This year’s edition of MIPDOC Buyers Coup de Coeur declared two winners instead of just one: in fact, Swedish factual docu-reality Prison Project “Little Scandinavia” and Spanish society documentary The Caravan have tied for the competition’s first place.
Their victory was announced by the MipTV organization on Sunday, April 16th, during the inaugural edition of the Mipdoc International Buyer Screenings in Cannes.
The factual docu-reality show Prison Project “Little Scandinavia” has been produced by Swedish Television (SVT) with the support of Nordvision, and it centres on one question: can the more humane and rehabilitating methods used in Scandinavian prisons work in the USA? A correctional facility in Pennsylvania decided to accept the challenge and to copy the Scandinavian model in order to find out. American jails are renowned to have a high number of incarcerations and recidivism, along with an extremely stressed-out staff – their methods are clearly not effective: this is why, in the summer of 2019, a group of correctional officers and management visited Scandinavia to discover how to improve prison rehabilitation. They worked closely with Norwegian colleagues for two weeks, focusing on how they could adapt the Scandinavian methods effectively back home. Then, later that year, they started a unit called “Little Scandinavia” at State Correctional Institute Chester, to put into practice what they had learned: the documentary follows the whole process until January 2023.
Society documentary The Caravan has been produced by Spanish production company Cabal Films in collaboration with Truesday Films, with the support of Zafiro Cinema and Terco Producciones. It revolves around the journey of eight months pregnant Yuri, her two-year-old son Santi, and her partner Mike, who decide to flee Honduras with the first migrant caravan. Yuri is determined to have her baby born in the United States, and they will escape from the violence and poverty that prevails in Central America, along other 7,000 people. After 40 days of traveling, the caravan reaches Tijuana and, after two failed attempts, Yuri and Mike's family manages to cross one of the most guarded borders of the world. 24 hours later, Yuri gives birth to the first child of the caravan born in the USA. The family is now living in New York, where they will have to face the challenges of living in a country so far away from their own culture.