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Go Button Media reveals first three greenlights in its six-series deal with OTF and Super Channel

Further to announcing the renewal of its partnership with Canada’s Super Channel and...

Further to announcing the renewal of its partnership with Canada’s Super Channel and distributor Off The Fence in early 2023, Go Button Media can now reveal the first three factual series to be greenlit and in production, as part of the current 36-hour, six-series deal.

The three new titles are Engineering Evolved, Cursed Histories and Revolutions That Changed the World. Each series will comprise six hour-long episodes.

'Engineering Evolved' reveals the hidden stories of the transportation technology that’s set to move the world. From ships to cars to trains and submarines, every episode explores one mode of transit – at the frontier of design, engineering and tech. With input and insights from historians, engineers and futurists, the series examines how innovations and inventions have helped developed each type of transport to what it has become today and where it is going in the future.

'Cursed Histories' explores the strange histories and legends of those who lived, or died, by a curse. From the tomb of Tutankhamun to the Hope Diamond and the Lost City of Frenier, history is riddled with people, places, and objects that spread utterly wicked, unbridled chaos; bringing death, disaster, and destruction upon them. How did these curses come to be? Whose wrath invoked them? What's the truth behind the unlucky afflictions and can anyone ever hope to contain them? Each episode will feature three harrowing tales of some of history’s most dauting curses.

'Revolutions That Changed The World' examines the rise and fall of selected empires, monarchs and military leaders, many of whom learned the hard way that power is far from absolute and allegiance, always conditional. But what conditions prompted Spartacus' slave rebellion or Queen Boudicca’s vengeful mutiny? And what caused the French to turn against their own monarch? What caused each reigning regime to weaken? Who defected? Who plotted to seize power or inspired others into bloody action? And which parties ultimately prevailed? Regardless of the victor, once the scales of power tipped, the turbulence created would forever change the world...

Daniel Oron, co-founder and executive producer at Go Button Media comments: “Following our creative development process and close collaboration with our partners at Super Channel and Off The Fence, we are thrilled to launch into the making of three series in history and engineering - two particular sweet spots for our company. With these new series going into production it promises to be an exciting and extremely busy summer for Go Button Media.”

Loren Baxter, head of acquisitions at Off The Fence, says: “The beauty of working in this way with Go Button Media and Superchannel is the flexibility we have on the concepts, which are being fed by the most up to date feedback from our sellers as to what buyers are looking for. We’re bringing to the market three shows that we know will (and already are) receive a lot of interest from our clients.”

Jackie Pardy, chief content officer at Super Channel adds: “Once again, Daniel and the team at Go Button Media have succeeded in creating exciting new twists on established areas of interest, ones that frequently rate well for us. With deliveries that start this autumn and move into early 2024, we are looking forward to bringing these wonderful new engineering and history titles to Super Channel viewers over the coming months.”

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Fantastic Friends to Premier on the CW Network and Series 2 picked up by HBO MAX EMEA and Bell Media’s Crave

The international distribution arm of factual content specialist Off The Fence (OTF) reports that...

The international distribution arm of factual content specialist Off The Fence (OTF) reports that Fantastic Friends will see its first season launch and US premiere on July 18th on The CW Network. The CW has also committed to the second season of Dash Pictures’ hit travel series, again hosted by James and Oliver Phelps, aka the mischievous Weasley twins of Harry Potter fame.

The second season of Fantastic Friends, which has been extended from six to eight episodes, has also been acquired by HBO Max EMEA and Crave in Canada after successful runs of the first season last summer. The series will see more famous faces from the Harry Potter franchise join the James and Oliver on their travels, including Mark Williams, who played the twins’ father in the films, Matt Lewis, Alfie Enoch, Nat Tena and Stanislav Yanevski. Corey Mylchreest, who plays the young King George in the hit Netflix series Queen Charlotte: A Brigerton Story, will also feature in the second season.

The show is filmed in locations including Turkey, the Swiss Alps, Singapore, Australia, Florida in the US, Chile and Patagonia. It is produced by Dash Pictures’ Daniel Sharp and Agata Pieczynska (For the Love of the Game; Prince Harry in Africa) and executive produced by James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Martin Blencowe and Daniel Sharp.

Fantastic Friends is part adventure-travel series, part magic-infused challenge show and part a celebration of friendship. Produced and directed by Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Daniel Sharp (Vikings: The Rise and Fall; Disasters Engineered; Top Gear America), each episode sees the Phelps twins travel to a destination to meet up with one of their famous friends, who then take on the role of tour guide.

Season one featured the twins’ Harry Potter co-stars Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) and Luke Youngblood (Lee Jordan), as well as Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, Outlander’s Sophie Skelton and The Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment. The action moved from Iceland to Ireland, from St Lucia to Dubai, as the twins expanded their horizons and explored new worlds, while engaging in a series of magic-themed challenges and competitions.

Stefanie Fischer, OTF’s managing director of sales, said: “We’ve seen the success that Fantastic Friends has had internationally, with broadcasters coming back for the second season. We’re thrilled that US audiences will now get to share in that excitement on the CW. We’ve no doubt it will be a huge hit across the pond, with many other markets reaping the benefits that the twins’ fan base brings.”

Daniel Sharp, founder and executive producer of Dash Pictures, added: "We're extremely happy to see Fantastic Friends land on The CW - a perfect home for it in the US and that we've had this opportunity to create a second season, with an extraordinary ensemble of guest stars, and of course, James and Oliver Phelps. It's a pleasure to continue our collaboration with Off The Fence and grow this second season from 6 to 8 episodes. Myself, Martin, James and Oliver are looking forward to working closely with our broadcast partners to promote the series on The CW, and continue our work with HBO and Crave on the second series."  

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Off the Fence reports buoyant sales into Germany, with demand particularly strong for its new slate of specialist factual.

The international distribution arm of factual content specialist Off the Fence (OTF) reports buoyant...

The international distribution arm of factual content specialist Off the Fence (OTF) reports buoyant sales into Germany, with demand particularly strong for its new slate of specialist factual.

Servus TV and GEO Televison (part of the RTL Television GmbH) have acquired Giants, an epic five-part series about the planet’s largest creatures, past and present. The series is fronted by wildlife filmmaker Dan O’Neill, who calls on a team of experts and cutting-edge CGI to explore and explain the links between extinct monsters and present-day behemoths. 

NDR has snapped up the 90-minute documentary Blue Carbon, produced by Make Waves Media and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in partnership with OTF and CNN. Directed by Emmy/BAFTA-winning Nicolas Brown (The Serengeti Rules) and exec produced by Oscar-nominated Fernando Meirelles (City of God; The Two Popes), the film unpacks the science around the newly discovered power of the ocean to absorb significantly more carbon from the atmosphere than trees. Grammy-nominated DJ and marine biologist Jayda G looks at how this ‘blue carbon' could be harnessed in our battle against global warming.

ZDF ARTE and ORF, meanwhile, have both acquired one of OTF’s most popular history documentaries, Queens of Ancient Egypt (3x60), produced by Tile Films for Curiosity Stream and OTF Studios. Drawing on fascinating new discoveries and research, the series tells the stories of three largely forgotten but incredible Egyptian queens, who became standard-bearers for their gender long before the modern era. ZDF ARTE has also bought Last Horns of Africa (1x90) from White Spark Pictures, Banovich Studios and Cross Border Productions. The gripping film follows two heroic conservation specialists as they battle to bring down South Africa’s rhino-poaching syndicates.  

Feature documentary Unearthed Ancient Murder Mysteries (6x60), produced by OTF Studios for Curiosity has been licensed by ZDFinfo and A+E Networks Germany, as part of the extended partnership with OTF. The series that looks at iconic epochs and cultures to re-tell the stories of infamous and little-known murders from a fresh perspective has also been acquired by  A+E Networks UK® to premiere on Sky HISTORY, AMC and Viasat.

Interest has been building in OTF Studios series Nature’s Ultimate Survivors (5x60), which been licensed by ZDF 3sat. The series, which explores the extraordinary abilities that creatures need to survive in the wild, also features on the launch slate of US-based FAST channel Xumo Play’s Free Nature and Wildlife channel. The new service launches this month with more than 150 hours of content, curated into themed blocks. Its highlights also include Pernel Media’s Butterflies: Superheroes of Nature, which introduces viewers to the insects’ astonishing and largely unknown super-powers. Both OTF series are premiering in the US exclusively on Xumo Play.

Stefanie Fischer, OTF’s managing director of sales, said: “German viewers love a diverse range of informative and entertaining factual and demand world-class quality — which just about sums up OTF’s own approach. OTF's slate is well aligned with the booming German market and there's a lot more to come.”

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OTF to Sell Internationally Indigenous series Telling Our Story

Indigenous producer Terre Innue is thrilled to announce that its four-part (4x52’) documentary...

Indigenous producer Terre Innue is thrilled to announce that its four-part (4x52’) documentary series Telling Our Story in which 11 of Canada’s First Peoples tell us with generosity and with who they are, will be sold internationally by Off the Fence.

Beautifully produced, directed, designed, edited, and featuring music and animation by Indigenous artists, Telling Our Story is a stunning emotional journey through the history, the values, the struggles and triumphs of First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada. The series paints a poignant and heartfelt picture of the Indigenous experience in Canada. " The French version of Telling Our Story first aired on Radio-Canada in November and December 2022 and the response was incredible," says series producer and co-executive producer, Francine Allaire. The series will air on CBC this Spring. We set out to create a moving and luminous series that educates, inspires, and uplifts audiences. We’re very excited to partner with Off the Fence to bring it to a global audience."

Off the Fence is a leading international distributor of factual content with a great track record of bringing award-winning documentaries to audiences around the world. “This series is an important and timely exploration of Indigenous culture and history, and we are confident that it will resonate with audiences worldwide”, says Stefanie Fischer, head of sales at OTF. “People are revising their values and wish to draw on the multimillennial knowledge and practices of Indigenous Peoples. First Nations and Inuit have taken care and respected nature for thousands of years and in this current climate crisis, we must listen to them.”  

Abenaki director and President of Terre Innue, Kim O’Bomsawin (Call Me Human, Quiet Killing) travelled 30 000 kilometres by plane, seaplane, helicopter, train, Skidoo, canoe, car, ATV, and dog sled, filmed one hundred women and men of all generations in thirty communities. They shared their worldview, their connection to the Land, their spiritual and millenary stories, the richness and beauty of their cultures, and their hopes for the next generations. The result is breathtakingly beautiful and deeply human and inspiring. “After centuries of colonial measures aimed at "killing the Indian in every child”, after parking us on reserves and stripping us of our culture and our spirituality by forcibly sending us to Christian residential schools, Telling Our Story is a celebration of our resistance, our resilience, and our revival,” said O’Bomsawin.

Telling Our Story and its French version Laissez-nous raconter will be available for international distribution at MIP TV in Cannes, which runs from April 17-20, 2023. 

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