BossaNova Development Day Projects Score Sales


Several programs presented during BossaNova Media’s Development Day pitching program have scored deals around the world.

Ottoman Empire by Train, from Spark Media, was picked up by BBC Studios after having been prebought by Channel 4 in the U.K. The five-part series sees professor Alice Roberts explore the titular civilization that spanned three continents, more than 70 countries and 600 years.

The Flight Attendant Murders, produced by Flicker Productions, was acquired by Sundance Now in the U.S. and Foxtel Group and SBS in Australia. It questions whether an innocent man was incarcerated for four decades for the murders of four flight attendants while a sadistic killer walked free.

AMS Pictures’ 60-minute documentary The Andes Tragedy: 50 Years On was sold to Telewizja Polsat in Poland, RTBF in Belgium, Movistar in Spain, Foxtel Group and SBS in Australia, Bell Media (Canal D) in Canada, TV4 in Sweden and Finland, TV2 in Norway and DPG in Benelux. It looks back to 1972, when a plane carrying a Uruguan rugby team disappeared in the Argentinean Andes. The survivors resorted to eating the flesh of their dead friends in order to stay alive.

Foxtel Group, TV4 and DPG also acquired another Development Day-generated AMS Pictures documentary: Siegfried and Roy: The Original Tiger Kings. The hour-long special features exclusive interviews with friends and contemporaries of the German-American magicians, whose glitz and white tiger magic reinvented Las Vegas. The myths that made them global superstars turned out to be more fiction than fact, and the documentary reveals the shocking truth behind the lies they told before and after the night when an angry tiger mauled Roy.

Peter Andrews, head of network programming at SBS in Australia, said: “I wish Paul Heaney and the BossaNova team would stop it right now with this Development Day concept. Producers pitching great ideas, a whole day taking up buyer’s precious time, sometimes raucous applause and standing ovations for various projects, sometimes eerie silence. It’s all just way too much for everyone involved… stop it now! Oh, hang on, we’ve prebought quite a few series from this event over the years… Ignore all of the above. As you were, Paul.”

Andy Streitfeld, founder of AMS Pictures, added: “As a prodco, the fundamental thing we need in a distributor is to bring together and excite buyers around the concepts we are pitching. BossaNova is the only distributor we work with that creates a full day of pitching new concepts. In all my years of creating programming, this is the first time I have had so much fun traveling from Texas to London to pitch three concepts to a full room of buyers whilst the deals roll in for our current productions—a good news story at last.”

In other Development Day news, A+E Networks EMEA ordered a second six-part season of Content Kings’ Secrets of the Lost Liners, another series that emerged from the pitching program.