BBC America is airing a ton of calming nature documentaries

BBC America is airing a ton of calming nature documentaries

Source:  Vulture

In November, BBC America replaced its entire Saturday schedule with shows and specials devoted to wildlife and the natural world, rebranding itself as Wonderstruck one day each week.

Now, realizing audiences could use more cuddly creatures in their lives during the coronavirus crisis, Vulture has learned the AMC Networks–owned cable channel is doubling down on the concept.

Earlier this month, BBC America replaced its usual Thursday content with Wonderstruck.

The network is also launching a companion website, Wonderstrucktv.com, that will serve up free shortform nature-related content specifically designed to help lessen anxiety.

Read the story at Vulture.


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Netflix’s “Night on Earth” shows wildlife after the sun goes down

Netflix’s “Night on Earth” shows wildlife after the sun goes down

Source:  Ars Technica

Intrepid camera crews braved harsh nighttime conditions and used all the technical ingenuity at their disposal for “Night on Earth,” Netflix’s new nature documentary series that lets viewers see familiar animals after the sun goes down.

Per the official synopsis: “When the sun goes down, a new world awakes.  New technology reveals wonders of the planet in a completely new light.  Across the globe we discover a hidden side to the world’s greatest landscapes and animals.”

Creating the series required 60 separate shoots over one year in 30 different countries, tapping pretty much everyone who works professionally in the wildlife filmmaking community.

There’s also a fascinating behind-the-scenes stand-alone episode, “Shot in the Dark,” that details everything that went into several highlighted shoots.

Read the story at Ars Technica.


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“Gunda” is a landmark film from a bracingly original filmmaker

“Gunda” is a landmark film from a bracingly original filmmaker

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

Shot in black-and-white and dialogue-free, “Gunda,” the new documentary from “Aquarela” director Victor Kossakovsky, spends quality time with farm animals, centering on a sow raising her piglets.

Countless films offer invaluable portraits of wildlife, and beloved pets have been at the center of indelible screen stories.

But few movies commune with the class of animals that are generally regarded as resources rather than sentient beings.

When it comes to attitudes toward creatures who are raised for meat and, in euphemistic foodie-speak, “harvested,” there’s a whole lotta compartmentalizing going on.

It’s no wonder it took Victor Kossakovsky a quarter-century to secure financing for a documentary that puts farm animals front and center without explanatory overlay.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.


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Sony Pictures Classics acquires “The Truffle Hunters”

Sony Pictures Classics acquires “The Truffle Hunters”

Source:  TheWrap

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the worldwide rights to “The Truffle Hunters,” a documentary about truffle hunting dogs in Italy that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, “The Truffle Hunters” is set deep in the forests of northern Italy where prized white Alba truffles can be found.

The truffles can’t be cultivated or found except by a tiny circle of canines and their elderly Italian companions who only hunt for the truffles at night so as to not give away their secrets and leave clues for others on how to find them.

Read the story at TheWrap.


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Nature shows are hot again

Nature shows are hot again

Source:  The New York Times

At a time when millions of species are at risk of extinction and deep-pocketed streaming services are spending billions on content, an old television genre, the nature show, is booming.

The latest big-budget nature documentary series from BBC Studios, “Seven Worlds, One Planet,” will make its debut tonight in the United States across various AMC cable networks such as BBC America and SundanceTV.  The first installment of the series, which is a follow-up to the recent ratings hits “Planet Earth II” and “Blue Planet II,” will focus on Australia.

There has never been more to watch for fans of the genre.  Netflix, Disney, and Apple are investing heavily in wildlife programming as part of their efforts to lure subscribers to their streaming services.

And nature shows are thriving on cable and public broadcast networks, with roughly 130 original nature series airing in 2019, more than the previous three years combined, according to Nielsen.

Read the story at The New York Times.


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David Attenborough travels to the furthest corners of the world in new series “Seven Worlds, One Planet”

David Attenborough travels to the furthest corners of the world in new series “Seven Worlds, One Planet”

Source:  IndieWire

David Attenborough will explore the far reaches of the planet in the upcoming BBC Studios Natural History Unit series, “Seven Worlds, One Planet.”

Each of the seven episodes of the series will focus on a particular continent and how it shapes animal behavior and biodiversity.

For the Australia episode, drone technology made it possible to film a shark aggregation that only happens once every 15 years, while the Asia episode explores some of the highest mountain ranges in central China that are home to the rare golden snub-nosed monkey which frequently walk upright.

The series also feature polar bears jumping from rocks to catch adult beluga whales, a firefly spectacle in North America captured with a motion control tracking time-lapse camera, and a puma successfully hunting adult guanaco in South America.

“Seven Worlds, One Planet” premieres January 18 on BBC America.

Read the story at IndieWire.

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