Extra: TVFI reveals summer slate; Sheffield DocFest names 2022 jury members

TVFI unveils summer slate ahead of NATPE Budapest London-based factual distributor TVF International has unveiled its summer slate ahead of the NATPE Budapest content market (June 27 to 30), featuring titles ...
June 21, 2022

TVFI unveils summer slate ahead of NATPE Budapest

London-based factual distributor TVF International has unveiled its summer slate ahead of the NATPE Budapest content market (June 27 to 30), featuring titles ranging across travel, history, science, arts and current affairs.

Leading off the travel bracket is the previously announced Tern Television production Martin Compston’s Scottish Fling (6 x 30 min.), which follows the Line of Duty star (pictured right) and his best friend, TV presenter Phil MacHugh (pictured left), as they traverse their homeland to discover the people and places that are shaping today’s Scotland. TVFI will also be shopping series one and two of Trail Towns (12 x 30 min.) from SBS Australia, and the Thai PBS production Thailand Fantastic (4 x 50 min.).

Among the offerings for contemporary world affairs are When Titans Clash: A New World Order? (3 x 48 min.) from Singapore’s Channel News Asia (CNA), a new docuseries that explores how the shifting power dynamics between the U.S., China, Russia, Taiwan, Japan and India are creating an ever more perilous geopolitical playing field. One of the major recent flashpoints of this new reality takes center stage in CNA’s Ukraine: Life Under Siege (1 x 48 min.), which spotlights how three everyday Ukrainians have responded to the Russian invasion of their country.

Also on the world affairs slate are Keeping the Music Alive (2 x 48 min.) from Emmy-winning factual prodco Babel Doc, which chronicles how Afghanistan’s only all-female orchestra seek to resist the Taliban’s prohibition of music; and Why Do We Even Work? (1 x 45 min.), the second instalment in filmmaker Samuel Durand’s Work in Progress series, which examines the sometimes tectonic shifts in work culture and habits that are occurring worldwide.

Science is represented by Secrets of Size: Atoms to Supergalaxies (2 x 60 min.) from Glasgow-based Furnace TV, and the 4K production Infinity (3 x 60 min.) from Australian prodco Flickapolitan, which explores the scientific, philosophical, religious and artistic questions around the concept of infinity. Nat Geo’s Alaskan Dinosaurs (1 x 50 min.), meanwhile, marks the latest addition to TVFI’s natural history collection.

Historical espionage is spotlighted in Castro’s Spies (1 x 103 min. / 1 x 50 min.) from Gambit Pictures and Eagle Hill Films, which uses previously unseen archive and first-person accounts to recreate the story of the “Cuban Five,” the intelligence ring whose 1990s exploits were recently dramatized in Olivier Assayas’ Netflix production Wasp Network.

Finally, new arts titles include the Pierce Brosnan–narrated Jack B. Yeats: The Man Who Painted Ireland (1 x 50 min.), commissioned by Irish pubcaster RTÉ from Averner Films; Asian Art Stories (6 x 30 min.) from TVNZ, which profiles 18 diverse Asian-origin artists working across New Zealand; and A League of Extraordinary Makers (5 x 48 min.), commissioned from Mediacorp by CNA, which charts the origins and evolution of the international Maker movement and how it has developed in the digital era.

Sheffield DocFest reveals competition section juries for 2022 edition

After revealing the full film line-up for its 29th edition at the end of last month, the Sheffield DocFest has revealed the jury members for the competition sections at this year’s festival, which kicks off on Thursday (June 23).

The jury for the International Competition, which determines the winner of the festival’s flagship Best Film Award, is comprised of filmmakers Emma Davie (Becoming Animal) and Ike Nnaebue (whose feature-length directorial debut No U-Turn will be screening at this year’s festival), along with producer and SEAFIC doc lab founder Raymond Phathanavirangoon.

For the International First Feature Competition, the jurors are filmmaker Roman Bondarchuk, artistic director of the Docudays UA Human Rights Film Festival and a key contributor to the Ukraine-focused Password: Palianytsia program at this year’s DocFest; award-winning composer Nainita Desai; and Natasha Gadd, CEO and creative director of the Australian International Documentary Conference.

The winner of the International Short Film Competition will be determined by filmmaker and producer Zeynep Güzel, BAFTA-winning filmmaker Cherish Oteka, and Saskia Wilson, executive producer at Diaspora Media Hub and an experienced factual producer for broadcast TV.

Finally, the jury for the Tim Hetherington Award — a prize that recognizes filmmakers who carry on the journalistic legacy of the late British photojournalist and documentarian — will be made up of veteran journalist and filmmaker Elena Consentino, head of the International News Safety Institute; filmmaker Akuol de Mabior, whose debut feature-length documentary No Simple Way Home is screening in the Journeys section of DocFest ’22; and Philippe Sands, professor of law at Harvard and University College London and writer of the documentary My Nazi Legacy.

The award winners in all categories will be announced in a ceremony on the last night of the festival on June 28.

Espresso picks up climate doc Finite

Espresso Media International has acquired worldwide distribution rights for the climate change doc Finite: The Climate of Change (1 x 99 min. / 1 x 52 min.), which recently had its world premiere at New Zealand’s Oscar-qualifying Doc Edge Festival.

Directed and produced by environmental activist and first-time filmmaker Rich Felgate, the film chronicles the transnational alliance forged between communities in England and Germany that are fighting locally specific but intrinsically linked battles against the ecological depredations of fossil fuel corporations.

“We could not be more thrilled to be partnering on Finite and distributing this powerful and essential documentary to the world,” said Jess Reilly, Espresso’s head of sales and acquisitions. “Climate activists are often demonized in the press, but Finite intimately shares the stories of the brave individuals who put their lives on the line to protect our planet by directly confronting some of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies. They show just how powerful collective direct action can be.”

BAFTA launches Albert climate tool for film and TV editorial teams

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has launched a new tool, dubbed Albert, that aims to help writers, commissioners, developers and others involved in editorial teams consider new ways to bring climate storytelling into their content.

The tool allows users to choose their program’s genre before answering a series of questions which indicate how “planet-friendly” the program is. During the process, the user will be presented with case studies, reports and impact-study findings to provide context and inspiration for program ideas.

The launch of the Albert tool follows the announcement of the Climate Content Pledge, which was unveiled at COP26. Signed by the CEOs of 12 broadcasters and streamers in the UK and Ireland, the pledge commits to improve the quality of climate storytelling on film and TV screens.

“Our industry’s biggest opportunity to tackle the climate crisis is through the content we share on screen. Not only can we support audiences to navigate this complex issue, but we can [also] explore themes and subjects which are more relevant to audiences than ever,” Carys Taylor, director of Albert, said in a statement. “We know audiences want this, and for content creators and broadcasters to be relevant they’ll need to consider how their stories are impacted by the issue of all issues. This tool helps them to do that.”

The Albert tool can be tried out at this link.

With files from Justin Anderson

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.