“Musk vs Bezos: The New Star Wars,” about the space race between the two richest men in the world, is attracting plenty of attention from broadcasters in Europe, where new TV documentary has secured multiple sales.
Commissioned by France 5 from French documentary production shingle Magneto, “Musk vs Bezos” examines the intense competition between Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin as they vie for the top spot in the U.S.’s burgeoning space travel business and the potential consequences for the world if the two billionaires develop the capacity to monopolize all future terrestrial communications.
“When Musk first tried to buy a Russian rocket back in 2001, the chief engineer of the Russian Space Agency thought it was a joke,” Java Films notes. “By 2008 SpaceX had a contract with NASA to supply flights to the International Space Station.”
Magneto added: “In 20 years, these ambitious, determined and somewhat megalomaniac entrepreneurs have succeeded in launching their own rockets, a feat hitherto reserved only for states.”
Paris and London-based Java Films has so far sold the title to Germany’s ZDFinfo; RTBF in Belgium; Spain’s TVE; SIC in Portugal; and Croatia’s HRT, with additional deals expected soon.
Java Films is currently in Biarritz for the Unifrance Rendez-Vous TV market with 20 new documentaries, among them “Chip War,” commissioned by French-German pubcaster Arte from French company Babel Doc, which has pre-sold to to Switzerland’s RTS.
“Chip War” looks at how the persistent shortage of semiconductors, essential in modern society, is reshaping geopolitical relations, fueling inflation and increasing tensions between the U.S. and China.
“It’s estimated that 10 million cars worldwide were not produced in 2021 because manufacturers did not have enough semiconductors,” Java Films notes. “Only a few countries can produce these specialized chips, and 63% of all chips are produced in Taiwan.”
Java Films is also launching a new film from multi-award-winning director Anne Poiret, “Ukraine: The Road to War.” Produced by Paris-based Talweg Productions, the project marks Java Films’ third film with Poiret after “Mosul: After the War” and “The Envoy.”
Likewise commissioned by France 5, “Ukraine: The Road to War” traces the geopolitical history of the Ukrainian conflict from 2014 onwards, setting the current conflict into the context of the eight years of war in the Donbas that preceded it.
“It tells a powerful story of the high-level political negotiations and the war from 2014 and 2022 by the juxtaposition of geopolitical insights from major players, such as François Hollande, who was president of France during those early negotiations, [and] with real people in Ukraine personally affected by the ongoing conflict,” Java Films states.