OTF Closes multiple deals for The Secrets To Civilization and announces it MIPTV Slate
The Amsterdam-based distribution arm of 360 factual content specialist Off The Fence (OTF) has announced multiple deals for The Secrets to Civilisation, one of its most successful titles.
The 3 x 60 mins HD series, produced by OTF Studios, Impossible Factual and CuriosityStream, has been picked up by a slew of international platforms and VOD services, including ZDF ARTE, NRK Norway, ORF and VRT Belgium, RTV Slovenia, DR TV Denmark, Yleisradio Finland and Viasat World for its channels across Europe, CIS and Asia.
The Secrets to Civilisation looks at the next-generation earth sciences that are changing our understanding of the ancient past. The documentary is a cornerstone of OTF’s history-focused ‘Yesterday’ content pillar, which forms one leg of the new three-pronged creative strategy launched last year under incoming CEO Bo Stehmeier’s creative and commercial restructure.
The other two content pillars are Today (focusing on humankind’s relationship with itself and the planet through the genres of natural history, travel and adventure, lifestyle, crime and impact) and Tomorrow (science). The new content paradigm is supported by three business models: OTF Originals, OTF Studios and OTF Fast.
Stefanie Fischer, OTF’s managing director of sales, said: “The variety of broadcasters that have acquired The Secrets to Civilisation speaks not only to the power of a story that is genuinely universal, but to the success of our Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow content strategy. We have set ourselves clear objectives in terms of the quality and themes that can best deliver commercial results — and the success of The Secrets to Civilisation proves that it’s an approach that works for our global client base. In addition, we’re now reaping the benefits of the ecosystem we have established that integrates in-house production, third-party content and distribution.”
OTF has also unveiled its MIPTV 2022 line-up, which includes several new acquisitions. A highlight of the Yesterday slate is Tycoons (3 x 60 mins), produced by OTF Productions for CuriosityStream, which unpacks the stories of the world’s richest entrepreneurs with names such as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and conglomerate Wang Jianlin.
Auschwitz in 33 Objects, produced by Polish indie Inbornmedia with Polsat Television and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial. The 4 x 60’ mins documentary series focuses on the work of the high-tech laboratory at the former Nazi concentration camp, which is now a museum. Here, specialists attempt to unlock the heart-breaking stories behind the objects — a snuffbox, a child’s toy, a lock of hair — found at the largest death camp in the world.
Big beasts of another variety can be found in Hippo King from the Terra Mater Studios slate, which also includes another 9 hours of high-quality natural history and science from the company’s exclusive relationship. New to OTF’s Today portfolio, the 52-minute film tells the life story of one of the planet’s largest and most elusive land mammals: the three-ton giant hippo bulls that live in the remote reaches of Africa’s Great Rift Valley.
Also new to the Tomorrow roster is Greenhouse (1 x 60’ / 1 x 90’ mins), produced by GoodThing Productions (2040) which chronicles the conception, planning and construction of a property that addresses three of the most urgent issues of the 21st century: affordable housing, sustainability and food security.
Additionally on the Tomorrow slate is Secrets of Big Data (6 x 60’ mins), produced by Shark Teeth Films for Super Channel Canada, looks at the world’s increasing reliance on the collection and manipulation of information. Data allows us to predict future events and outcomes — but it’s a double-edged sword: bad or biased data has the power to wreak havoc. Trust Me (1 x 60 mins/1 x 90 mins), produced by Wadi Rum Films in association with Getting Better Foundation, covers similar ground, exploring how negative news and misinformation is leading to racism, polarisation, mental health disorders and even crime.
Loren Baxter, head of acquisitions at OTF, said: “This is one of our most carefully curated slates and not only in terms of subject matter and quality, but in its balance of in-house, co-financed and third-party productions. The interest already being generated by our new titles is not only encouraging, but confirmation that our Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow approach is providing the market with what it wants — and that’s a great feeling to be taking down with us to MIPTV.”