#StorytellingMatters Interview with... Marie de Maublanc, Head of programming and production for Documentary & Sport channels, Mediawan Thematics
Sunny Side of the Doc 2021 aims at helping bring to light talents and stories which question, engage and impact. Through a series of #StorytellingMatters interviews, discover the vision of our most influential partners in the international documentary ecosystem.
Be together! Please introduce yourself and tell us briefly what your company’s main objective at Sunny Side of the Doc.
Mediawan group is one of the main independent European studios producing premium content and present throughout the whole audiovisual value chain, from production to distribution and broadcasting.
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. Mediawan also develops innovative, non-linear distribution services, such as Explore, a SVOD service dedicated entirely to documentaries launched last March on Apple TV. Our in-house production company allows us to co-produce documentaries for our channels with international partners.
Sunny Side of the Doc provides the perfect opportunity to meet both French and international producers with original and inspiring projects, enabling us to have premium content for our networks and digital services.
Be positive! What has been your greatest professional accomplishment over the last 12 months ? What lead to this success?
After several months of work, last March we launched EXPLORE, the first French streaming service for Apple TV. EXPLORE is a platform dedicated to documentary, with more than 500 hours of content available on-demand each month. Thanks to our experience in acquisitions and documentary production, we were able to offer this new service to Apple. We then developed the service together with Apple’s teams, despite all the uncertainties created by the health crisis.
From an editorial point of view, EXPLORE covers a wide range of general topics. It includes themes such as history, science, discovery, but also lots of portraits and cultural programmes. It has also enabled us to branch out into society documentaries. With this in mind, we’re looking for engaging documentaries that are politically and socially aware and that reflect current affairs. At the launch of EXPLORE, we were proud to have been able to offer the artist Ai Wei Wei’s landmark film, Coronation. Thanks to its exceptional style, politically charged content and exclusivity in France, Coronation perfectly illustrates our editorial missions.
Be inventive! What new strategies are you looking to develop in order to attract international partners as well as provide engaging content in 2021/2022?
Mediawan Thematics is a content curator increasing its development on digital platforms. Our channels and services are available from digital players such as Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Alchimie, and we have developed enhanced replay offers with our partner distributors.
We’ve set up 360° packages around our documentary productions, linear channels and our social media, including our YouTube channels. So as you can see, we are committed to offering content designed to match different consumer behaviors from the production stage.
International co-productions allow us to strengthen our editorial offers and create synergies on ambitious projects. This is particularly the case for our Toute l’Histoire and Science & Vie TV channels, which play a major role in our international co-production policy. We currently have some great series in development: Odyssey, in co-production with Kepach, retraces Ulyssess’ journey; Spy Ops, a documentary series in production with Big Media / KM; the Un monde sans… collection in co-production with RMC Production; and finally the Engineering Empires project in co-production with Ideacom.
Be aware! To that extent, what will make a good documentary pitch/encounter for your organisation this June? What’s the best way to reach out and start co-creating?
We are open to many themes and especially to various narrative forms. We are looking for documentaries that can appeal to a large audience and have dynamic storytelling and production techniques. We attach great importance to working with talent from all walks of life, so as to constantly explore new themes and give free rein to increased creativity. Our teams will be available at Sunny Side of the Doc and beyond. Project holders can contact Véronique Mallet or myself if they wish to discuss during the market.
Be inspired! Who would you want to put on the spotlight at Sunny Side of the Doc 2021, for some well-earned recognition? And why?
Josette Normandeau (Ideacom) for her enthusiasm and energy when co-producing and putting together ambitious projects.
documentary | #SSD21 | Storytelling Matters | Sunny side of the Doc 2021 | Mediawan | Silver Partner