Extra: TVF, APC rack up sales; Kino swings deal for polyamory doc “Bloom Up”

TVF International closes multiple sales across CEE After unveiling its summer content slate earlier this week, UK factual distributor TVF International is heading in to NATPE Budapest with a raft of ...
June 24, 2022

TVF International closes multiple sales across CEE

After unveiling its summer content slate earlier this week, UK factual distributor TVF International is heading in to NATPE Budapest with a raft of confirmed sales to broadcasters across Central and Eastern Europe.

The Aerial Profiles series, from ‘World from Above’ creators Skyworks Productions, has been picked up by a host of outlets, including Telewizja Polsat (Poland), Česká Televize (Czech Republic), RTVS (Slovakia), LRT (Lithuania) and HRT (Croatia), as well as UK multi-genre content licensor TRO Distribution. Telewizja Polsat also acquired Deciphering South Korea (4 x 48 min.) from Peddling Pictures and season two of Hidden Italy (6 x 30 min.) from Sky Arte.

As to other Polish platforms, Canal+ Poland has locked in 40 hours of factual programming that includes science doc Carbon: The Unauthorized Biography (1 x 55 min.) from Genepool Productions and Handful of Films; Animal Instincts (11 x 52 min.) from NHK Enterprises; Indievillage’s Eating Plants (6 x 30 min.); and a trio of offerings from Mediacorp, Food in Our Time (3 x 48 min.), Secret Delicious and In Search of Umami (both 6 x 23 min.).

More Polish sales included a healthy package to Discovery Poland, consisting of Peddling Pictures’ Coded World (4 x 48 min.), Mediacorp’s Tipping Point: Climate Countdown (3 x 48 min.), and the standalone docs System Shock (1 x 54 min.) from Bloomberg TV and How China Got Rich (1 x 56 min.) from Maya Vision; and more than 50 hours of programming to Michal Winnicki Entertainment, including two series each of Tern Television’s Inside the Zoo (18 x 60 min.) and Emergency Helicopter Medics (20 x 47 min.), and the TVF–Tokyovision coproduction Ocean Wild (4 x 48 min.).

Ajara TV, the public broadcaster of the autonomous republic of Ajara within Georgia, licensed 124 hours of programming from TRO Distribution that included the RTE-commissioned series Eco-Eye (48 x 30 min.), City Time Traveller (18 x 30 min.) and Grand Central Stations (8 x 60 min.), as well as the Vision TV commission Ageless Gardens (15 x 22 min.). OBN in Bosnia and Herzegovina topped that order with 125.5 hours of content that included such factual entertainment titles as Celebrity Car Wars (24 x 48 min.), Supermodel Me (36 x 45 min.), Dog’s Best Friend (25 x 22 min.), Give Me Shelter (13 x 30 min.) and A Dog for Life (13 x 24 min.).

Czech broadcaster FTV Prima, meanwhile, picked up 35 hours of programming that included T-Rex: An Evolutionary Journey (1 x 60 min.) and season two of Animal Instincts (3 x 52 min.), both from NHK Enterprises. Finally, National Geographic netted Mediacorp’s Climate for Change (4 x 48 min.) for its channels across Poland, Hungary and Romania.

“As an essential provider of factual content in CEE, TVF’s growing catalog demonstrates the universal appeal of premium unscripted programming in the territory,” said TVF’s senior sales executive for CCE Serafina Pang, who negotiated all the deals above. “We are committed to providing compelling and diverse stories to all our partners in the region, and are delighted to attend NATPE Budapest with a brand new summer slate.”

Kino Lorber nabs North American rights for swinger doc Bloom Up

Kino Lorber has acquired North American distribution rights to the feature doc Bloom Up: A Swinger Couple Story, and has slated it for an August 12 theatrical release to mark the celebration of International Swingers Day on August 13.

The film, which had its world premiere at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in 2021, immerses viewers in the lives of Hermes and Betta, who run a pet shop by day and organize partner-swapping sex parties by night. Forgoing titillation, the doc offers a sex-positive take on polyamory, and the challenges and rewards that come with the lifestyle.

The doc was shot over the course of a year by director and cinematographer Mauro Russo Rouge, and was produced by Annunziato Gentiluomo.

“With this candid, vulnerable, and tender portrait of a relationship, Mauro has captured how there is so much more to the swinger lifestyle than just sex,” said Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell, who negotiated the acquisition deal with Marco Urizzi, head of sales for Wide Management. “Though he shows us many intimate moments between his subjects, it’s the emotional nakedness on display that stays with the viewer. We’re so pleased to share this documentary with North American audiences.”

“I’m excited about Kino Lorber’s acquisition of the film. In the last few years, they have distributed films by Abel Ferrara, Gianfranco Rosi, Yuri Ancarani, Pietro Marcello, and Bruno Dumont, and it’s a great privilege for me to be in this company,” added director Mauro Russo Rouge. “I am sure that Bloom Up will attract not only the so-called ‘horizontal’ audience, but also the more ‘vertical’ ordinary viewers.”

APC reports first batch of sales for enviro-activist docuseries The Water Guardians

Paris-based About Premium Content (APC) has closed the first round of international sales for The Water Guardians (4 x 52 min.), which it shopped at MIPTV earlier this year.

The four-part eco-doc (pictured), which spotlights people around the globe who are working to address water scarcity by protecting and preserving our existing resources or discovering new sources of water, has been picked up by Radio-Canada and Planète+ for French-speaking Canada, RTP2 for Portugal, EITB and TV3 for Spain, and RTBF for Belgium.

The Water Guardians is a compelling documentary series highlighting the important work these individuals are doing every single day in preserving our planet,” said APC co-founders and joint CEOs Laurent Boissel and Emmanuelle Guilbart in a release announcing the sales. “We are delighted to be bringing these vital stories to more audiences internationally, who are sure to be fascinated and driven to make a difference however they can.”

APC holds worldwide distribution rights to the docuseries, which is produced by J2F Production and LSD Films for Canal+. Cedric Leprettre, Basile Roze, Cyril Denvers and Emmanuel Corre serve as directors, while Denvers also co-wrote with Candice Souillac.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.