Slovenia, American Public Television (APT) – USA, The Open University of Hong Kong and Knowledge Network – Canada.

Last but not least is the 20-episode factual series Disasters Engineered, where engineers push the boundaries of innovation, landing new sales at YLE – Finland, Spektrum – Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, True Visions – Thailand, TVNZ – New Zealand, Discovery – Benelux and RMC Story – French-speaking Europe & Africa. Disasters Engineered is produced by SWR Media, Intermission Film & DCD Rights in association with Dash Pictures for Science Channel & Discovery UK.

ZDF Enterprises completes “Lawless” filming

ZDF Enterprises (a subsidiary of German broadcaster ZDF) has wrapped filming on Lawless,, a doc series chronicling the brutality and crimes committed in Germany during 1945-1949 as the country lay in ruins, following the end of World War II.

The series sees leading experts such as the American historian and author, Scott Krause, and Russian historian and human rights activist, Nikita Petrov, along with criminal investigators, take a look at some of the most notorious criminal cases of the post-war era, in both West and East Germany. Examining that turbulent four-year period from a new angle, the program paints an intriguing, as well as shocking, portrait of life in a war-torn society where self-preservation overrules moral and ethical considerations, according to the producer/distributor.

Coproduced by ZDF Enterprises and produced by Februar Film for ZDFinfo and ZDF.History, the series was filmed in a dozen different locations in Germany. Lawless is being packaged as a two-part series or a one-off special and is currently in post-production with an estimated delivery in spring 2021.


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