Doc channel to work with int'l co-producers

RIO DE JANEIRO — In a first step to becoming an international documentary producer, local pay TV channel GNT is commissioning a $500,000 docu about Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Brazilian head of the UN mission to Iraq killed in a terrorist attack in August.

GNT, a doc channel produced by leading pay TV programmer Globosat, will hire a Brazilian production company for the project, and plans to work with international co-producers, said Roberto Petti, GNT’s programming director.

France’s Point du Jour will likely be one of the co-producers, and Petti is also negotiating with Portugal’s LX Filmes and Swiss producers.

“GNT has long intended to enter the international documentary market as a producer. But we lacked a project with a strong international appeal, such as this one,” Petti said.

The idea emerged during a conversation between Petti and Point du Jour’s producer Serge Gordev during Brasil Documenta, Brazil’s largest doc event, held Nov. 10-16 in Rio, Petti said.

The doc will be lensed in Switzerland, where Vieira de Mello lived, and in countries where he served, including Bosnia.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more