We may be living through times of unprecedented change, but in uncertainty lies the power to influence the future of storytelling.Now is not the time to despair, but to act and interact!
Please introduce yourself in a few words. What’s your current position? What is your company main activity?
I’m Catherine Alvaresse, head of documentaries for France Télévisions Group, France’s leading documentary broadcaster. The pubcaster plays an essential and decisive role in the production of the documentary genre, acclaimed by a wide range of audiences.Through its investments, its proactive programming and the diversity of its offer, both linear and non-linear, France Télévisions stands up for documentaries in all topics: history, science, culture, environment, natural history & wildlife, economy , society, geopolitics or economywith a constant focus on innovation in storytelling and narrative forms.
Documentary producers, broadcasters and distributors are venturing into a largely disrupted period as the COVID-19 pandemic upends production activities across the globe. How are you impacted?
Our teams have been mobilized upstream from the lockdown to ensure business continuity. Telework arrangements work well : films are validated, viewed remotely, new projects are initiated, online discussions with producers and authors-directors are always as rich and dense. Our documentary investment remains unchanged.
What resources are you exploring to keep documentary productions up and running during this unprecedented crisis?
Whenever possible, independent producers have responded with great agility themselves to ensure the production of documentary films and as explained above, the use of new technologies enables us to work remotely.Of course, a certain number of shootings had to be stopped for health and safety reasons. So we decided to incur additional commissions of Best Of allowing producers and their teams to keep working and delivering without taking any risks.
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Have you identified opportunities or online solutions to innovate and create new relevant factual content in the changing landscape?
We are rather thinking about tomorrow’s proposals. Documentary needs time for analysis. It certainly feeds on the present but requires to gain perspective to document and explain the big picture.
How has your international acquisition/sales and/or coproduction strategies evolved as a result of the current situation?
Our strategy remains the same: collaborations and exchanges with our peers abroad remain crucial to enrich our factual content offer.
How can the international marketplace Sunny Side of the Doc help you come out stronger on the other side?
For France Televisions, it’s all about reaffirming the group’s commitment and support to the global documentary community, whose resilience and creativity are not to demonstrate anymore, especially in these troubled time.