Along with its premium scripted lineup, Newen Connect is launching a pair of timely investigative documentaries, “Ukraine: Identity on the Frontline” and “Wagner, Putin’s Shadow Army,” which are providing insight into the current war.

Now filming, “Ukraine: Identity on the Frontline” is being co-directed by Ksenia Blochakova, the Russia correspondent of the news channel France 24, and Philippe Lagnier, a journalist working at Newen-owned production banner Capa.

“Ukraine: Identity on the frontline” is a one-hour documentary featuring interviews with intellectuals, politicians
and experts who tackle the question of identity which is crucial to understand the situation in Ukraine. This primetime doc, commissioned by Arte in France and in Germany, is expected to air on May 24.

Chloé Persyn, who joined Newen Connect last month as head of factual distribution, said “Ukraine: Identity on the Frontline” illustrates the banner’s capacity to turn around in-depth documentaries exploring complex geo-political issues in record time.

“Wagner, Putin’s Shadow Army,” co-directed by Blochakova and Alexandra Jousset, sheds light on the Wagner Group, a private Russian military force which is known as Putin’s shadow army.

“‘Wagner, Putin’s Shadow Army,’ drew more than one million viewers on France 5, the French broadcaster, so it was a huge hit and it sold to a flurry of TV channels around the world,” said Persyn, who previously worked at the Paris-based documentary banner ZED. Deals were closed with Al Jazeera, ZDF in Germany, NHK in Japan, YLE in Finland, Radio Canada, Belgium’s RTBF, Switzerland’s RTS, Denmark’s DR, Spain’s RTVE, RTV Slovenija, HRT and Shahid,” s

Persyn described “Wagner, Putin’s Shadow Army,” as an “unprecedented investigation into Putin’s secret weapon” and shows how this army is acting in different countries, from Ukraine to Syria and Mali.

Both “Wagner, Putin’s Shadow Army” and “Ukraine: Identity on the Frontline” are produced by CAPA Presse, the news division of CAPA, the Newen-owned banner behind the Canal Plus prestige series “Versailles” and “Marie-Antoinette.”

Aside from these political titles, Newen Connect’s factual branch is also ramping up its roster of documentaries with culture or arts themes, like Olivier Monssens’s documentary biopic revolving around the relationship between film icons Romy Schneider and Alain Delon. The documentary, commissioned by Arte and co-produced by Belgium broadcaster RTBF, will air on May 29 to mark the 40th anniversary of Schneider’s death.

Newen Connect is also repping “Elizabeth II,” a documentary by Julie Robert about the life of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

The French company has several anticipated scripted shows screening at Canneseries, notably “Beyond Signs” and “Circles of Power.”

“Beyond Signs” which is playing out of competition, is produced by Hanoï Productions and revolves around the relationship between an 8-year-old boy who has paranormal visions and a psychologist who is helping police catch a serial killer. The show stars Louane (“La Famille Belier”) and Soufiane Guerrab (“Lupin”).

“Circles of Power,” meanwhile, is competing at Canneseries and is directed by Oscar-winning helmer Jean-Xavier de Lestrade. The ecological thriller is set in Northern France where farmers start suspecting the presence of dangerous substances in the seeds which are supplied by a global agrochemical giant.

Newen Connect is also pursuing sales on its female-driven procedural “HPI” which was a huge ratings hit on TF1 and sold to more than 90 territories, as well as its mystery thriller “The Opera.” Both shows were renewed for second seasons.

Other series on Newen Connect’s slate include “Syndrome E,” adapted from Franck Thilliez’s international bestseller, and “Ammo,” a Norwegian psychological thriller series with Cleve Broch (“Max Manus”) and Mariann Hole (“Halvbroren”).