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December 12, 2018

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An Autentic Approach to Factual
By Kristin Brzoznowski

***ZDFE Factual***As the sales division of the documentary label Autentic, Cologne-based Autentic Distribution’s offering runs the gamut of the factual spectrum—from arts and lifestyle to history, nature and wildlife, science and technology, sports and adventure. A particularly hot genre at the moment, according to General Manager of Sales Anne Hufnagel, is space. “With the anniversary of the [Apollo 11] moon landing coming up next year, that’s a big thing everyone is asking for,” she says.

Anniversary-related docs, in general, are in high demand right now, Hufnagel adds. As September 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, she has seen an uptick in requests for WWII content as well.

Hufnagel is also fielding more requests for 4K programming than ever before. “Demand for 4K is big in the U.S., it’s big in Asia like in Japan and Korea, and it’s starting to get bigger in Europe,” she says. “There are different technical specs ***Image***from Asia, from Europe, from the U.S. So that’s a big issue; it’s a new challenge and discussion.”

In regard to current affairs, the company’s catalog covers hot-button topics like drug addiction, with titles such as Overdosed in West Virginia: The Opioid Crisis and Heroin: Walking Dead. There are profiles of people and places such as Chasing the Northern Lights, 24H Europe: We Are the Future and Balkan Boom Towns. The history portfolio features among its offerings Counts: The Origins of Catalonia, Sisi: Assassination of an Empress and German Secret Aircraft.

While OTT platforms—from larger global players to smaller niche services—are providing a nice boost for Autentic Distribution’s sales business as of late, Hufnagel says that the company has a long tradition of working closely with public broadcasters. “If you need a good, strong factual partner, it’s us! We can also help by providing information, especially to new players coming into the market who need to know what’s working out there. We are a good partner to discuss this with; we can provide insight.”

She says that trust is something the company is very proud to have built its reputation on. “We only present things to our clients that they need,” Hufnagel says. “If there’s a client who needs wildlife, we will show them our wildlife shows. We really focus on the needs of our partners and never on selling them something we know won’t work for them.”

A priority for Autentic Distribution, looking ahead, is to grow its catalog even further. “We always want to have the latest and best stuff out there. We really want our clients to be happy.”

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