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Rai, France Télévisions join forces for new documentary alliance, reveal trio of projects

MIA: Euro public broadcasters France Télévisions (FTV) and Italy’s Rai have unveiled a new bilateral agreement to coproduce a slate of documentaries here at MIA in Rome.

Fabrizio Zappi

The agreement was unveiled by Rai’s director of documentaries Fabrizio Zappi, together with Antonio Grigolini, FTV’s recently appointed director of documentaries, who replaced Catherine Alvaresse in April.

The new pact is separate to the larger Global Doc coproduction agreement launched by FTV in 2019, in which Rai is also a partner.

Three projects have so far been revealed. One of the projects, Broken Dream, was presented at MIA this week. The feature-length documentary centres on the murder of Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaving his Moroccan wife to keep his memory alive with their young children. The film, by Italian prodco NANOF, is currently in post-production.

The second project is investigative geo-political documentary Abramovich, pitched by FTV. It focuses on the ex-Chelsea FC owner and reveals new facts to Italian viewers, said Zappi.

A third film is being developed about celebrated Italian photographer Letizia Battaglia, with financing already in place.

Zappi, who has been building up a regular presence for documentaries on Rai’s channels over the past couple of years, said the new agreement demonstrates that Rai is being taken seriously as a partner and co-financer of documentary projects. It will also create more opportunities for the Italian production community, he added.

Grigolini said the new pact offers FTV a series of opportunities that respond to changing market conditions for broadcasters, as well as new creative editorial opportunities that free documentary output from standard editorial structures.

More details of the agreement and how producers can access it will be released during FIPADOC in Biarritz, France in January 2024.

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