Docs

From natural history to true crime: Realscreen’s MIPCOM Picks, pt. 2

While travel is hampered by the pandemic, programming is still traveling globally, and the annual MIPCOM conference is a prime opportunity to see content on the move. From social issues ...
September 29, 2021

While travel is hampered by the pandemic, programming is still traveling globally, and the annual MIPCOM conference is a prime opportunity to see content on the move. From social issues to true crime, and from blue-chip natural history to archive-led documentary, there’s a wealth of great stuff in the mix this spring, as seen here. As usual, our editorial team screened scores of programming clips to arrive at this list, which will appear here throughout this week, as well as in our September/October print issue, available now. Here’s Part 2 of this year’s selections — for Part 1, click here. Look for Part 3 tomorrow.

LAST OF THE GIANTS (pictured)
Partners: Untamed Productions for Discovery Canada; distributed by Fremantle International
Length: 8 x 60 minutes
Aired: August (Evasion)
Rights available: All rights excluding Canada
French television host and adventurer Cyril Chauquet is known to audiences worldwide as the presenter of Chasing Monsters, in which the rugged extreme angler takes on some of the nastiest fish stalking the seas. Here, Chauquet and his team travel to some of the planet’s harshest environments in search of more high-stakes adventure, and more incredible creatures.

THE OTTER: A LEGEND RETURNS
Partners: Hilco Jansma Productions, Ispida Wildlife Productions; distributed by Albatross World Sales
Length: 52 minutes
Aired: January 2021 (EO)
Rights available: Worldwide
Otters have had a pretty good run in various locales, but in the Netherlands, they practically vanished in the late 1980s due to pollution, traffic, hunting and the loss of their natural habitat. After successful efforts to reintroduce them to the region, the Dutch otter is once again doing its signature backstroke through the canals, but it still faces challenges in the densely populated and increasingly urban environment. This natural history doc provides a unique window into the story of a species once again finding its way in a changing world.

THE ART DISPUTE
Partners: Hazazah for BBNVARA; distributed by DFW International
Volume: Eight episodes
Rights available: Worldwide excluding the Netherlands
Scores of us have descended upon museums, slowly strolling hallways, enraptured by the historical heft of the works of art we’re taking in. But the stories behind how some of those pieces arrived in these museums and on these shores aren’t always well known. This inventive series combines historical research, testimony from experts and unique animation to prompt discussions about how colonialism and appropriation have shaped culture.

CANNON ARM AND THE ARCADE QUEST
Partners: Good Company Pictures, Katrine Sahlstrøm; distributed by Cargo Film & Releasing
Length: 97 minutes
Premiered: May 2021 (CPH:DOX)
Rights available: Worldwide excluding Denmark & Sweden
Patrons of Copenhagen’s Bip Bip Bar are accustomed to the sight of Cannon Arm — a man with a graying mullet, usually found playing the 1980s arcade game Gyrrus, sometimes for hours on end. In fact, Cannon Arm (or Kim) is locally heralded for playing a single game of Gyrrus for 49 hours straight. But while that may boggle many a mind, Cannon Arm has a bigger goal in sight — to play for 100 hours, or four days straight, on a single coin. This feel-good film follows Kim and his friends as they prepare for the day when he tackles his quest.

DEVILSDORP
Partners: IdeaCandy for Showmax (South Africa); distributed by Arrested Industries
Length: 4 x 60 minutes
Premiered: July 2021
Rights available: All rights worldwide excluding South Africa
The first original true crime series to air on South Africa’s Showmax was a home run for the streamer, setting records for the most hours watched in its first four days of launch. As with other hits in the genre, its subject is stranger than fiction and stacked full of twists and turns. Focusing on a series of murders taking place between 2012 and 2016 known as The Krugersdorp Killings, the 11 murders were all tied to a shadowy group, dubbed Electus per Deus (or Chosen by God). Combining archive footage and interviews with investigators, victims’ family members and others who knew the perpetrators, the limited series should prove extremely binge-worthy for fans of the genre.

This story first appeared in the September/October 2021 issue of Realscreen Magazine, which is out now. Not a subscriber? Click here for more information.

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