19 May 2020

A co-production between ARTE France and the BBC, Cuba: The Revolution and the World (2 x 60 min) takes views from every side – including the Cubans, the Russians and the Americans – to reveal how Castro and his compatriots contributed to changing the world.   

Norma Percy, Executive Producer, Brook Lapping, says: “In spite of everything, this is turning out to be a really successful year for our team at Brook Lapping.  We are delighted that this series has had such wide-ranging global interest.  It’s a fantastic story of how, for 30 years, Fidel Castro used arms and money from the Soviet Union to send Cuban forces across continents to change the world. A Soviet official who dealt with Castro put it: ‘Little Cuba. 110,000 square kms and it acted almost like a super power’. 

“We got all those at the heart of the story – Presidents, Prime Ministers, spies, revolutionaries – to take us behind closed doors to show us how Castro came up with new ways to undermine his powerful neighbour. Cuba and its leader are like nothing you’ve ever come across and, in addition to extraordinary access to world leaders and key figures in this story, we have uncovered a huge amount of rarely-seen beautiful archive footage to show it.”

The range of deals, delivered by distribution partner ARTE Distribution, takes the show to every corner of the globe.  Territories include: Amazon Prime in the United States; TV HK in Hong Kong; Fox Latin America (covering all Latin America); HRT in Croatia; National Geographic US for Nat Geo Mundo; DR in Denmark; Planete + in  Poland; RTP in Portugal; VRT in Flemish Belgium; and Sky Arte in Italy. These sales add to presales with SVT in Sweden; CBC/Société Radio Canada and NRK in Norway, along with the original partners Arte in France and the BBC in the UK.  The sales come after the film’s transmission on ARTE in France.  

The BBC will broadcast the series later this year as Cuba: Castro vs the World in two episodes entitled The Armed Struggle and The Charm Offensive.

Greg Sanderson, Managing Director, Brook Lapping, says: “The global market has always had a huge appetite for our landmark films and we are delighted to continue to draw attention to modern history’s most remarkable stories.” 

This announcement comes as Brook Lapping’ Going for Broke, an episode in its BBC Two series, Inside Europe: Ten Years of Turmoil, is revealed as the big winner in the 2019 Wincott Awards for excellence in financial, economic and business journalism. The episode, which covered the financial crisis that spread from Greece to threaten the entire Eurozone, was awarded both the top prize, Journalism of the Year, as well as the Video Category Award.  This is the first time in the Awards’ 50-year history that Journalism of the Year has gone to the winner of the video category.  

Sir Richard Lambert, Chair of The Wincott Foundation and of the judges’ panel, said: “When it came to sheer excellence, one entry to the prize lists stood out above the others in the judges’ minds. They were blown away by the BBC’s Inside Europe documentary – brilliantly researched and edited, extraordinary interviews, telling a vitally important story in an accessible, relevant and hugely intelligent fashion. Such was their enthusiasm that they decided – probably as a one-off – to give the award for Journalism of the Year to the winner of the Video category.”

Brook Lapping’s portfolio of international series includes: Inside Europe: 10 Years of Turmoil; Inside Obama’s White House; Iran and The West; Putin, Russia and The West; and The Iraq War.

Cuba: The Revolution and the World is Executive Produced by Norma Percy for Brook Lapping at Zinc Media, Executive Produced by Serge Gordey, Martin Laurent and Tancrède Ramonet for Temps Noir and Directed by Delphine Jaudeau and Mick Gold.  The series is distributed internationally by ARTE Distribution.