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ZDF Enterprises’ Magellan’s Voyage documentary navigates its way to a US sale

Anniversary special sells across Europe and Canada

Mainz, April 6th, 2021

Magellan’s Voyage - Search for the Spice Islands (1 x 50’), the documentary commemorating  the first circumnavigation of the globe, which took place half a millennium ago, has been licensed by ZDF Enterprises to New York public broadcaster WNET.

Recent sales also include Société Radio Canada, Italy’s RAI, RTP Radiotelevisao in Portugal and Discovery Networks in Spain. Elsewhere, the title has been snapped up by public broadcasters YLE in Finland, Russia’s Kultura TV, Poland’s TVP and CTV in Czech Republic.

Magellan’s Voyage - Search for the Spice Islands, produced by IFAGE Filmproduktion for ZDF in association with ZDF Enterprises, was commissioned for ZDF’s top rating Terra X slot.

Quote WNET: ”…”

Ralf Rueckauer, Vice President ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises, said: “Audiences of all ages will be captivated by this story of the amazing and dangerous voyage undertaken by Magellan and his crew. The documentary also offers fresh insights and a contemporary perspective on fascinating historical details.”

Spain, 1519. Five ships and 270 men leave the familiar shore behind on an extraordinary quest: to find a western sea passage to the sought-after Spice Islands of Indonesia. They’re led by the Portuguese seafarer and nobleman Ferdinand Magellan, setting out on a voyage that would change the world.

Three years later, the impossible has been done: the expedition becomes the first to circumnavigate the globe. It’s a historic achievement. His vision and drive mark the starting point of a development that radically alters our understanding of the Earth, triggering a chain reaction that still ripples through society today.

The elaborate re-enactments throughout the documentary allows the viewer to experience firsthand the trials and tribulations of the crew and the last dramatic days of the expedition. The programme reveals intriguing details such as how people in 1500 managed to build sailing ships that were able to travel over 60,000 miles and also discusses the impact of colonisation on local inhabitants.


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 and is responsible for worldwide program distribution, international co-productions, program acquisition as well as the merchandising of strong program brands in its own name, for broadcaster ZDF, and for third parties. Bound into a strong group of 18 subsidiaries and affiliated companies, ZDF Enterprises manages the largest German-language program stock worldwide and an impressive portfolio of international productions, consisting of series and miniseries, TV movies, documentaries and children’s programs. ZDF Enterprises provides a comprehensive, full-service offering and covers every step in the chain of creation and exploitation of successful content, from development to production and marketing. Website:

Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, Tel.: +49 6131-9911130, Fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany


Magellan’s Voyage — Search for the Spice Islands
Magellan’s Voyage — Search for the Spice Islands
Magellan’s Voyage — Search for the Spice Islands