Throughout the years, the VPRO has been looking outward, keen to tell stories from other parts of the globe. We specialize in documentary series that aim to show the deeper identity of countries and regions. Journalist Bram Vermeulen set out to guide our audience along the borders of Turkey and into rapidly changing Southern Africa, and New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink showed us in his series Our man in Tehran that Iran is more modern, livable and friendly than some portrayals would have you believe (thereby winning a major national television award). Similar documentary series were made with authors Adriaan van Dis and Jelle Brandt Corstius in Indonesia, India, and most recently, Russia and its border states in the series Borderland. At the moment, we are producing two new series exploring China and France.
When producing historical documentaries, the VPRO often chooses to take an international perspective. To give you a few examples, the series In Europe portrays a journey across the continent, highlighting defining historical events of the 20th century. O’Hanlons Heroes features writer Redmond O’Hanlon retracing the steps of great explorers of the 19th century. And Speeches focuses on the impact some of the most famous speeches in 20th century history have had on people’s lives. We are currently producing a historical documentary series about the deadly assault on high-level nazi Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, as described in prize winning novel HhhH by Laurent Binet, who will play an important part in the series.
You may also want to take a look at our Science section, where you can find more information about series in which travelling and covering research go hand in hand. Examples include Climate Chasers and Beagle: on the Future of Species.