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Arte’s Edwards forecasts copro boom

The coronavirus pandemic will inevitably lead to more international coproductions, according to Mark Edwards, commissioning editor at cultural broadcaster Arte France.

Mark Edwards

“Covid has given people, who have been talking for a year, the chance to team up and work on things that they didn’t expect to work on together as broadcasters and funders,” he told a session at the digital version of Realscreen on Tuesday.

Edwards said the pubcaster had found a coproduction partner for Little Girl, a documentary film directed by Sébastien Lifshitz that follows a transgender child, as a result of the pandemic.

“We joined together with PBS’s [documentary series] American Experience and signed a big coproduction deal. It is the kind of deal that wouldn’t have happened before Covid-19 but because they had some holes in their line-up for 2020 to 2022, we struck a deal,” he added.

James Burstall, chairman and CEO of Argonon, also spoke during the session and agreed there had been a surge in partnerships between different areas of the industry and territories in the past year.

“Because of coronavirus, we have moved all of our animation CGI to Canada and we have been training up crews all over the world because we didn’t want to fly,” he said.

“One of the things I’m most excited about is that we found 100 crews around the world who are incredibly talented producers, directors and writers, lighting people and sound recorders. They’re now making primetime TV in the UK, the US and internationally. When things return to normal we will continue to work with those people. That’s an amazing advantage.”


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