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MIPCOM Spotlight: ZDF Enterprises


A man with a troubled past gets a second chance to do right by his family in Over Water, on offer from ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE).

Over Water tells the story of how a former addict can make the wrong choices with the right intentions,” says Robert Franke, the VP of ZDFE.drama.

Kristina Ohlsson’s STHLM Requiem is an adaptation of a best-selling trilogy of crime novels.

Another highlight from the company is JJ, a Netflix original series. “It is the story of John Jeiver, who was kidnapped by the FARC at 13 and trained as a one-man army,” says Franke. “After the signing of the Colombian peace agreements, he escapes the jungle to Bogotá, and infiltrates a dangerous and well-connected criminal organization.”

“Our topics work internationally, whether in breathtaking crime series, short-form dramas or TV movies,” Franke says.

The documentary series History of Weapons uncovers the connection between the development of a new military device and the aftermath of its use. “The series tells a story about weaponry that took leading roles in the major battles in history,” says Ralf Rückauer, the VP of ZDFE.unscripted. “Further, it investigates man’s desperate attempts to tame the destructive power of new instruments of war.”

The Spying Game: Tales from the Cold War takes a close look at the era of rising tensions between the East and West. The Truth About Franco: Spain’s Forgotten Dictatorship, meanwhile, reflects on the regime of Francisco Franco, who is regarded as one of Europe’s most brutal leaders. “Spain is marked by traces of his tyranny,” says Rückauer. “This series casts new light on ‘Spain’s forgotten dictatorship.’”

“ZDFE.unscripted’s aim is to enhance the genre and deliver the best-quality factual programs,” Rückauer adds.

Two live-action children’s shows lead the slate that ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE) brings to Cannes. The first, The Athena, tells the story of a young model whose career implodes after she complains about a famous designer treating her like an object. “The Athena is full of super-creative, super-ambitious students—photographers, graphic artists, fashion designers, jewelry makers—all intent on pursuing their dreams at any cost,” says Peter Lang, the VP of ZDFE.junior.

The second live-action highlight from the company is The Bureau of Magical Things, which follows the adventures of a teen girl caught up in a clash between an elf and a fairy. “ZDFE.junior is definitely the number one address when it comes to successful live-action series,” says Lang.

On the animation side, ZDFE is showcasing Zoom—The White Dolphin, about a boy who becomes friends with a mysterious and intelligent sea creature.

“We are very proud to be in charge of the international distribution of these series,” says Fred Burcksen, the company’s president and CEO. He adds, “We have a lot on our plate, but we know that the quality we are proud of in our programs will also be appreciated by others.”

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