France Télévisions preps wide-ranging transmedia projects

France Télévisions has unveiled plans for a two large-scale coordinated on-screen and online projects.

Speaking at the Sunny Side of the Doc festival in La Rochelle, Cannes, Boris Razon, the French public broadcaster’s digital content boss, said that a project is underway to make all of the 1,500 documentaries France Télévisions makes each year available on an interactive online platform.

The platform will also provide information and previews of upcoming projects and allow viewers to interact with producers. A digital book, which Razon said would become an encyclopedia of French docs, will also be published in association with the broadcaster’s commercial arm, FTD. It will retail for a small fee, likely €2-3, and be sold on iTunes, Amazon and other platforms and services.

The broadcaster launched multiplatform news and information service Francetv info in 2011 and the docs service seeks to build on that with videos, text, rushes and other information about the broadcaster’s factual output.

Separately, Razon said that a new project, Generation What, will launch in September. It will be focused on the role and ideas of young people in France. An interactive online survey will help sociologists glean more about young people’s attitudes while three standalone one-hour docs will also examine the subject. Student volunteer network Animafac is on board as a partner.

Having experimented with large-scale interactive content projects, Razon said that the broadcaster will invest in 4-to-5 event projects in 2014. The focus is no longer on commissioning standalone web docs, they must be part of a wider transmedia campaign, he said.

Expanding internationally is also a goal. France Télévisions is already working with Canada’s NFB and Radio Canada on the coproduction of transmedia content. “We are experimenting in France, but we have to think internationally,” he said.