MIPDoc Video: Factual Titans Talk International Co-Pros

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Executives from ZDF Enterprises, NHNZ, PBS, CCTV9, ARTE France and ZDF weighed in on co-productions in a MIPDoc keynote superpanel moderated by World Screen’s Anna Carugati ahead of the premiere of the blue-chip series Big Pacific.

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Kyle Murdoch, managing director of NHNZ, said that co-production makes up about 60 percent of the company’s activities. Big Pacific is a good example of the kinds of co-pros NHNZ is involved with, he noted.

Jens Monath is the commissioning editor of Terra X, ZDF’s Sunday night doc slot. Recent examples of co-pros for Terra X include The Celts, a three-parter with the BBC.

Pamela Aguilar, senior director of programming and development at PBS, oversees science, culture, natural history and history at the American public broadcaster. Co-productions are extremely important to PBS, she said.

Hélène Ganichaud, the deputy head at ARTE France, oversees the specialist factual department, commissioning science, history, nature and natural-history docs.

Wildlife, science and history are the key areas of focus for ZDFE.factual, said Ralf Rückauer, VP of the label. The company does come on board to gap finance projects from producers from around the world. “We invest in programs we think other commissioning editors would like to show their audience.”

CCTV9, the factual channel operated by the Chinese state broadcaster, is always looking to “bring the highest production values and the best storytelling” to its audiences, said Yuan Tian, head of international co-production.

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