Federation Entertainment, Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan’s independent production and distribution group, is ramping up its premium documentary output with a slate of new acquisitions, including “The Vatican” and “The Sect.”
“The Vatican” is a six-part investigative documentary series exploring the pinnacle of Catholicism, and how incessant scandals and an ever changing society have weakened its foundations. “The Vatican” is directed by Kat Steppe, co-written by Rik Torfs and Jo Badisco, and produced by Kato Maes and Kristoffel Mertens at Belgian outfit Paneka for the broadcaster VRT. Now filming, the series has already been pre-sold to French SVOD service Salto.
“The Sect,” meanwhile, delivers an in-depth look into the Order of the Solar Temple. The five-part docuseries sheds light on what led 74 members of the cult to commit mass suicide across France, Switzerland and Canada, between 1994 and 1997. “The Sect” is produced by Matthieu Belghiti and Jean-Xavier De Lestrade, the Oscar-winning director of “Murder of a Sunday Morning” and “The Staircase,” and produced by What’s Up Films (“Trial 4”). “The Sect” is the first original documentary series commissioned by Salto.
Federation has also secured worldwide distribution rights to Mai Hua’s documentary “Make Me a Man: Meetings with Incredible Men,” which follows a charismatic therapist, Jerry Hyde, interviewing his male patients about the different definitions of masculinity in today’s world.
The company’s recent acquisitions also include “Lil’ Buck: Real Swan,” a multi-award winning documentary that charts the journey of a hip-hop dance prodigy from the streets of Memphis who also becomes a standout ballet dancer. The movie, directed by Louis Wallecan, was part of Tribeca’s selection in 2019 and won best film at San Francisco in the dance category.
Federation’s previous documentary pickups include “Paris: a Wild Story,” “First Man,” “The Secret Journey of Migratory Birds,” “Homo Sapiens,” as well as docu-dramas “The Assassination of Henry IV,” “The Escape of Louis XVI” and “The Appeal of 1940.”
Federation’s push into premium documentary is being spearheaded by Myriam Weil, the company’s head of documentaries. The company’s current documentary slate includes “Wenger, Invincible.”