TFI grafts medical docu onto its sked

Web to launch pic at next month's Mip Doc mart

Gallic commercial web TF1 has scooped French and international rights to an exclusive docu about the world’s first face transplant.

The docu contains footage of the operation by French doctors on Isabelle Dinoire, whose face was bitten off by her dog.

TF1 Intl. will handle international sales, launching the film at next month’s Mip Doc mart in Cannes, the producers said Thursday.

Images of Dinoire’s stitched-up face appeared in newspapers and on TV around the globe in November following her operation in the northern France town of Amiens.

Adding to the ethical controversy over the risky nature of the surgery, an extra shiver factor came from the revelation that the new nose, mouth and chin came from a suicide victim.

Yet despite media fascination with the story, the highly salable docu was not the subject of a bidding war — even though it was also pitched to pubcaster France Televisions and Canal Plus.

“We offered it to everyone; TF1 was the only one to respond,” said producer Marc Nardino.

TF1 said it paid the going rate for the French broadcasting rights — between E250,000 ($298,000) and $333,5000 a minute; while the deal with TF1 Intl. was not disclosed.

Film, which will be either 52 or 70 minutes, was helmed by Michael Hughes, a Franco-British documaker based in Lyons, and produced by Nardino’s La Cuisine aux Images and Media Pro.

The docu will wrap at the end of this month and should air on TF1 in May, according to the producer.