Distribution company, Abacus Media Rights (AMR), set up by Managing Director Jonathan Ford, announces sales of a number of documentary features and non-fiction series as the Asia TV Forum & Market launched on 1 December.

Rhys Darby: Big in Japan, Griff’s Great Kiwi Road Trip, Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip and The Helper have been signed up by National Geographic. Outback Lockdown, Alone Across the Arctic and Surviving the Outback have been sold to The Outdoor Channel (Asia), WOWOW Japan will air music documentaries Lennon’s Last Weekend and Whitney: Can I Be Me and RTHK Hong Kong has secured Toxic Beauty. 

A wide variety of documentary features have also been sold to iwonder for both their Asia and Australia markets, including Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards, Jihad Jane, People You May Know, Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth, Sound City and In Search of the Last Action Heroes

Other recent deals completed by AMR include Lennon’s Last Weekend to SBS Australia, Movistar+ Spain, TV4 Sweden, DR Denmark and Britbox US/Canada and People You May Know, acquired by AMC Networks’ streaming service Sundance Now US, UK & Canada, Fusion US, ZDF Germany, HistoireTV France, DR Denmark, NRK Norway, Channel 8 Israel, DIRECTV Latin America, Globoplay Brazil, iwonder Australia & Asia and Rialto New Zealand.

rhys darby in japan
‘Rhys Darby: Big in Japan’. Courtesy of Abacus Media Rights.

Anton Romalijskij, Director of Sales at Abacus Media Rights comments: “We continue to follow the demands of the market very closely and look to secure programming which has international appeal and is a good fit for Asian audiences.  Viewers’ appetite for thought-provoking, interesting, and on-trend documentaries with high production values has significantly increased and we are very pleased to be able to fulfill this need.” 

Produced by EQ Media Group are factual entertainment series Griff’s Great Kiwi Road Trip (4 x 60’) and Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip (6 x 60’), in which the British comedian and travel enthusiast goes in search of the best of Aotearoa New Zealand, and boards the trains of Australia presenting a very modern look at the land down under, Rhys Darby: Big in Japan(4 x 60) sees beloved New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby embark on an epic adventure throughout Japan and Outback Lockdown (3 x 60’) follows Aussie survival expert Ky Furneaux and British chef Calem O’Grady as they go into lockdown, after a whirlwind romance, in the wild outback of Australia.  

Lennon’s Last Weekend (1 x 60’), produced by MGMM Studios, is a look at the Beatles legend’s honest and heartfelt interview, intertwined with footage and commentary from friends as December 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of his death. Whitney: Can I Be Me (1 x 100’), is a poignant feature documentary created with rare footage and exclusive live recordings by award-winning filmmaker Nick Broomfield.

Toxic Beauty (1 x 90’), from White Pine Pictures, follows the class action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and the plaintiffs; women fighting for justice in a race against time. 

Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (1 x 89’), a Nevision production of a Heels on Fire film, is a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most revered people in all of fashion – Manolo Blahnik. From Fastnet FilmsJihad Jane (1 x 94’), tells the story of the most absurd terror cell ever to come together. The uncompromising documentary People You May Know (1 x 92-minutes) unravels the workings behind a powerful organisation with ties to the heart of the White House.  Sound City (1 x 108’), by Rosewell Films, explores the history of the Sound City recording studio in Los Angeles with Dave Grohl.  

The Helper (1 x 106’), from Cheeky Monkey Productions and Co. Production, chronicles stories from Hong Kong’s migrant domestic workers, exploring their immense contribution to society in the face of heart-breaking separation from their loved ones.  Alone Across the Arctic (1 x 87’), a Picturehausfilms production, sees explorer Adam Shoalts embark on an epic journey across the Canadian Arctic by canoe and on foot, alone. Surviving the Outback (1 x 57’) is from producer Michael Atkinson who finds out with no food, no water, no wi-fi… if he can survive the outback. 

Crossfit Inc’s production, Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth (1 x 116’), follows elite athletes taking on a series of gruelling tests during four of the most intense days of competition in CrossFit Games history, and In Search of the Last Action Heroes (1 x 129’), from Creator VC, is the most comprehensive retrospective of the ’80s action film genre.