RTÉ Programme Sales deals
Ireland’s RTÉ Programme Sales has acquired the distribution rights to a pair of premium documentaries about same-sex marriage and the Irish famine, and has also licensed the full back catalog of the home-design Room to Improve to Channel 5.
Donal Moloney’s Let the Rest of the World Go By (pictured) is a 60-minute standalone documentary about Matt Murphy, an elderly man in failing health who married his best friend, Michael O’Sullivan, in order to leave his friend his house free of inheritance taxes. The case caused an uproar in Ireland, with some claiming the move tarnished the sanctity of marriage, while others praised it as an act of kindness.
RTÉ has also locked up the rights to Ruán Magan’s The Hunger: The Story of the Irish Famine (2 x 60 minutes or 1 x 90 minutes), which uses new research to craft what’s billed as the definitive story of one of the worst disasters in Irish history. The documentary is narrated by Liam Neeson and produced by Tyrone Productions and Create One in association with University College Cork, RTÉ and ARTE.
Meanwhile, RTÉ also licensed the full library of Room to Improve to the UK’s Channel 5 following the successful run of seasons eight to 12 on the channel. The first seven seasons of the show, along with a two-hour special, includes a total of 33 hours of programming. Other recent deals for Room to Improve include Kontent LLC for Russia, The Home Channel in South Africa, AMC Networks for Spektrum Home in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, and several SVOD and AVOD platforms.
Doc Alliance Awards in Cannes
The winners of the Doc Alliance Awards were announced Tuesday (July 13) at Cannes Docs, the documentary-focused program at the Cannes Film Festival. Doc Alliance is a network of seven of the top European documentary film festivals, each of which nominated two films for the awards.
The winner of the Doc Alliance Award – Best Feature Film went for the first time to a DOK Leipzig nomination, The Blunder of Love by Rocco Di Mento. The film, which competed for the Audience Award at DOK Leipzig 2020, sees Di Mento going through his family history via home movies, love letters and even an unpublished novel.
Winning the Doc Alliance Award – Best Short Film was Bless You! from Tatiana Chistova, nominated by Millennium Docs Against Gravity. The film combines recordings of calls to a municipal hotline in St. Petersburg with footage of the city emptied by pandemic lockdowns. Bless You! also competed for the Short Film Audience Award at DOK Leipzig in 2020.
Each winning Doc Alliance director will receive €8,000 to put towards their next project. Additionally, each of the Doc Alliance festivals — CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Millennium Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Ji.hlava IDFF and Visions du Réel — has committed to screen at least three films among the selections at their upcoming editions.