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Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

MIPDOC ’24: Co-Production Case Study, Meet the Expert Sessions, and Dawn Porter’s Keynote

The 26th International Documentary and Factual Co-Production Market & Screenings is back again this year during a dedicated weekend ahead of MIPTV.

Gathering the international doc & factual community, MIPDOC offers 2 days of networking, screenings, pitch, and conferences.

I produced the inspiring Co-production Case Study and two Meet the Expert sessions, and helped arrange Dawn Porter’s powerful Keynote.

Read the full MIPDOC programme.

Here are the details…

Our MIPDOC Co-Production SUMMIT will focus on the future for factual programming.

The industry is changing fast: hybrid commercial models are shaping the factual programming business whilst audiences are increasingly hungry for information they can trust.

For leading participants in the Factual / Unscripted community, this summit will be a place where we can together explore these new future – facing commercial models including pre-sales, funding /investment, the growing role of distributors, AFP and branding partnerships, non-exclusive digital exploitation, and IP maximization across multiple genres.

This Summit is by invitation only.

MIPDOC CASE STUDY – TIME: A Journey Through Thousands of Years

The secret sauce of every successful coproduction is a unique mix of “the right topic, the right people and the right time.”

That’s the key takeaway from ZDF Studios’ Nikolas Hülbusch (Unscripted Director) that he will investigate with Off The Fence’s Jia Zhao (Director Sales & Coproduction, Asia) in their Case Study presentation for the MIPDOC Co-Production Summit.

With moderator Peter Hamilton (Documentary Business), they will reveal how they developed and produced the two-parter TIME: A Journey Through Thousands of Years in partnership with CMT China Media Group and ARTE.

As well as highlighting the creation process and deal terms, the session asks: “Is China returning to the copro marketplace?”

The MIPDOC Coproduction Summit is hosted by Amanda Groom, and takes place on Saturday 6 April, starting at 11 AM.

Nikolas Hülbusch, PhD joined ZDF Studios in 1997. In 2001, he took over a new position as project manager for documentary co-production. Since then Nikolas has negotiated numerous wildlife, history and science documentary co-productions with partners including the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, The History Channel, France 5, as well as distribution mandate deals with numerous international factual production companies such as Impossible Pictures, NHNZ, Screen Glue, WMR, Wild Bear, Yap Films etc. In 2013, he became director of ZDFS.factual and deputy head of the ZDFS.factual (and – since 2018 – of the enlarged ZDFS.unscripted) genre team.

Jia Zhao studied life sciences in China, Japan, and the Netherlands, as well as visual arts at the Rietveld Art Academy, Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Alongside her work with Off the Fence, Jia is also a critically-acclaimed producer and the founder of MUYI FILM and SILK ROAD FILM SALON, where she works with European and Asian producers/directors and focuses on film productions with intercultural themes and international potential. At Off the Fence, Jia is responsible for sales, co-financing & co-productions in Asia. Jia speaks fluently Chinese, Japanese, English, and Dutch.


MEET THE EXPERT: Agents: How They Help Develop, Pitch and Manage Projects for the Streamers

Meet with Julie Link for an informal conversation during which participants will ask their own questions about the access and rights issues that determine the success of their projects.

  • 30’ Live session
  • Moderator : Peter Hamilton / Documentary Business
  • Stage : P-1 / Round tables
  • SESSION live: Monday 8 April, 14.00 to 14.30

Speaker : JULIE LINK / Agent / Co-Founder + Co-CEO, GLISK- Germany

Julie Link is a producer and creative executive with over 20 years of experience at major studios in the US and Europe. She recently co-launched the production company GLISK, in partnership with Federation Studios, a global company that focuses on the creation, production, financing, and distribution of high-quality original productions via a stable of independent studios.

Before launching her venture, Julie was Managing Director at Splendid Studios, and she held senior positions at Relativity Television, CBS Paramount and William Morris Agency.


MEET THE EXPERTS:  How to Navigate the Changing Distribution Landscape for Your Documentary

Meet PBS Distribution executives Joe Barrett and Tracy Beckett (above) for an informal conversation during which participants will ask about buying trends among both public broadcasters and streaming platforms, and the business and rights issues that can determine the success and failure of their projects.

  • 30’ Live session
  • Moderator : Peter Hamilton / Documentary Business
  • Stage : P-1 / Round tables
  • SESSION live: Tuesday 9 April, 14.00 to 14.30

Joe Barrett leads sales strategy and execution for International Program Sales, E-Commerce, and Retail, and is responsible for product and sales plans in the Factual, Kids, Drama and General Audience genres globally.

Tracy Beckett is the Commissioning Editor, CoProduction & Acquisitions for PBS Distribution (PBSd).  She is responsible for acquiring a wide array of factual content from independent producers from around the world for the PBSd catalogue.   She looks for finished films but also raises production financing from platform partners for high-quality projects in development.

Topics to be explored include:

  • Considerations when choosing a distributor.
    • Compatibility
    • How the various rights overlap and impact your decision
    • Complimentary services (i.e., Co-Productions, Brand building)
    • Watch-outs
  • How the best Distributor-Producer partnerships work together.
    • What makes the relationship successful? And what are common challenges that arise?


  • Moderator: Anna Carugati, Editor at Large, World Screen
  • Riviera Stage (R8)
  • Sunday, 7th April: 11:45 – 12:15

As founder of Trilogy Films, Producer/Director Dawn Porter is renowned for an impactful body of work that explores the overlooked, reveals the consequences of policy, and views the familiar from a different perspective.

In her inspirational Keynote, Dawn will share insights on the purpose and processes that drive and define her work, along with her take on how to navigate the challenges, and grasp the opportunities that face the global documentary sector.

A three-time Sundance film festival director, Dawn’s work has been featured on HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, CNN, PBS, MSNBC, MTV Films, and other platforms.

Her latest title, the Sony Music Entertainment documentary “Luther: Never Too Much,” is a celebration of the life and work of one of the greatest musical vocalists and performers of all time, R&B singer Luther Vandross, with Jamie Foxx and Colin Firth serving as producers, premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

Read about Dawn and Trilogy Films here.



  •  Presented by European Coordination of Audiovisual Distributors (ECAD)
  • Whether it’s for sales, helping with the artistic development of the content to ensure the greatest commercial potential upstream, or planning the material needed for international sales at the project budgeting stage, come and learn how to make the most out of them and establish a win win relationship.
  • Speakers: Anne Littardi, BELIANE & Pauline Mazenod, WINDROSE

09/04/2024 | 3.00-3.30pm | Palais Stage