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ZDFE Brings Magellan’s Voyage to the U.S.


Magellan’s Voyage—Search for the Spice Islands, a documentary commemorating the first circumnavigation of the globe, has been licensed by ZDF Enterprises to the New York public broadcaster WNET.

Additional recent sales for Magellan’s Voyage—Search for the Spice Islands include to Société Radio Canada, Italy’s RAI, RTP in Portugal and Discovery Networks in Spain. The title has also been snapped up by public broadcasters YLE in Finland, Russia’s Kultura TV, Poland’s TVP and CTV in the Czech Republic. Produced by IFAGE Filmproduktion for ZDF in association with ZDF Enterprises, Magellan’s Voyage—Search for the Spice Islands was commissioned for ZDF’s Terra X slot.

In 1519, five ships and 270 men left Spain on a quest to find a western sea passage to the Spice Islands of Indonesia, led by the Portuguese seafarer and nobleman Ferdinand Magellan. Three years later, the expedition becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe. The re-enactments throughout Magellan’s Voyage—Search for the Spice Islands allows the viewer to experience firsthand the trials and tribulations of the crew and the last dramatic days of the expedition. The program reveals intriguing details such as how people in 1500 managed to build sailing ships that were able to travel over 60,000 miles and discusses the impact of colonization on local inhabitants.

Ralf Rückauer, VP ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises, said: “Audiences of all ages will be captivated by this story of the amazing and dangerous voyage undertaken by Magellan and his crew. The documentary also offers fresh insights and a contemporary perspective on fascinating historical details.”

About Chelsea Regan

Chelsea Regan is the managing editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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