European broadcasters including ZDF, Arte, NRK, ORF find The Secrets to Civilisation

The Secrets to Civilisation is part of OTF’s Yesterday content pillar

A host of European broadcasters have acquired The Secrets to Civilisation from the Amsterdam-based distribution arm of factual specialist Off The Fence (OTF) as it unveils its slate ahead of MipTV.

ZDF in Germany, Arte in France, NRK in Norway, ORF in Austria, VRT in Belgium, RTV in Slovenia, DR in Denmark, YLE in Finland and Viasat World have all picked up the 3×60′ series, the latter for its channels across Europe, CIS and Asia.

Produced by OTF Studios, Impossible Factual and US streamer CuriosityStream, The Secrets to Civilisation looks at the next-generation earth sciences that are changing our understanding of the ancient past.

The documentary forms part of OTF’s history-focused content pillar Yesterday, one of three such pillars that have been devised as part of CEO Bo Stehmeier’s creative and commercial restructure.

The others are Today, which focuses on humankind’s relationship with itself and the planet through the genres such as natural history, travel and adventure, lifestyle and crime; and Tomorrow, which focuses on science.

OTF has also unveiled its MipTV 2022 line-up, which includes several new acquisitions. On the Yesterday slate is Tycoons (3×60′), produced by OTF Productions for CuriosityStream, which unpacks the stories of the likes of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Auschwitz in 33 Objects (4×60′), meanwhile, is produced by Polish indie Inbornmedia with Polsat Television and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial. The docuseries focuses on the work of the high-tech laboratory at the former Nazi concentration camp, which is now a museum. In the show, specialists attempt to unlock the stories behind the objects – a snuffbox, a child’s toy, a lock of hair – found at Auschwitz.

The Terra Mater Studios slate features natural history and science content such as Hippo King (1×52′) as part of OTF’s exclusive relationship with the Red Bull-owned factual production company.

Also new to the Tomorrow roster is Greenhouse, produced by Good Thing Productions, which chronicles the conception, planning and construction of a property that addresses three of the most urgent issues of the 21st century: affordable housing, sustainability and food security.

Elsewhere, Secrets of Big Data (6×60′), produced by Shark Teeth Films for Super Channel in Canada, looks at the world’s increasing reliance on the collection and manipulation of information.

Stefanie Fischer, OTF’s MD of sales, said: “The variety of broadcasters that have acquired The Secrets to Civilisation speaks not only to the power of a story that is genuinely universal, but also to the success of our Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow content strategy.

“We have set ourselves clear objectives in terms of the quality and themes that can best deliver commercial results, and the success of The Secrets to Civilisation proves that it’s an approach that works for our global client base. In addition, we’re now reaping the benefits of the ecosystem we have established that integrates in-house production, third-party content and distribution.”

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European broadcasters including ZDF, Arte, NRK, ORF find The Secrets to Civilisation

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