News round-up: BBC Four orders forgery show; ITV isolates with Shine TV; Alchimie adds OTF factual series

The Art Mysteries

BBC Four adds forgery series

UK free-to-air channel BBC Four has commissioned two new documentary series from ZCZ Films, with distributor DRG picking up sales rights.

Handmade In Bolton is a 4 x 30-minute series that tells the story of Shaun Greenhalgh, one of Britain’s most prolific art forgers, who fooled experts for 30 years. However, after a spell in prison, he is now working with an Oxford University historian to recreate incredible artefacts from the past.

The Art Mysteries (4 x 30-minutes) follows Januszczak as he offers a new perspective into four great paintings – Gauguin’s The Vision After The Sermon; Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear; Seurat’s Les Poseuses and Cézanne’s The Card Players.

ZCZ is an independent prodco, founded by art expert Waldemar Januszczak, which specialises in producing specialist arts programming that he often presents.

The series are being distributed by DRG, which has also acquired the 3 x 60-minute series Made In The USA from ZCZ. It has previously been sold to Histoire in France, Yleisradio Oy in Finland, Sky TV in New Zealand, Sky Italia in Italy, PTS in Taiwan and P&P Permissions for broadcast in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.

Mette Kanne-Behrendsen, DRG’s SVP of acquisitions, commented: “Waldemar and the team at ZCZ Films have a real talent for identifying engaging arts subjects and then creating compelling programming that works for international audiences. The Art Mysteries provides an insightful new look at some of the world’s most famous paintings, while Handmade In Bolton is a truly fascinating story of an art forger using his skills for good.”

Alchimie expands with factual shows for Europe

Content provider Alchimie has partnered with non-fiction prodco Off The Fence to distribute 150 hours of factual content.

The new programming will be available via its themed subscription channels, which are distributed to more than 40 digital platforms and telcos across Europe, including its UK-based OTT platform TV Player.

The deal adds German and Spanish-language documentaries to the Alchimie library, along with six US reality titles to support is relcently launched lifestyle channels in France.

Nicolas d’Hueppe, CEO of Alchimie said. “We’re delighted to be able to introduce new, enthusiastic German and Spanish audiences to Off the Fence’s documentaries. Off The Fence’s specialism of prestigious factual content with global appeal is a great fit for our content portfolio, which we rely on to regularly refresh our channels and keep viewers engaged.”

ITV orders Shine’s Covid-19 self-isolation doc

UK commercial broadcaster ITV has commissioned a documentary exploring how people are coping in isolation due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with Shine TV producing.

Coronavirus, Isolation And Me (working title) will “provide an immersive, unflinching perspective on life under the impact of the virus” and feature people from around the UK who have been supplied with special mobile phone rigs allowing them to self-shoot, record and download footage to editing teams.

The film was commissioned by Tom Giles, ITV controller of current affairs, who said: “This is an innovative way of bringing viewers a deeply intimate perspective on how the coronavirus crisis is affecting our individual and family lives.

“From frontline workers to families at home, the film will offer a powerful insight into the real human impact of the pandemic that has thrown our normal lives out of the window with alarming speed.”

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