Factual round-up: ZED snags Arte trio; Rakuten preps NBA doc; France 5 extends Pernel show; Alchimie’s Taxi deal

Genius Plants (© Thierry Berrod, Mona Lisa Production)

France’s ZED snags Arte trio

Paris-based distributor & producer ZED is launching three new science projects with a special focus on environmental issues, as the online version of factual conference Sunnyside kicks off this week.

Genius Plants (2 x 52 minutes) has been shot in 4K by Thierry Berrod and is produced by Mona Lisa Production for Arte France. It is due to be delivered in Spring 2022 and uses recently developed technology to reveal the inner workings of flowers and trees.

The slate also includes 1 x 52-minute special Climate Change: The Brand Paradox, which has been directed by Raphaël Hitier for Arte France and explores how the human mind has affected efforts to improve the environment.

Finally, Microorganisms: The Air We Breath, explores a variety of microscopic lifeforms and uses 3D visual effects. It is directed by Claire-Julie Parisot and produced by Les Films En Vrac. Its delivery is scheduled for the end of 2020.

France 5 extends ‘Real War Of Thrones’

French public broadcaster France 5 has ordered a fourth season of docudrama series The Real War of Thrones: A History of Europe.

The show is from French prodco Pernel Media, with French-Canadian production company Idéacom International joining as a co-production partner under the official France-Canadian Co-Production Treaty for the new 6 x 60-m minute season, which will air on TV5 Quebec Canada.

The series will return to France 5 in a primetime slot later this year with Histoire TV also pre-acquiring cable and satellite rights. The show will focus on Louis XIV and explore his 70-year long reign.

Alchimie calls on Taxi Rights

Alchimie has struck a deal that will see documentaries and factual content from La Compagnie Des Taxi-Brousse become available via the content aggregator’s themed on demand channels.

The deal with Taxi Rights, the sales arm of the French production company, will see Alchimie curate and distribute La Compagnie des Taxi-brousse factual programming across its VOD subscription channels.

Frederic Rossignol, chief content officer at Alchimie, said Taxi’s “visually-stunning, thought-provoking documentary content” would fit well with its themed channels and “generate new income streams for such a talented company.”

Louis Bernard, head of international sales at Taxi Rights, added: “We’re always on the lookout for new ways of broadcasting our programmes and Alchimie’s extensive range of themed subscription channels are a fantastic route to engage new audiences with our films.”

Rakuten preps basketball doc

Rakuten TV is preparing to launch a documentary charting the story of basketball star Serge Ibaka, who currently plays for NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

Anything Is Possible, which will be available for free on Rakuten TV from 25 June, will debut exclusively across all European territories covered by the on-demand service.

The doc, a co-production from Uninterrupted Films and Ouenzé Entertainment, is Rakuten TV’s latest original offering and joins shows such as Matchday – Inside FC Barcelona, MessiCirque, Inside Kilian Jornet, Sadio Mané’s documentary Made In Senegal and Andrés Iniesta – The Unexpected Hero.

Anything Is Possible promises “an intimate insight into the life and story of the global basketball star, whose star power is felt on the court and through his ongoing humanitarian work.” Ibaka grew up in The Congo before winning the NBA championship in 2019 and launching his own charity foundations.

Teresa López, Rakuten TV European content director, said: “We are incredibly excited to have Anything Is Possible join Rakuten TV’s increasingly expanding AVOD offer. The documentary embodies many of Rakuten’s values of empowerment and optimism, and is a fascinating insight into a journey of determination and self-belief to achieve a dream, and how that determination is being used to help others live a better life and follow their dreams. We know viewers will love it as much as we do.”


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