For the fourth year, the EBU Science & Knowledge Group organized its pitching session for Science projects on 27 June 2018, in La Rochelle (France), in cooperation with the Festival Sunny Side of the Doc. 16 new projects were part of this exciting event.
We looked for ambitious projects, aimed at a prime time, international audience. In particular, we sought programmes that enhance awareness of Science topics in a compelling, story-driven way.
Seven projects were selected by the elected Bureau of the EBU Science & Knowledge Group and representatives of Sunny Side of the Docs.
Each project pitched had to be commissioned by an EBU Member! Commissioning Editors’ and Producer’s presence at the pitch was also compulsory.
Single pitches lasted a max of14 minutes (7’ pitch including trailer - max 3’ - and 7’ Q&As).
The 7 chosen projects were
ARTE France: THE BLOB – A GENIUS WITHOUT BRAIN
An unlikely appearance, 720 different genders, an infinite life and exceptional skills… Here comes The Blob! More commonly known as slime-mold, this extraordinary one-billion-year-old organism challenges our worldview on living matter and is about to revolutionize the concept of intelligence.
Blending science fiction, animation, the beauty of nature, humour and cutting-edge science, this is a quirky trip exploring this most surprising and mind-blowing organism. Neither animal, nor plant, nor fungi, the blob is one giant single cell whose amazing capacities are leading pioneer scientists to a very new world – that of brainless intelligence.
ARTE – France: THE SUPERPOWERS OF THE BEAR
Bears possess extraordinary powers to fight illness. Could they hold the key to better health in humans?
Human civilizations throughout history have always lived in fear and admiration of the wild bear. Now, scientists are on the verge of discovering the biological and physiological secrets of these elusive creatures to help solve human health problems associated with kidneys, neurological disorders, osteoporosis and obesity. We will meet scientists, visit laboratories and go out into the field to study these animals’ behavior, to discover how one day the bear might revolutionize our lives!
NHK: Life with a Robot
Can we humans really live with robots treating them as our important companions? While the accelerated evolution of AI shows no sign of stopping, scientists have successfully developed humanoid robots that will cuddle up and comfort people when they get into trouble, and provide them ways to solve problems. What was once stories of sci-fic are now a part of reality? Is the robot really a friend or just a tool? By observing the forefront of the robot technology, we will reveal, in human communication, what can be substituted, and what cannot.
PBS / NOVA: ANGELS & DEMONS: THE FALL OF VIOLENCE (W.T.)
Is it possible that violence is in decline? That we are safer today than at any point in human history? The very idea seems ludicrous, but that is precisely the claim of Harvard's Steven Pinker in his bestselling book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. NOVA's two-hour film will investigate this astounding claim through the lens of history, social science, biology and the brain to examine the forces that may have put us on the path toward a more peaceful world. If correct, it would have profound implications for today.
Solarstratos is a futuristic challenge led by Swiss eco-explorer Raphael Domjan, who has designed a solar-powered aircraft intended to fly to the stratosphere. In 2018, Solarstratos will become the first manned aircraft to fly into the stratosphere, 33,000 feet above the Earth's surface.
Raphael Domjan dreams of one day seeing solar power replace fossil fuels. But the explorer and engineer is convinced that this change is possible today. He wants to prove that we already have the technology to end our dependence on fossil fuels.
SWR – ARTE: OUT OF EUROPE - A NEW STORY OF HUMAN EVOLUTION?
Does the history of human evolution have to be rewritten? For the last hundred years, the development of modern man was primarily explained through the so-called Out of Africa theory. But in recent years more and more bone finds have turned up, challenging the belief that the cradle of humankind was actually located in Africa. In Europe and Asia, researchers have found many fossils of early predecessors of modern great apes, from which the human line of evolution emerged later on, too. The film follows exclusively the excavations and findings of the German palaeontologist and geoscientist Madelaine Böhme. Evocative re-enactments bring life to the pivotal moments of major previous fossil discoveries to complete the story.
ZDF – ARTE: PLEASURE AND PAIN: THE SCIENCE OF LOVE
Love can change our lives - in the truest sense of the word. Recent scientific studies prove that love is more than just an emotion. It is a drive that transforms our brain and our body profoundly. This film shows the fascinating science behind what love is, what it does to us - and whether it is good for us at all.
The winner of the Best Science Pitch at Sunny Side of the Doc, sponsored by the EBU, was ZDF – ARTE: PLEASURE AND PAIN: THE SCIENCE OF LOVE by Judith Koenig There's more about the film here and you can watch the trailer above.
Location: Sunny Side of the Doc, La Rochelle (France)
Working Languages: English (preferred), French
Grand Auditorium, Espace Encan, Sunny Side of the Doc, La Rochelle (France)
Project submission: 25 April 2018
Sunny Side contact: Patrizia Mancini