Sales round-up: Deals for docs on Elon Musk, Princess Diana

Red Arrow Studios International racks up sales for Elon Musk’s Crash Course Global distributor Red Arrow Studios International has signed a number of international deals for its latest event documentary, Elon ...
June 15, 2022

Red Arrow Studios International racks up sales for Elon Musk’s Crash Course

Global distributor Red Arrow Studios International has signed a number of international deals for its latest event documentary, Elon Musk’s Crash Course (pictured), an examination of some of the controversies involving the Tesla CEO and potential new owner of Twitter, specifically around Tesla’s self-driving technology.

The 75-minute doc, which premiered on FX and Hulu in the U.S. in May, now has new global broadcast partners in Canada’s Bell Media, Australia’s Nine Network, AMC Networks International for Spain and Portugal, New Zealand’s public broadcaster TVNZ and Israel’s yes channel.

Elon Musk’s Crash Course is part of Red Arrow’s The New York Times Presents/The Weekly: Special Edition, a collection of premium standalone documentaries produced by the New York Times and Red Arrow subsidiary Left/Right. Other titles in the collection (which is branded as ‘The New York Times Presents in the U.S.) include Framing Britney Spears and Malfunction: The Dressing Down of Janet Jackson.

Content Kings, Silverlining land pre-sales for Diana: The Ultimate Truth

UK TV producer Content Kings and production finance broker and distribution agent Silverlining Rights have announced a number of international pre-sales for a new documentary that examines the circumstances leading up to the death of Princess Diana 25 years ago.

The 60-minute documentary Diana: The Ultimate Truth follows award-winning journalist Mark Williams-Thomas as he investigates the circumstances surrounding Diana’s death in a fatal 1997 car crash and the questions that still remain about it, despite two police investigations into the incident and a verdict of unlawful killing by a combination of the driving of her chauffeur and the paparazzi photographers following her car.

The doc features exclusive interviews with security experts, forensic crash investigators and photographers at the Metropolitan Police who investigated the fatal crash, and a new witness, all speaking for the first time.

Diana: The Ultimate Truth has been pre-sold to platforms and networks worldwide, including Reelz (U.S.), Paramount+ (UK), Foxtel’s Fox Docos (Australia), TV2 (Denmark), RTL Deutschland (Germany), Movistar (Spain), Talpa Networks (Netherlands), CBC Gem (Canada), DPG (Belgium), W9 (France), HSCC’s Channel Hot8 (Israel), and PCCW’s Now TV (Hong Kong), ahead of its launch later this summer.

Off the Fence sells Fantastic Friends in Canada, EMEA and New Zealand

Amsterdam-headquartered factual specialist Off the Fence (OTF) has secured sales of Dash Pictures’ six-part adventure/travel series Fantastic Friends to Canada’s Bell Media (which will debut it on the Crave streaming platform on June 17), HBO Max EMEA (premiering July 2) and TVNZ in New Zealand (August 6).

Hosted by sibling actors James and Oliver Phelps, who played the Weasley twins in the Harry Potter film series, Fantastic Friends follows the duo around the world as they meet up with famous acquaintances who show them around the locales, and then join them in magic-themed challenges and competitions. Series locations include Iceland, Ireland, Dubai and St. Lucia, while the featured friends are the Phelps brothers’ fellow Potter players Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright and Luke Youngblood, as well as Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Sophie Skelton (Outlander) and Academy Award nominee Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense).

The Phelps brothers are executive producers on the series, along with Martin Blencowe (co-founder of personalized video service Cameo) and Dash Pictures founder Daniel Sharp. Sharp also serves as producer and director on the series, which has already gone into production on a second season.

Espresso Media secures package sales in Europe

UK-based documentary and factual distributor Espresso Media International has closed three package sales to European broadcasters VGTV (Norway), A+E Networks Germany and LRT (Lithuania).

Espresso has licensed 10 hours of primarily social and science content to VGTV, including The Human Trial (1 x 52 min.), which follows a clinical trial that could provide a cure for diabetes; the CPH:DOX official selection The Scent of Fear (1 x 90 min.), which looks at people who enjoy fear and those paralysed by it; and Surviving Sex Trafficking (1 x 52 min.), executive produced by Alyssa Milano and Jeannie Mai, which recently saw theatrical release in the U.S.

A+E Networks Germany has also picked up Surviving Sex Trafficking, as well as Nevertheless (1 x 50 min.), which looks behind the headlines of #MeToo and #TimesUp to follow the stories of individuals who have experienced sexual harassment. For its channel Crime + Investigation, the broadcaster has also picked up the true-crime documentaries Not Carol (1 x 77 min.), about a case of post-partum psychosis, and The Murder of Lee Irving: Disability Mate Crime (1 x 52 min.).

In a newly established partnership with Lithuanian broadcaster LRT, Espresso has licensed five hours of diverse content, including the best-selling On Broadway (1 x 52 min.), which takes viewers behind the scenes of Broadway’s most beloved shows; Eating Up Easter (1 x 53 min.), which explores how the Indigenous people and natural environment of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are suffering due to a tourist boom; and E-Life (1 x 52 min.), which explores what happens to electronic waste after we dispose of it.

With files from Andrew Tracy

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor 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.