At September’s Rendez-Vous Bi@rritz, Lucky You’s Robert Salvestrin – our 2019 Export Prize winner – took a leap of faith presenting his first Super Highlight and even going on camera himself to talk about Iran from Above. He tells us more about how this hugely successful new showcase measures up to his other experiences of the market and discusses the advantages it will be offering the next batch of programs selected as Super Highlights in March. 

The Interview

TV France: Traveling the world, the Export Prize, Le Rendez-Vous… we have shared so many adventures!

Robert Salvestrin: I remember when I first started. I had been hired by Gedeon Programmes to source pre-financing – it was just before MIPTV 2006. I remember the warm welcome I received from my professional peers and from TV France International – I recall in particular Catherine Charmet’s smile my first day on the stand. I also remember all the things I had to learn quickly on the job: buyers’ names, channels, slots, and content needs – plus, the art of making a pitch and using all the right legal terminology. I will never forget the first day of the Lucky You launch and all the things I had in mind for us. And now, here we are six and a half years later with an Export Prize nomination for Scanning the Nile in 2018, and a win the following year with The Origami Code. Over the years – and in years still to come I hope – I’ll never forget a single one of my trips, from Rio de Janeiro to Moscow and Tokyo, both with the support of TV France and on my own. But, of course, my favorite market is the Rendez-Vous Biarritz – it is a must-attend for both professional and human contact.

TV France: You presented one of your documentaries, Iran from Above, as a Super Highlight during the last Rendez-Vous. Why did you decide to take part in this new offer?

Robert Salvestrin: For the challenge of going on a new adventure with TV France international – the Rendez-Vous Bi@rritz in its digital format! And, of course, the challenge of finding entertaining ideas to present. I have the Lucky You team to thank for that, in particular Emma, who did extraordinary work in preparation for the market. The opportunity to unite all the people who helped create the program presented was also very motivating.

TV France: There were interesting results for Iran from Above

Robert Salvestrin: Yes, the mini-series got great exposure which helped us both confirm and generate interest from broadcasters. Several channels and platforms from Europe and elsewhere have already acquired the two 52-minute episodes in HD or 4K.

TV France: And that’s not all – Lucky You got a lot of attention, as did you!

Robert Salvestrin: For the first digital Rendez-vous Biarritz, Lucky You was indeed very lucky. Iran from Above was chosen to be among the Super Highlights, and our documentary project 1942 was chosen for the History Pitches session. 1942 is produced for ARTE by Ex Nihilo/ Agat films, and it will be available at the end of 2021 in 3×52′ and 6×52′. These two digital events, supported by some great promotional work from TV France International on the dedicated Rendez-vous website as well as in the newsletters and press releases, gave the company an excellent showcase. My appearance in the two videos was noticed by broadcasters, as well as by my professional peers. I have to say that it wasn’t easy for me to speak in front of the camera, and I really appreciated the positive feedback I received.   
TV France: What does 2021 have in store for you?

Robert Salvestrin: Somegreat series in 4K and from archive footage. I have already mentioned 1942, with its three 52-minute episodes. It follows the lives of three ordinary people during this most crucial year of the Second World War, when simple things like traveling, getting married, burying the dead, or seeing relatives were not so simple… Unfortunately, we are currently living through something that shares parallels with that. As a result, I think that the program will really resonate with the public. 

Available in April 2021, the series Science & Sports, 4×52′ in 4K, focuses on the science and technology used to enhance the performance and power of athletes. It provides broadcasters with an excellent documentary program to show before or during the summer and/or winter Olympic Games due to take place in 2021/ 2022.

In addition, the Lucky You catalog includes other science and technology programs in one-episode and series formats. One takes viewers on a voyage to discover their emotions, while the other enables them to discover more about the construction of the Ariane 6 launch system – Science of Emotions (4×52′ in 4K) and Ariane, the Impossible Bet, 1×90′ or 1×52′ in 4K.

Lucky You can also help people see the world with 2,3 Days in Town, which has two seasons for a total of 16×52′ in 4K. It lets viewers discover many of Europe’s capital cities. Actually, several of those cities will be hosting the UEFA Euro 2020 (pushed back to 2021), and the series will let fans – who will probably be unable to attend in person – visit the places where matches are played.  

We have other projects and finished programs in the pipeline that we will be delighted to present throughout the year. And, of course, we are always open to contact from producers looking for support for their latest projects.