In today’s Global Bulletin, Little Dot buys Dan Snow’s History Hit; ITV and France Televisions order a 9/11 doc; Open City Doc Fest reveals its game plan; Discovery Denmark commissions Snowman; and Sharon Stone launches conversations series.
All3Media-owned Little Dot Studios is acquiring broadcaster and historian Dan Snow’s platform History Hit. The acquisition will create an integrated history network, linking Little Dot Studios’ existing factual AVOD channels like Timeline and Absolute History with History Hit’s SVOD channel, podcasts and online communities as well as events and book publishing.
Snow will exclusively work with History Hit and All3Media’s Little Dot Studios to create new online and broadcast content. Little Dot acquired sports production studio Wing earlier this year.
Andy Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Little Dot Studios, said: “Together with History Hit, we will have the largest history audience on digital platforms globally and acquiring this brilliant platform will give us not only one of the world’s most recognised historians in Dan Snow, but also the team who are delivering high quality, prestige content which is attracting a fast-growing subscriber base.”
“Little Dot is the perfect home for us,” Snow added. “They are best in the business at attracting gigantic audiences online through their world beating YouTube channels. It is a killer combination. Together we are going to transform the way people watch and listen; always innovating, but never forgetting that the key is giving our hugely sophisticated, highly engaged audience what they struggle to find elsewhere: high quality history.”
ITV and France Televisions have commissioned Zinc Media Group’s factual producer Brook Lapping to make a 90-minute documentary on 9/11. The documentary, with the working title “9/11: We Have Some Planes,” will feature previously unheard audio and images from that day, and will also tell the story of how the authorities reacted, coped and tried to regain control over events.
The recordings are gathered from military command centers, frontline emergency services, government conference calls, air traffic control, commercial airlines, private phone calls and public broadcasts.
Greg Sanderson, interim managing director of Zinc Television London, said: “With access to hundreds of hours of unheard footage and audio, which was previously locked in archives under great security, we can help paint a fuller picture of that historic day.”
Tom Giles, commissioning editor at ITV, added: “ITV and Brook Lapping worked together memorably on the 10th anniversary with the landmark ‘9/11: Day That Changed The World.’ Now, with access to a wealth of new material previously unseen, this film will immerse the viewer in a moment that we still have much to learn about 20 years since it changed the world.”
London’s Open City documentary festival will unspool online (Sept. 9-15) for its 10th edition.
The festival will feature 48 new non-fiction films, 10 cross-media projects, and three audio documentaries from 28 countries. Of the directors presenting new work in the film programs, 54% are women or non-binary filmmakers. Awards will be given in four categories: the Open City award, the U.K. short film award, the emerging filmmaker award and the new international short film award.
Nominated for the emerging filmmaker Award are Maya Kosa and Sergio da Costa for “Bird Island,” Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino for “Makongo,” Gu Xue for “The Choice,” and Sindhu Thirumalaisamy for “The Lake and the Lake.”
Among the festival’s special events, ‘Terra Femme: Women and the Travelogue Archives’ will see filmmaker Courtney Stephens will present a selection of home travelogues shot by women during the 1920s-40s, exploring the historical context of these amateur films that occupy a space between home-movie and accidental ethnography. And, commissioned specially for the festival, in ‘The Congress of Idling Persons,’ artist and writer Bassem Saad will take a look at the centrality of life and death in Russia, Lebanon and the U.S., examining instances where groups or populations have practiced radical forms of healthcare.
Discovery Network Denmark has commissioned Red Arrows Studios-backed Snowman Productions, best known for global hit format “Married at First Sight,” to produce new unscripted adventure series “Klædt af mod toppen med familien Wozniacki” (“Undressed to the Top with the Wozniacki Family”).
The show sees international tennis player Caroline Wozniacki and her family, including her husband NBA champion David Lee tasked with reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro — in only four weeks. The series will premiere on Discovery’s Kanal 5 and Dplay streaming service on Aug. 13.
Pil Gundelach Brandstrup, VP content and programming for Discovery Networks Denmark, said: “The Wozniacki family has always cherished their privacy, and that they’ve chosen to open up and take us on this wild journey, which will undoubtedly present a whole new view of the family, is both brave and impressive.”
Red Arrow Studios International will launch the format to international buyers, titled “How to Become Superhuman,” as part of their fall/winter MIPCOM slate in October.
Cultural diplomacy organization Liberatum has launched ‘Lifesaving Conversations,’ a global digital and TV conversations series featuring an array of talent including Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Zoe Saldana, Chika, Anil Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar, from five continents.
The series tackles topical issues like racial justice, forced displacement and mental health with international leaders, artists, pioneers, change-makers and icons in conversation with people on the front line including doctors, life-saving refugees, healthcare workers, black rights activists, domestic violence support workers and teachers.
The public can donate after each conversation and the amount raised will go to non-profit organizations.
The series launches with Oscar-nominated actor Sharon Stone in conversation with Dr Heval Kelli, a Syrian who fled his war-torn homeland and is now one of the first Kurdish American cardiologists in the history of the U.S.