Documentaries are number one in terms of programme volume at Arte, if you include all kinds of documentary, though the formatting of docs is also gaining ground here.

Arte 2007 is also Europe 2007- i.e. fifty years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome and the anniversary is reflected in the programming of a European channel- as is the French presidential election, the future of Kosovo and many other important issues for us Europeans. The history and future of the European Union are investigated in depth. Arte bombards its viewers with information on these matters.

In terms of German and French viewers, Arte’s 1-5% share definitely makes it a niche channel compared to its public counterparts grouped under France Télévisions and Germany’s ARD and ZDF. Yet it is a channel of utmost importance to the documentary genre in Europe. Every documentary festival programme in Europe has at least one film supported by Arte. A pitching event “must” have a representative from Arte. The channel is indeed ubiquitous and plays an important role for the independent production sector, not only in France and Germany but in the rest of Europe as well.

Today, Arte is a modern broadcaster with a website providing general programme information, links to sites relevant for themes dealt with in programmes, a forum for debates and links to all sorts of cultural events. There’s also a VOD service and Arte Boutique selling DVDs with documentary classics by the likes of Johan van der Keuken or Raymond Depardon, or newer names such as Avi Mograbi.

Innovation and Creation?

Jerome Clément

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