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TV Real Weekly ***Sunny Side of the Doc***

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April 18, 2018

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MIPTV & MIPDoc: The Week in Factual
By Mansha Daswani

***ZDFE Factual***The glossy six-parter The Story of Europe, which uses epic reenactments and lush visuals to chronicle the region’s history, topped the list of most-screened titles at MIPDoc this year. The ZDF Enterprises production reflects a wider move toward more ambitious, higher-end storytelling in the factual landscape. Look at some of the other shows that rose to the top of the 1,400-plus titles available in the MIPDoc screenings library: Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History, a CNN docuseries sold by FremantleMedia International, takes an inside look at the Vatican over the course of six episodes; 2077: 10 Seconds to the Future paints a picture of what humankind may look like 60 years from now; ZDF Enterprises’ A Day in the Life of Earth tells the story of how the planet changes every day. And the MIPDoc International Pitch winner was Soora: Breaking the Silence, about four fearless feminists in Iran.

Last week also saw Discovery unveil a new production from two heavyweights, Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney, who are joining forces on the tentatively titled event series Why We Hate. And Red Bull Media House made headlines when it revealed it is the exclusive global media production and distribution partner for Berlin-based space pioneers PTScientists’ first private mission to land on the moon. Red Bull Media House will develop, produce and license the mission’s live broadcasts, behind-the-scenes footage, feature documentaries and more. Terra Mater Factual Studios used MIPTV as an opportunity to start discussing a 3×52-minute documentary series about the endeavor.

The demand for higher production values and ambitious stories was clear at MIPDoc’s View from the Top: What Do Buyers & Commissioners Want session, moderated by World Screen’s Anna Carugati. National Geographic’s Christian Drobnyk, CuriosityStream’s Steve Burns and France Télévisions’ Thierry Mino shared their acquisition and co-production strategies before each receiving a World Screen Factual Trendsetter Award.

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