UFA, a Fremantle company, today announces the launch of a new unit, UFA Documentary GmbH, to oversee the expansion of its increasing number of factual formats. Recent productions that prove UFA’s strong credentials in the field include Expedition ArktisDer Grosse Fake – Die Wirecard-Story and Hannelore Kohl – Die Erste Frau.

The new unit will work alongside UFA Fiction, UFA Serial Drama and UFA Show & Factual as a standalone production company under the UFA umbrella, and place its focus on documentaries, hybrid-docs and serialised features. Gwendolin Szyszkowitz-Schwingel and Marc Lepetit have been named as co-CEOS for UFA Documentary.

Gwendolin Szyszkowitz-Schwingel, CEO and Producer UFA Documentary: “Nothing has as much power as veracity. I am very pleased that UFA – known for its great talent in finding and narrating stories – is now putting increased emphasis on the fascination with reality as well. Our first formats will narrate the latest red hot observations of the political situation, the current turning point of female empowerment, ultimate sporting achievements and historical innovations. It is our task to interpret this unique period in which we are living right now, through the correct pictorial content.”

Marc Lepetit, CEO and Producer UFA Documentary: “We want to narrate societally relevant topics not only in an emotional, exciting and visually appropriate way, but in the best case also to spark an accompanying debate. With UFA Documentary we want to address creative people and tackle subjects, showing and explaining them to a broad international audience in a manner which is almost more exciting than fiction. Those complex stories like the current Wirecard scandal will be made tangible and comprehensible through hybrid documentaries. UFA Documentary wishes to become a home for talent, filmmakers and creatives, bringing them together with experts and journalists in this genre.”

Nico Hofmann, CEO UFA: “Broadcasters and platforms around the world are increasingly demanding non-fiction content and new formats, such as docu-fiction and serial formats. Now is the time to expand this growing field – the new, independent unit will be an important player for documentary content. Gwendolin Szyszkowitz-Schwingel and Marc Lepetit are an experienced team with very differing expertise in the documentary segment and are very well connected within this field. Both have long ties to UFA and I am very much looking forward to UFA Documentary starting its first shoots – this very year, 2021.”

The creation of UFA Documentary is part of Fremantle‘s wider, global strategy to grow its footprint in the high-end factual space. Fremantle has a number of premium documentaries on its Spring slate, including the urgent water scarcity documentary Day Zero, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor; the cinematic climate research documentary Artic Drift; Samuel L. Jackson-fronted seminal series Enslaved, How it Feels to Be Free executive produced by Alicia Keyes, and recently announced titles Oscar Peterson: Black and White and Hulu three part docuseries Von Dutch.