Exclusive: Italy’s Rai joins Global Doc initiative with nuclear fusion doc

Fabrizio Zappi

Italian public broadcaster Rai has joined France Télévisions, ABC in Australia and numerous others in the Global Doc initiative, with a new show exploring unclear fusion project in France in the works.

Global Doc was launched by France Télévisions at Sunnyside of the Doc three years ago and is based on the model of the pubcaster alliance in scripted TV, which launched in 2018.

Rai will now also become a key player in the group, which uses funding from France TV, the UK’s Channel 4, ZDF in Germany, CBC in Canada, Austria’s ORF, SVT in Sweden and the ABC to greenlight projects.

Global Doc put out a call for projects at Sunnyside earlier this year, as first revealed by TBI, and there is now a show exploring how an Italian company is building a site in the south for France to explore nuclear technology.

Fabrizio Zappi, director of documentaries at Rai, told the MIA Market in Rome today that the show’s subject matter made it a “natural coproduction”.

“We are working on a new project together about nuclear fusion – there is a scientific project being built in France with a community of almost 5,000 scientists, who are from all over Europe. They are trying to build a laboratory and explore a prototype for fusion,” he explained.

Caroline Behar, head of international coproductions & acquisitions at France Televisions, added that the show reflected how science could be reflected in public broadcaster’s output.

“Sometimes scientists don’t have the best press and showing the progress they have made working on a project for one or two years, showing how rigorous they are, is really of benefit to viewers.”

Behar also urged international producers to send projects, ahead of the deadline later this month. As detailed at Sunnyside, there are two categories: ancient civilisations, archeology, palaeontology, geology and space exploration; and major science discoveries that can save the planet.

A jury composed of one representative per broadcaster, now including Rai, will choose up to three projects, two from the first category and one from the second.

France Télévisions unveiled a raft of projects at Sunnyside that are part of Global Doc, including a show about Gustave Eiffel. It has been co-created with Germany’s ZDF, prodco Terra X, alongside France’s Blue Kobalt and Germany‘s Kobalt Documentary.

The French pubcaster has also partnered with SVT in Sweden on a show that focuses on women in viking times, which is being produced by Little Big Story and Nordic Eye Production.


Read Next