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French producer-distributor ZED beat off fierce competition to win this year’s MIPDoc project pitch for current affairs and investigation. Its film, The Doubt Makers, pitched by Chloe Persyn-Preljocaj, Zed’s head of sales and acquisitions, looks at how corporates systematically discredit scientific research that threatens their profits.

“This project brings new insights in ways that are original, relevant and have high production values,” juror Martin Pieper, head of current affairs and contemporary history at ZDF/ARTE, said. “Some of its case studies have been touched on before, but this gives the whole picture.”

Other finalists included House Girls, pitched by Jolaoluwa Ayeye of Salt & Truth, examines Nigeria’s insatiable demand for illegal child labour — and the ways in which Nigerians seek to justify it.

Genoa 11:36am, pitched by executive producer Laura Guglielmetti of Italy’s 42° Parallelo, is based on harrowing witness footage of the aftermath of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Italy in 2018.

The Affair Vanessa, pitched by Francesca Dziadek of State of Change, is a 90-minute film about Vanessa, a young Cameroonian woman whose baby was stolen from the delivery ward, and has not yet been recovered. Baby theft is a common crime in Cameroon, and this young mother will interview high-profile Cameroonians about why.

The Svalbard Message, pitched by Silje Burgin-Borch of Monday Productions, takes five celebrity environmental activists to the fastest-warming place on Earth. While the jurors recognised that celebrities widen the audience, Axel Arno, commissioning editor SVT, argued that the film needed at least one climate-change denier to create tension.

Juror Akul Tripathi, chief operating officer of new factual streamer DocuBay — commended the global appeal of The Doubt Makers. DocuBay also sponsored the session.

 

This and more in MIPTV News Issue 2, out April 9. This article was written by Julian Newby, edited for MIPBlog.

 


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About Author

Julian Newby

Julian Newby is editor in chief of MIP Publications, namely the MIPTV/MIPCOM Previews, daily News magazines and supplements. He is also co-founder of Boutique Editions, a UK-based publishing and design house providing products and services for the international film, TV and creative communities.

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