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Off The Fence partners with Markham Street and Shark Teeth in Canada

European producer and distributor Off The Fence (OTF) has agreed its first Canadian deals since launching a Toronto outpost in August, partnering with local factual production companies Markham Street Films and Shark Teeth Films.

Imelda Wiebers

UK- and Netherlands-based OTF is working with Markham Street Films to raise financing and distribute the company’s development slate. This includes Luck Decoded, a series examining the concept of luck and the different ways humans try to make sense of our world, and an as-yet untitled true crime limited series about a man who impregnated dozens of women with the wrong sperm.

Other projects on Markham Street Films’ slate include My Beautiful Body, The Real Cost of Delivery, Snack Attack and The Secret History of the Internet.

The company’s OTF Studios division is also executive producing, co-financing and distributing the Secrets of Big Data alongside the Canadian network Super Channel. The series, produced by Shark Teeth Films, explores the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence and big data.

OTF said the project is part of its new three-pronged content strategy, unveiled in July, which focuses on yesterday (covering history programming), today (natural history, travel and adventure, lifestyle, crime and impact) and tomorrow (science, technology and the future), with Secrets of Big Data falling into the latter category.

OTF’s Canadian office, led by director of commercial and business affairs Imelda Wiebers, was launched in August with a view to expanding its partnerships with Canadian producers and broadcasters.

“Canadian producers have always proved to be great partners for Off the Fence. Not only is Canadian content well received internationally, the budgets and tax credits enable high-quality shows to be produced and greenlit a lot faster, and with the high demand for content, as a distributor we need to find ways to reach that demand quickly,” said OTF’s head of acquisitions, Loren Baxter.

Elsewhere, ZDF Enterprises-owned OTF said it is launching projects with three other Canadian production companies: Forgotten Frontlines (6×60’) from Go Button Media; Curb your Carbon (1×60’) and The Global Vaccine Race (1×60’) from Infield Fly Productions; and Coral Ghosts (1×90’) from Take Action Films.


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