European Network unites Italian, German, Brit agencies

BIARRITZ — French TV journos Luc Hermann and Paul Moreira have launched the European Network of Investigative Journalists with Italian, German and British news agencies.

Hermann and Moreira are at the helm of Premieres Lignes, a Paris-based press agency that specializes in hard-boiled, one-hour investigative documentaries.

Premieres Lignes has teamed up with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, Invisible Dog in Italy and Filmtank in Berlin to produce “large-scale investigations examining international issues that are aimed at global audiences,” said Hermann at TVFI Rendez-Vous in Biarritz, France. The Gallic company will exec produce and have the final cut on the docus.

Hermann explained that he and Moreira had the idea of creating this European org after the success of “WikiLeaks: War, Lies and Videotape,” which sold to every major territories, including the U.S. (Current TV), Discovery Channel U.K., Discovery Europe and Africa, ABC in Australia and NDR in Germany.

Good investigative documentaries take a very long time and require large resources: That’s why we want to work with locals who know the codes and have the connections,” said Hermann, who added he’s looking to make thought-provoking and engaging documentaries in the vein of PBS’ “Frontline.”

The French shingle has already collaborated with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Invisible Dog to produce “Euroscroqueries” (working title), a documentary helmed by Pierre-Emmanuel Luneau-Dorignac that examines the distribution of European funds and subsidies. Docu will bow on Arte in November.

Premieres Lignes is producing “The Day China Will Relocate in Europe,” an investigation looking into Chinese investments in Europe, with Invisible Dog. Docu has been commissioned by Franco-German net Arte, which handles international pre-sales and sales on the program. It will be delivered in spring 2012.

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