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Former Novovision chief launches doc house in Cannes

The former COO of French funny clips vendor Novovision is here in Cannes with his own production and distribution company, and is working on a documentary charting the lives of World War I soldiers away from the battlefield. 

Benoit Kirchhoff, who left Novovision in 2011, is one of four founders of privately-owned Quadra Film Coalition, a Paris-based doc house with bases in Geneva and Canada. It also has a production wing, Under The Blue Pictures.

“This has been a long term project, which came out the fact we were not happy with the revenue share models offered to Under The Blue,” he told TBI.

The company has been shopping its wares, which include older docs such as Quanta Films’ 1996 Channel 4 feature Daddy’s Girls and exclusives such as Tempting Films’ new 1x36mins/1x52mins film The King’s Monologue, to buyers at MIPDOC this weekend – the company’s first major market.

Among its key titles is My Mother, the Nazi Midwife and Me, a 1x52mins look at the systematic murder of 52 Jewish babies in Displaced Persons camps immediately after the end of World War II. QFC has worldwide rights outside Canada, where broadcaster CBC has acquired it from producer JHL Productions for its Documentary Channel to premiere in May.

“We’re not looking for thousands of hours but we’re trying to build a selective slate of documentary, wildlife programmes and series,” said Kirchhoff.

Former Novovision sales chief Nathalie Nennig is selling QFC’s content in Asia through her new distribution consultancy DCB Consulting, he added.

QFC is also coproducing two titles with UK factual prodco Quanta Films, which is best known for History Channel coproduction Whittle: The Jet Pioneer (which QFC has acquired rights to).

One is a currently untitled feature about the lives of soldiers fighting abroad in WWI shot in English and French. Three people will travel to meet descendants of the families their ancestors boarded with while stationed abroad.

The other is a “spiritual follow up” to Whittle: The Jet Pioneer focusing on Eric Brown, the first test pilot to break the sound barrier.