Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

History Makers Panel (2 / 2). Italy’s Rai – A Success Story. Q&A: H2’s Demo’s, Dramatizations & More

We continue our coverage of the opening panel at the recent History Makers International conference.

The Panelists

  • Piero A. Corsini, Series Producer, Rai Educational
  • Peter Gaffney, Senior Vice President, Programming Strategy, Scheduling & Acquisitions: History & H2
  • Dirk Hoogstra, Senior Vice President, Development & Programming: History & H2

3. Rai Educational. Case Study: Risorgimento Anniversary

  • Because of his audience’s appetite for WW2-era docs, Rai’s Piero Corsini jokes that it was the Nazis who paid his producers’ salaries.
  • But a series produced for the 150th anniversary of Italy’s reunification avoids the ‘boring’ trap and earns both big audiences and acclaim.
  • He has 1,066 hours to fill:
    • 50 % acquisitions
    • 50% in house productions.
  • How many are International copro’s?
  • Like Public TV everywhere, Rai’s budgets are getting tighter and tighter.
  • Plus a glimpse of a handsome Toscanini doc.
  • See the clips.
  • View Part 3 here…

4. Q+A

  • H2’s target demo
  • H2’s appetite for presenter-led programs
  • Rai demo’s
  • Cord-cutting and TV viewing trends in Italy and U.S.
  • Is there a place for international characters on H2?
  • Thoughts on dramatizations
  • The Kennedy’s: lessons from a non-success
  •  So where’s the diversity on History & H2?
  • View Part 4 here…


  • Our Pawn Stars panel analyzed the explosive rise of Leftfield Pictures.
  • The panel was co-produced by Pamela Jones and the NY State Bar Association, with Brent Montgomery (Leftfield), Robert Miller (Peleton Entertainment / agent) and Mary Donahue (EP, History).
  • The Pawn Stars Panel includes the pitch tape.
  • See Part 1 here…


Speaking Engagements

Asian Side of the Doc
Tokyo, March 19-22
The U.S. Feature Doc Slot / Workshops

Cannes, March 30
Panel: How to Get the Funds


Independent Filmmaker Labs Open for Submissions
March 9 (Documentary) / April 6 (Narrative)

IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs are a year-long fellowship supporting independent filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion, marketing, and distribution of their first features. Lab submission is open to all first-time documentary and narrative feature directors with films in post-production. Structured in three week-long components held over the year, the Labs offer personalized attention on post-production, audience building, and distribution strategies in the digital age, followed by continued support from IFP as the project premieres in the marketplace.

Recent Lab Project alumni now in theaters include Dee ReesPariah (Focus Features), Alrick Brown’s Kinyarwanda (AFFRM), and Victoria Mahoney’s Yelling to the Sky (MPI), being released this spring.

Premieres at 2012 festivals have included An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Sundance)Welcome to Pine Hill (Slamdance, Grand Jury Award), Una Noche (Berlin), and The Light in Her Eyes and Smokin’ Fish (IDFA 2011) – with more Lab alumni set for upcoming festivals and broadcast.

To apply or for more information, please visit