Extra: ZDF Enterprises rebrands; Film London task force chair steps down

ZDF Enterprises rebrands as ZDF Studios Germany-based global distributor ZDF Enterprises is rebranding under the name ZDF Studios. The announcement came on Monday (February 14) from president and CEO Fred Burcksen. Originally ...
February 14, 2022

ZDF Enterprises rebrands as ZDF Studios

Germany-based global distributor ZDF Enterprises is rebranding under the name ZDF Studios. The announcement came on Monday (February 14) from president and CEO Fred Burcksen.

Originally established in 1993 as the commercial arm of German pubcaster ZDF, the company has since moved further into developing and executing local productions and international coproductions for myriad broadcasters around the world, through partnerships and acquisitions, such as 2019′s purchase of Amsterdam-headquartered natural history producer/distributor Off the Fence.

“The new name fits our business model much better and reflects our production and marketing expertise,” Burcksen said in a news release. “Under the new umbrella brand ZDF Studios, we’ll be able to bring our network of affiliated companies even closer together. With consolidated sales of around €240 million, we’re one of the largest rights distributors in Europe.”

Added Thomas Bellut, director-general of ZDF and chair of the supervisory board of ZDF Enterprises: “Since it was established, ZDF Enterprises has achieved a great deal for the ZDF Group. With creativity, ingenuity and efficiency, the group has become a major player in the fiction and non-fiction arena. The new name ZDF Studios makes it instantly clear that this is a media industry company.”

Studio Hamburg in copro deal for police docuseries Reeperbahn Special Unit 65

Studio Hamburg has announced its first ever coproduction deal with Germany’s Gebrueder Beetz Production for the crime documentary series Reeperbahn Special Unit 65. It’s the first docuseries funded by the German Motion Pictures Fund.

The five x 43-minute docuseries (pictured) is the first non-fiction format to receive an invitation to present at the Berlinale Series Market’s Showcase Up Next: Germany, which runs from February 14-16.

The series is currently in production. Set in the notorious St. Pauli Reeperbahn red-light district of Hamburg, it tells the story of FD65, Germany’s first police unit dedicated to fighting organized crime.

Reeperbahn Special Unit 65 was developed and produced by Gebrueder Beetz (Netflix’s Rohwedder: A Perfect Crime). It was commissioned by German TV channels NDR, SWR, WDR and rbb for the ARD Network. It will premiere on the ARD’s digital platform in 2022.

Executive task force chair for Film London steps down

Film London has revealed that Lord David Puttnam CBE will be stepping down as chair of its executive task force this month. He will be succeeded by Left Bank Pictures CEO Andy Harries.

The task force, a collection of stakeholders from industry and the public sector including Netflix, Channel 4, Metropolitan Police and The Production Guild, ensures that London remains one of the most production-friendly cities in the world. As inaugural chair, Puttnam has led the task force since 2004.

His replacement, Andy Harries, established Left Bank Pictures in 2007, and as its CEO has produced a range of hit shows, including Netflix’s The Crown. Left Bank Pictures strives toward sustainable film production, trialing the Green Screen Programme on the first season of The Crown and continuing to implement sustainable best practice.

All3Media confirms multiple sales for investigative doc on anti-vax movement

All3Media International has secured several global broadcast deals for the feature-length doc The Anti-Vax Conspiracy, a timely investigation into the origins of the anti-vaccination movement that won the Association for International Broadcasting’s (AIB) award for investigative documentary (TV and video) and was nominated for a Realscreen Award, for best non-fiction science & technology program.

The film’s North American rights have been acquired by SVOD BBC Select, following the previous acquisition of Latin American rights by HBO Max. The doc has also been picked up by Now TV for Hong Kong, as well as by Taiwan’s Public Television Service.

In the Nordic regions, The Anti-Vax Conspiracy has been acquired by Norway’s NRK and Iceland’s Sýn hf, while European rights have been picked up by DPG Media for Belgium, Canal+ Polska for Poland, RTV Slovenija for Slovenia and Eesti Rahvusringhääling for Estonia.

“As the pandemic continues to impact us all, this deep dive into the anti-vaccination movement has been in strong demand from our clients, as reflected in this wide range of deals,” said Rachel Job, SVP of non-scripted content at All3Media International, in a news release.

First announced in May 2021, the 90-minute film is produced by Caravan and Quicksilver Media for Channel 4 in association with Yuzu Productions and All3Media International. Colette Camden (Married to a Paedophile) directs, with Flora Bagenal serving as producer and Dinah Lord and Eamonn Matthews as executive producers.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor-in-chief and content director for Realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to Realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.