April 24, 2017
The only website for the formats industry.
In this week's edition:
• Case Study: An Immigrant’s Guide to…
• Distributor Spotlight: WDR mediagroup
Case Study: An Immigrant’s Guide to…
By Kristin Brzoznowski
Immigration is a hot-button issue around the world these days but in the all3media International format An Immigrant’s Guide to… the topic is given a lighthearted yet provocative twist. The series, originally produced in the U.K., takes a comedic look at a country through the eyes of outsiders.
The show comes from the British indie Rumpus Media, which developed the concept “as an antidote to all of the anti-immigration rhetoric they had observed,” says Nick Smith, the senior VP of international format production at all3media International. “Immigrants were all painted as exploiting the resources and benefits of the countries they were settling in, without anyone asking what they were contributing and whether they actually liked being here. They set out to create something subversive, that asked interesting questions about us and that would allow us the opportunity to hear the views of recent immigrants as to how they view their new home and the people in it.”
An Immigrant’s Guide to Britain launched on Channel 4, with German comedian Henning Wehn and his gang of first-generation immigrants exploring various locales and cultural traditions. “Channel 4 really liked the fresh approach to such a controversial and divisive subject,” says Smith. “They were especially interested in the hybrid of factual and unscripted comedy.”
Formatting the show for local markets was a natural evolution, Smith says. “Never has a format about immigration been timelier; so many countries are having debates about immigration and there are very few formats that tackle this subject and I’d argue none that do so in such a lighthearted and entertaining way. Every country has customs, traditions or food that seem perfectly normal to inhabitants but very strange to foreigners, and it’s fascinating to see this pointed out.”
A German version has been done for SWR. “Their cast includes a Syrian refugee who had already become popular on YouTube from his lighthearted videos about Germans; a man from Mozambique who was helping to renovate the home of a senior producer, who was struck by how funny he was; and a South Korean woman who was an actor and model in Korea before she moved to Germany, where she was met by researchers at an integration class,” Smith explains. “We’re confident about being able to announce some other deals in the near future as we’re close in a number of territories, including the U.S., where all3media America is developing the format.”
This article continues here.
Distributor Spotlight: WDR mediagroup
ADDRESS: Ludwigstrasse 11, 50667 Cologne, Germany
TELEPHONE: (49-221) 2035-2123
HEAD, CONTENT: Stefanie Fischer
SENIOR SALES MANAGER: Nicole Offergeld
PROGRAMS: Made with Love: home renovation, imago.TV, WDR, Germany; My Garden on a Plate: daily, access prime-time cooking competition, ITV Studios Germany, WDR, Germany; Suck It Up!: fictional comedy/remake, Molina Film, WDR, Germany.
TRAILERS: Please visit WDR mediagroup’s Screening Room to view clips of Suck It Up! and more.
“Our format catalog is characterized by great diversity. It includes game, quiz and comedy shows, various kinds of reality formats as well as fictional series. Over the last few years, the range has been growing continuously to include something for everyone. However, high quality and originality are integral to all of them.”
—Stefanie Fischer, Head, Content
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