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Documentary Business

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Theatrical Documentary

Sundance 2023: $852 Million Spent on Docs That Were Not Selected

A Sundance Film Festival award lags only behind an Oscar nomination as a measure of success for documentarians. 2.4%! Are those the odds that a documentary will earn a slot on the Sundance program? $852 million! Is that really the total production spend on all those submissions that missed out? Read on for my 2023 update on …

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Best Documentaries of 2022: The Picks from the Players. The Oscar Noms & More

What were the critics’ picks for Best Documentaries for 2022? Caitlin Cooper surveyed Variety, Deadline, Sundance and more to provide links to their selections. Among them are prize-winning indies such as All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Bad Axe, and All that Breathes. Dominating the competition are Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream for HBO Max, and …

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Nat Geo & Disney+: What Do They Want? And Not! Read their ‘Unscripted Creative Brief, October 2022’

Nat Geo / Disney+ released their UNSCRIPTED CREATIVE BRIEF October 2022.  The #2 global streamer is “significantly broadening our editorial lens,” New opportunities can be discerned from this very useful guide to Nat Geo’s program priorities. It captures the language used by decision-makers, the pitches they want to hear… and the ones that are a waste …

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Netflix 2023 What You Need To Know Now


MIPCOM Case Studies. Three Revealing International Copro’s. Wednesday, October 19

Producers and decision-makers attending MIPCOM will be inspired to learn from three sets of documentary insiders how their very different projects stood above the competition and won the backing of their funding and distribution partners. We will track each production team’s step-by-step process from “big idea” to delivery! I’m producing and moderating the triple Case …

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Streamers Spend on Music Documentaries. Big Stars. Unique Access. Sky High Budgets. $25 Million for Billy Eilish

You’d have to look hard to find a more compatible pair than the Music documentary and the streaming ecosystem. The genre relies on the celebrity artist and is therefore pre-sold to an intense fan base that crosses borders, delivering on the streamers’ global ambitions. The market leaders can spend big on Music: $25 million by …

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“2000 Mules”: $11+ million payday for a “stolen election” documentary

“Bullshit!” That’s how Donald Trump’s attorney general William Barr describes the claimed evidence of election fraud presented in the documentary 2000 Mules. Barr was being deposed for last week’s Congressional hearings on the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The hearings characterize the proponents of these election falsehoods — like the producers of …

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Cannes Film Festival: Documentary Takeaways with Veteran Sales Agent Jan Rofekamp. Podcast

JAN ROFEKAMP is the highly-respected, veteran documentary distributor and consultant who has led sales agent FILMS TRANSIT INTERNATIONAL since 1982, overseeing more than 500 documentaries. Jan attended the post-Covid 2022 edition of the giant CANNES FILM FESTIVAL. He shares his Takeaways on what happened at Cannes, and what it reveals about the state of the …

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New York WILD Film Festival: Award for Minna Dufton’s BIG vs SMALL on Saturday April 9.

The New York WILD Film Festival is packed with great viewing from adventure exploration to pure wildlife and conservation. NY WILD runs from April 1 to 9. Below are links to the program. And to the trailer. Award I will be accepting an award for Finnish fiilmmaker Minna Dufton. Her documentary BIG vs SMALL that tells …

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