NATPE Hot Pick: Miracle Rising: South Africa

Miracle Rising: South Africa is a two-hour documentary produced by Combined Artists for A+E-owned channel History UK.

As its name suggests, it tells the story of South Africa’s political transformation, culminating in the first free elections in 1994.

Narrated through personal and intimate accounts from world leaders, politicians, celebrities and journalists, it reflects on the journey from apartheid to democracy.

The film deals with subjects ranging from Nelson Mandela’s decision to learn Afrikaans while in prison through to the amnesty hearings of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Offering valuable lessons in peace-making, Miracle Rising: South Africa focuses on the visionary leadership and negotiations that brought about the transition from apartheid to a system of one-person, one-vote.

A&E Network’s vice president of programming Adam Macdonald, who commissioned the film, says: “I’m hugely proud to be involved in this momentous documentary. We believe it is a truly inspirational programme for our global audiences.”

Combined Artists is a well-established South African producer, best known for producing Carte Blanche, M-Net’s flagship investigative journalism/current affairs programme.

That track record makes them the perfect partner for such a project, says A+E’s Mayra Bracer: “They secured interviews with almost everybody. They’ve created a beautiful piece that I think will resonate with a lot of countries across Latin America.”

Bracer’s goal is to do deals that will coincide with Mandela’s 95th birthday.

She says: “Usually I have to work around A+E’s cable networks when licensing programmes,” she says, “but for this very special piece, local broadcasters will be able to have a window of exclusivity.”


The show: Miracle Rising: South Africa

The producer: Combined Artists

The distributor: A+E Networks

The broadcaster: History UK

Concept: The story of South

Africa’s political transformation, reflecting on the journey from apartheid to democracy