ZDFE.factual is responsible in principle for all international documentary coproduction projects involving ZDF Enterprises, irrespective of whether the project is actually supervised by ZDF Enterprises, an independent producer, the international partner or - in case of a coproduction of ZDF Enterprises and ZDF - by ZDF. Coproductions of third parties with ZDF are handled by the ZDF Enterprises department "Acquisitions and Coproductions ZDF" headed by Volker Lehmann.
In recent years several key genres have emerged where ZDFE.factual is particularly active and successful. These include
- Projects relating to contemporary history, depicting in dramatic fashion the turning points of the 20th century, employing moving accounts from contemporary witnesses and rare archive footage
- Projects relating to ancient history / archaeology / expeditions, tracking down the last myths of human history and employing impressive sequences from every continent in the world
- Projects relating to science and technology, using in-depth research and cutting edge computer graphics to tell the true stories of great technological breakthroughs or to present fascinating visions of our planet in the past, present and future
- Projects relating to wildlife and nature, presenting the work of the most passionate wildlife film-makers in the world who portray the last adventures of the great outdoors or convey the personal fascination of their own work
In addition to the classic coproduction functions, ZDFE.factual also handles the negotiation of pre-sales and pre-acquisitions, the initiation and negotiation of national and international distribution mandates.
ZDFE.factual regularly works together with the most important documentary broadcasters and producers in the world, including the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, RTI, Mediaset, SBS-TV, NHK, France Télévision, ORF, Arte, Pixcom, Off the Fence, ITN, The Gamma Project, Essential Media, Wild Fury, Doclights, NDR Naturfilm etc.