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DocumentaryBusiness.com

My newsletter DocumentaryBusiness.com, formerly DocumentaryTelevision.com, is my ‘indispensable’ platform for sharing my current industry analysis with more than 20,000 network executives, producers and professionals in 150+ countries.
On the Road Again in ’24. Takeaways from NATPE and Realscreen Summit
The 2024 Conference season kicked off in earnest in January with back-to-back-to-back events in Miami (NATPE) and New Orleans (Realscreen). Producers, distributors, and content platforms all gathered once again to network and pitch as our industry tries to steady itself coming out of a challenging 2023. Cactus Tree Entertainment President Liz Levenson and True North’s …

On the Road Again in ’24. Takeaways from NATPE and Realscreen Summit Read More »

Netflix Dominates the Streamers: Comparing 2023’s Most Viewed Unscripted Shows
Netflix rolls on, leaving its competitors far behind! Netflix just announced the second largest quarterly uptick in subscribers (13.1 million) in the company’s history, second only to Q1 2020 (15.8 million), which benefitted from the onset of the COVID pandemic. Cutbacks in spending on programs and marketing by Netflix’s streaming rivals is a key factor …

Netflix Dominates the Streamers: Comparing 2023’s Most Viewed Unscripted Shows Read More »

Sundance: How to Improve Your Chance of Acceptance into the Documentary Program
Producers submitted 1,809 feature documentaries for the Sundance program. Thirty-four films were selected, as I reported here. Six of the 34 selections (18%) had received prior Sundance support through labs or grants. That’s comparable to 19% in 2023, and 22% in 2022. Selected documentaries for 2024 in the ‘Prior Funding’ category are: Igualada / Colombia, …

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The Great Contraction and the Business of Non-Fiction: PGA Member Webinar
I’m delighted to join the PGA’s Documentary & Non-Fiction Committee as a featured speaker with UTA’s Kellen Alberstone at our Live webinar exploring the state of the unscripted economy. The Great Contraction and the Business of Non-Fiction. Tuesday, January 16 at 2:00 PM PST | 5:00 PM EST. Moderator: David Scott. (An exclusive live webinar …

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Sundance 2024: $887 Million Spent on Docs That Missed Out??
A Sundance Film Festival award lags only behind an Oscar nomination as a measure of success for documentarians. 1.9%! Are those really the odds that a documentary will earn a slot on the Sundance program? $887 million! Did producers spend close to a billion dollars on all those submissions that missed out? Here is my 2024 update …

Sundance 2024: $887 Million Spent on Docs That Missed Out?? Read More »

Happy Nyala Year: Wishing You Every Success in 2024!
  I dipped into my African photo library to celebrate the New Year because the pic of my surprise meeting with the superb Nyala somehow captures why so many of us do what we do. We search out the people, places, creatures, and landscapes that inspire compelling storytelling. My editorial goal for Documentary Business is to throw …

Happy Nyala Year: Wishing You Every Success in 2024! Read More »

WCSFP. Expert Takeaways from Seattle. My Pact Webinar with Ruth Berry, Ed Hersh and Dan Salerno
The World Congress of Science & Factual Producers (WCSFP) just wrapped in Seattle. What was the vibe? What do buyers want?  And not! Are times as tough as many say? Is it the “World Congress” or “First World Congress”? Industry veterans Ruth Berry, Dan Salerno and Ed Hersh were deeply involved in Congress, pitching projects, …

WCSFP. Expert Takeaways from Seattle. My Pact Webinar with Ruth Berry, Ed Hersh and Dan Salerno Read More »

World Congress: Five Big Takeaways by Dan Salerno
Dan Salerno shared his big Takeaways from the World Congress of Science & Factual Producers (WCSFP) which just wrapped in Seattle. Dan co-produced the famous What’s the Buzz session (covered in our post here). Here are his Takeaways: TOUGH YEAR 2023 was tough everywhere. On panels and in meetings, stories of budget and commissioning cuts were …

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Documentary Landscape: Year-End Snapshot. A Pact Webinar with Dan Salerno
I spend many hours in conversation with veteran programming executive Dan Salerno interrogating the industry data and charts that land on our desks. We always ask ourselves: What does the data reveal for factual producers? Today’s webinar recaptures the spirit of those conversations by exploring the trends revealed by six slides. This is episode #9 …

Documentary Landscape: Year-End Snapshot. A Pact Webinar with Dan Salerno Read More »

What’s the Buzz? Ten Categories. 43 Programs. Stand Outs at World Congress 2023
What’s the Buzz? launched World Congress in Seattle last week. The session’s curators were veteran programming exec and senior consultant Dan Salerno; Tom Brisley, Managing Director, Arrow Media; and Nathan Spencer, Development Producer, Arrow Media. Dan, Tom and Nathan sifted through hundreds of deserving shows to capture forty-three factual programs that stood out for their subject, editorial …

What’s the Buzz? Ten Categories. 43 Programs. Stand Outs at World Congress 2023 Read More »

 
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