The MIPCOM 2021 Shopper’s Guide, part three

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 third and final installment of our ...
October 8, 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 third and final installment of our three-part roundup of titles being shopped at MIPCOM 2021. You can read part one here and part two here.

Beyond Rights

Leading the way on Beyond’s fall slate are the 90-minute feature documentaries Facing Monsters and Milked. The former, from Beyond West, Red Eye Productions and Veerhuis Pictures, digs into the psyche of free surfer Kerby Brown as he pursues ‘slab’ waves along the coast of Western Australia. The latter is an investigative film produced by Ahimsa Films where activist Chris Huriwai exposes the whitewash of New Zealand’s multi-billion-dollar dairy industry, and impacts of the industry on health and the environment.

The 2 x 60-minute series The Costa Concordia: Why She Sank, comes from ITN Productions as the 10th anniversary of one of the biggest maritime disasters since the Titanic approaches. The new series explores the accident in forensic detail with graphic reconstruction and expert insight. Another history title from Beyond is Bismarck: 24 Hours to Doom (1 x 90 minutes), produced by Screen Story and based on Iain Ballatyne’s book about the World War II battle in the North Atlantic between Germany and Britain following Bismarck’s sinking of HMS Hood.

Other Beyond titles include Motor MythBusters (8 x 60 minutes) with former MythBusters presenter Tory Belleci applying rigorous science to Hollywood car stunts and everyday automotive questions; Canada’s West Coast: An Untold Story (4 x 60 minutes) produced by Screen Siren, telling stories about British Columbia’s history that turned it into a contemporary centre for social activism; and a pair of travel and adventure titles in Race for the Future (3 x 60 minutes/1 x 90 minutes) from Dash Pictures about a 9,000-mile race from the UK to Chile without using fossil fuels to raise awareness about climate change, and Expedition Asia (10 x 60 minutes) from Ryan Pyle Productions about trekking destinations across the continent.

Beyond is also presenting a pair of animal-based series in Animal Emergency (5 x 60 minutes) an obs-doc series from Scratch Films set in Ireland’s premier vet hospital, and Pooch Perfect USA (8 x 60 minutes), the American version of a popular competitive dog grooming format, hosted by Rebel Wilson. Beyond is also bringing Britain’s Biggest Families (1 x 60 minutes), produced by One Tribe TV, exploring the life of three of Britain’s largest families.

Boat Rocker

Toronto-based Boat Rocker’s slate of new titles for MIPCOM this year is highlighted by Mary Makes It Easy (25 x 30 minutes), produced by Proper Television and featuring culinary expert and best-selling author Mary Berg. Filmed in Berg’s own kitchen, the series premieres on CTV this month and follows Berg as she takes viewers step-by-step through recipes to solve everyday cooking problems.

Weeks of War (8 x 60 minutes) from Wildbear and commissioned by A+E Networks UK provides a perspective of World War II looking at headlines from the frontlines to explore how people survived during the conflict over 41 critical weeks of the war. And Spirit Talker is a 13 x 30-minute docuseries about Mi’kmaq medium Shawn Leonard travelling across Canada, using his psychic abilities to connect the living with the dead.

Flame Distribution

Sydney-headquartered Flame Distribution, part of Flame Media, is bringing 150 hours of new programming to MIPCOM this year. Included in its slate this year is A Girls Guide to Hunting, Fishing & Wild Cooking (8 x 30 minutes), produced by Southern Pictures and Broken Yellow for SBS, an adventure docuseries following a chef turned hunter and forager in Tasmania’s remote Huon valley.

Flame is also bringing a variety of history titles to MIPCOM. Hitler’s Secret Bomb (1 x 84 minutes) from SeaLight Pictures for Discovery Science and SBS explores how close Germany and Japan were to creating a nuclear explosion to win World War II. Secrets of the Celtic Grave (1 x 46 minutes and 1 x 84 minutes), produced by Wildflame Productions, looks at how mysterious ancient objects uncovered in Wales led to the discovery of a Celtic warrior’s grave and long-forgotten hill fort. Finally, Hornby: A Model Empire (10 x 1 hour) is a Rare TV production for UKTV that nostalgically reflects on Hornby, the world’s most famous model train and railway company, and the rigors of getting collector’s pieces for miniatures to its customers.

Insight TV

Insight TV International is touting a diverse lineup of factual content at this year’s MIPCOM. Its slate includes a pair of series bringing names well-known online to TV screens. Backyard Ballistics (10 x 30 minutes) from Zig Zag Productions sees YouTuber Jorg Sprave and auto technician Cheyenne Ruether design, build and test backyard launchers like car slingshots and machine gun crossbows, while Making the Squad: Fortnite Edition (8 x 30 minutes), produced by Spark, follows 10 Fortnite streamers competing for a spot in the G2 Esports Creators Squad.

Insight TV is also presenting Breaking Beyond (6 x 60 minutes) produced by Villain and Red Bull Media House, where six professional breakdancers trade styles, moves and learn about how breaking differs in various parts of the world. Meanwhile, Garms Dealer (5 x 30 minutes) is a football lifestyle series from Zig Zag Productions, in which an 18-year-old fashionista dresses the Premier League’s top players. Finally, Yiannimize Unwrapped (6 x 30 minutes) produced by Spark, sees Yianni Charambolous invite celebrity guests into his garage for a day.

Red Arrow Studios

Headlining Red Arrow Studio International’s format offerings at this year’s MIPCOM is the family entertainment acquisition Who Is the Phantom?, originally produced by Constantin Television for ProSieben in Germany. The format sees celebrities trying to guess the identity of a mystery phantom — another celebrity hidden by a mask — through solving riddles and cracking clues.

Other new titles from Red Arrow this fall include Couple Wars, from Deutsche ProducktionsUnion for Sat.1 in Germany, where competing couples test how well they know each other for a cash prize; #Offlineinthewild, a reality format from Redseven Entertainment for Joyn in Germany, which sees six social media stars venturing into a forest for a week without their cellphones and other modern devices; Deadly Standoff (6 x 60 minutes), a history series from North South Productions for Reelz in the U.S. exploring the stories behind six extraordinary standoffs; and a pair of game shows in Quizness from CPL Productions for Channel 4, and The Opposite Show from Leonine for Sat.1.


This year’s MIPCOM slate from Thunderbird includes 18 new and returning titles across its Factual and Kids & Family divisions, along with nine additional previously announced or confidential series.

New titles from Thunderbird’s factual division, Great Pacific Media, include Gut Job (8 x 60 minutes, HGTV) where Canadian contractor Sebastian Clovis guides property owners through large home renovations; the home makeover series Styled (w/t, 8 x 60 minutes, HGTV), Deadman’s Curse (w/t, 8 x 60 minutes, History Channel) in which former MMA fighter Kru Pitt, a young Indigenous explorer and a treasure hunter and mountaineer try to solve the mystery of Slumach’s lost gold mine; and Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet (9 x 30 minutes, APTN & Cottage Life) which follows a veterinarian treating animals in rural Alberta and learning more about her Métis heritage.


Vice’s slate at MIPCOM this year includes a variety of investigative documentary titles. The Big Squeeze (pictured, 1 x 90 minutes), produced by Vice World News, follows the story of Gamestop and how its stock soared; Vice Versa: Crusaders (1 x 120 minutes), produced by Vice Studios and Moxie Pictures with RYOT, offers access into allegations of abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses; and Vice Versa: College Sports (1 x 120 minutes), produced by Pulse Films, will investigate the NCAA and how its narrative around “amateurism” affects college athletes.

Black Lives Matter: A Global Reckoning is a 4 x 60-minute series from Vice World News about how protesters around the world have rallied to call out anti-Black racism in their own countries after the killing of George Floyd last year.

In the true crime genre, Vice will bring Betraying the Badge to MIPCOM, an 8 x 60-minute series from Pulse Films telling the stories of corrupt cops trying to use their badge to get away with dirty deeds. Small Town Secrets, meanwhile, is a 3 x 60-minute series from Vice World News about a female detective from two towns over coming to Connersville, Indiana to take a crack at a 34-year-old cold case about the disappearance of an 18-year-old student athlete.

Vice’s pop culture slate at MIPCOM includes Chasing Famous from Vice World News, taking viewers into The Wave House where social media influencers produce content for TikTok; and One Star Reviews, a 10 x 30-minute series from Vice TV Productions where presenter Taji Ameen experiences the lowest-rated businesses to see if they’re as bad as the internet says, or simply misunderstood.

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