22 - 25 JUNE 2020 / CONNECTED EDITION

Blog

Sunny Side of the Doc
10
Jun

COMMUNITY VOICES – Ep. 10 with Marie de Maublanc, Head of programming and production for Documentary & Sport channels, Mediawan

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!

We are incredibly happy to renew our partnership with La Rochelle’s Sunny Side of the Doc during this difficult context in which we are currently living and with the memory of Yves Jeanneau still very much present.

Please introduce yourself and tell us briefly what you and your company does.

Marie de Maublanc, Head of programming and production for Documentary & Sport channels, Mediawan

The Mediawan group is one of the main independent European studios producing premium content. Our aim is to produce, distribute and broadcast original and inspiring audiovisual content.Mediawan Thematics produces 17 television channels in France and French-speaking countries, six of which are documentary channels. These include the Toute l’Histoire and Science & Vie TV channels. One of Mediawan Thematics’ main activities is to produce original content, in particularly documentaries, enabling us to have premium content on our networks.We also benefit from Mediawan Rights’ expertise, enabling us to assist our projects on the international market. This virtuous ecosystem enables us to work in close collaboration when co-producing with French and international partners.


Producers, distributors and broadcasters are currently facing a period of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had an impact on industries all across the world. What impact has it had on your work?

Concerning scheduling our channels, we’ve had to adapt just like all broadcasters and adjust our schedule throughout the whole of spring to overcome the sudden halt to filming and post-production of those documentaries now on stand by.

However, to help get through this difficult period and also support health care workers and researchers, the Mediawan group launched a new channel called #àlamaison. It is only available during the lockdown period in France and the content is aimed at the whole family. We called upon the help of all teams from within the group to create this family channel.


This year’s theme at Sunny Side is History. What type of history documentary projects should people pitch to your channel?

We sign up around 150 pre-sales and co-productions every year. Mediawan Thematics assists projects in several areas, as co-producer, broadcaster or distributor. This strategy enables us to bypass classic funding models that themed channels usually follow. We deem a project’s global impact as something rather important. Major events that defined the 20th and 19th centuries, ancient history and archaeology are the main themes that we work on.The “Wars and Strategies” prime time slot works really well and we want to reinforce it.

For instance, we have a co-production underway with the INA and Wargaming for a nine-part documentary series directed by Serge Tignères on the history of tanks. We have also developed the Megaplaces documentary series with Ideamcom and Cineflix, which takes viewers on a round-the-world tour of different dictators’ architectural follies. And of course, we partner with major terrestrial channels for projects such as The Trap, 40 years of War in Afghanistan produced by Looks Films (and pitched at Sunny Side in 2019), La Révolution Française produced by Nilaya and The Real Neanderthal produced by Ideacom for CBC and Toute l’Histoire.

 


How can Sunny Side of the Doc international marketplace help make you even stronger after this crisis?

We must adapt and anticipate how TV viewers’ consumer behaviour will change. Our documentary offering is now available via catch-up and SVOD, including shows with an exclusive short format. A good example of this being our new series called History 360°, which is only available on the Toute l’Histoire channel’s non-linear package. We co-produced this series with international partners, KM Media and Wild Bear International. It will also form the basis for creating a platform of educational historical content produced in English and designed to be exported worldwide.

We had embarked on a similar strategy for producing fun, short programmes for the Mon Science & Vie Junior app, available on iOS and Android. These extensions require original output and innovative storytelling. Sunny Side is a place for networking, creativity and for exchange which brings all this together!

We are incredibly happy to renew our partnership with La Rochelle’s Sunny Side of the Doc during this difficult context in which we are currently living and with the memory of Yves Jeanneau still very much present.

 


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