The MIPCOM 2021 Shopper’s Guide, part two

A wide selection of documentary and non-fiction titles will be launched at this year’s hybrid MIPCOM event, which runs Oct. 12-15. Realscreen presents the second installment of our three-part roundup ...
October 7, 2021

A wide selection of documentary and non-fiction titles will be launched at this year’s hybrid MIPCOM event, which runs Oct. 12-15. Realscreen presents the second installment of our three-part roundup of titles being shopped at MIPCOM 2021. You can read part one here.

The German distributor brings a mix of natural history, factual entertainment, science and history to the market this year.

Science projects include BioNTech: Project Lightspeed (52 minutes), which explores one of the companies behind the biggest vaccine development of our day; and engineering series Colossal Machines (6 x 45 minutes).

History content includes Europe’s Forgotten Dictatorships (2 x 45 minutes), Kalanag – Hitler’s Magician (52 minutes, 72 minutes) and a look at a favorite activity of many, The History of Camping (52 minutes).

Natural history and exploration programming includes Heroes of the Deep (4 x 45 minutes) which follows Baltic divers exploring the depths of the sea; one-off Faroe Islands (45 minutes); two-parter Midsummers in Norway (2 x 52 minutes, 2 x 45 minutes) and Portugal’s Nature Parks (5 x 52 minutes).

Although the Paris-headquartered company will not have its usual strong presence at this year’s MIPCOM in Cannes, it is highlighting several entertainment formats and a new docuseries as part of its autumn offering to international broadcasters.

Formats include Starstruck from UK Banijay-owned prodco Remarkable Television for ITV, in which ordinary members of the public, teamed as trios, perform live as their favourite superstars. Also on the format slate is Drag Me Out (pictured) from Mastiff Denmark, Banijay’s entry into the ever-growing drag-centric collection of content, in which a “recurring posse of legendary drag artists compete to create fabulous personas for well-known celebrities.”

Domino Challenge, meanwhile, hails from Endemol Shine North America, Endemol France and Endemol Shine Netherlands, and features domino duos competing to build eye-popping creations. UK prodco Zeppotron brings One Night In… to the mix, a format originally for Channel 4 in which comedians “run wild for one night in an iconic location, with no other visitors around.”

Shop Well for the Planet? comes from RDF West for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, and is an extension of the Shop Well franchise, with experts helping families try to shop better for the planet while hopefully saving some money along the way.

Lastly, on the docuseries front, U.S. prodco Stephen David Entertainment brings Titans: The Rise of Wall Street, for CuriosityStream, to market, The eight-parter explores the role that American high finance has played in shaping global events.

London-headquartered Cineflix Rights brings a slate to MIPCOM encompassing sports, true crime, engineering, automotive and more.

The Greatest of All Time with Photographer Walter Iooss (3 x 60 minutes, Kaufman Films for ESPN) celebrates the greatest athletes of the past 50 years through the work of the renowned American sports photographer. On the automotive front, Richard Hammond’s Workshop (6 x 60 minutes, Chimp Productions and Kremplewood for Discovery+, UK and Eire) follows the former Top Gear host and car aficionado as he launches a high-end restoration shop for rare classic cars and motorcycles.

History content includes Voices from the Dead (3 x 60 minutes, SandStone Global for Channel 5, UK), which follows professor Bettany Hughes as she combines new technology with investigative skills to reveal intimate portraits of the people of Ancient Egypt and Pompeii. Secret Nazi Expeditions (6 x 60 minutes, Go Button Media for Canada’s Super Channel), meanwhile, documents Hitler’s obsession with ancient knowledge and artifacts, and its connection with covert missions driving the Nazi propaganda machine.

Engineering programming includes Smoke & Steel: Secrets of the Modern World (6 x 60 minutes, Like a Shot Entertainment for UKTV and Discovery’s Science, U.S.) charts engineering innovations of the industrial revolution while examining how the same techniques and inventions are helping to build the modern world. Moving Houses (10 x 60 minutes, Imagination Television for TVNZ, New Zealand) follows teams as they move beautiful homes to gorgeous New Zealand settings.

More home content comes in the form of Smart Home Nation (10 x 30 minutes, Efran Films for FYI and Crackle, U.S.), which takes viewers on a tour of the most technologically advanced homes on the planet.

True crime series Expert Witness (15 x 30 minutes, Rare TV for BBC1) looks at individuals who have helped solve complex crimes by uncovering critical hidden clues.

Lastly, culinary series Ainsley’s Good Mood Food (10 x 60 minutes, Rock Oyster Media for ITV) follows chef Ainsley Harriott on a “cross-country road trip fueled by a passion for local produce and food that feeds the soul.”

The distribution arm of Italy’s Rai has several doc projects available for international broadcasters. Docuseries include Corps de Ballet. The Giselle Adventure at La Scala Theater (12 x 25 minutes), which goes behind the scenes with one of the world’s most iconic dance companies. Mafia is Cose Nostre (8 x 50 minutes) looks at journalists, public officials and others who have combatted forces of organized crime.

The Human Factor (6 x 50 minutes), meanwhile, explores human rights abuses through the work of a group of reporters and filmmakers, and biographical doc If This Is a Man (92 minutes) tells the story of Jewish chemist, writer and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi.

London-headquartered TVF International is bringing a raft of specialist factual and factual entertainment programming to the market this fall. Science content includes Carbon: An Unauthorized Biography 90 minutes / 45 minutes) from Genepool Productions and Handful of Films and featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson; and Rain: The Untold Story (3 x 60 minutes) from Cwmni Da and Climate for Change (4 x 48 minutes) from Channel NewsAsia.

History content includes Untold Arctic Wars (6 x 52 minutes) made for Yle, DR, NRK and SVT by NTRNZ Media which reveals the role of the Arctic nations in WWII; and Dunhuang: Ancient Silk Road Fortress (5 x 30 minutes / 2 x 52 minutes) commissioned by Tencent and produced by IFA Media.

New factual entertainment programming includes Down for Love (3 x 60 minutes) from Attitude Pictures which follows six people living with Down syndrome who are looking for love relationships. TVFI will also be shopping format rights. Meanwhile, To the Rescue (22 x 21 minutes) from Tommy Habeeb Enterprises explores how foster families find at-risk dogs to bring into their homes.

Other specialist factual programming includes Navigation Films’ aerial single Oman From Above (1 x 60 minutes); Quentin Blake: The Drawing of My Life (1 x 60 minutes) from Wingspan Productions and Afghanistan – The War Comes Home (1 x 48 minutes) from Channel NewsAsia, exploring how radicalized U.S. veterans are becoming involved with extreme militia groups.

The distribution and sales arm of the German public broadcaster has a mix of entertainment, natural history and engineering within the new content it’s bringing to MIPCOM.

Natural history projects include Rescued Chimpanzees of the Congo with Jane Goodall (5 x 50 minutes) from Off the Fence Productions with the support of the Jane Goodall Institute for Curiosity Stream in association with ZDF Enterprises. Filmed over 30 years, it follows the renowned primatologist on her mission to create the largest chimp sanctuary in Africa. Also, ZDFE has on its natural history slate Underworld (5 x 50 minutes), a cave exploration series shot in five international locations. It also hails from Off The Fence for Curiosity Stream in coproduction with ZDF Enterprises and Youku, in association with Wingsight.

Surprise, Supervise! The Prism is a Dancer Show (4 x 90 minutes) os an entertainment format in which unsuspecting members of the studio audience have their Internet presences examined. Meanwhile, engineering series Ancient Superstructures (season 2, 7 x 50 minutes), from Pernel Media in association with RMC Découverte, Histoire and ZDF Enterprises, explores ancient marvels.

(Photo: Camilla Serup Christensen)

About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).