The panel In Conversation with Sara Bernstein, President of Imagine Documentaries was held on the morning of  today, 12 October 2023, during the ninth edition of the MIA | Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo.

During the keynote Gaia Tridente, MIA Director, talked with Sara Bernstein, President of Imagine Documentaries, about her award-winning career and how she leads the development and production of high-quality documentary films and series.

Imagine Documentaries was founded by Ron Howard and Brian Graze. Prior to joining Imagine, Sara Bernstein was Senior Vice President at HBO Documentary Films, where she oversaw the programming of award-winning programmes for the network. Bernstein boasts 11 Emmys, 33 Emmy nominations and 11 Peabodys. The documentaries she supervised have won two Oscars and 13 Oscar nominations.

In the first part of the panel, Sara Bernstein retraced the highlights of her career: “I started at 25 years, working in scripted and film production developmemt and then I find my way to HBO in 1999. It was as that time where you could take risk and could explore other things so find the one I love the most documentaries. I really admired the ability to tell stories with heart and make them commercial. I like to work on projects that could bind into the pop culture.”

The conversation then shifted to the cornerstones for developing successful projects in today’s market, and Sara Bernstein addressed the role that streaming platforms play in the market today: “Audience is now consuming documentary as entertainment, first of all on Netflix. I think our main partners for distribution are streaming platform at this point and they are taking very seriously the global audience, I think that has been incredible exciting”.