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.
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.
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.
Zeitgeist Films, in association with Kino Lorber, has acquired Allison Reid’s documentary, “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes.”
The film tells the story of Anne Innis Dagg, who in 1956 at the age 23, made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild — years before Jane Goodall would set out to study chimpanzees or Dian Fossey would work with mountain gorillas.
“The Woman Who Loves Giraffes” retraces Dagg’s steps with archival 16mm film, along with new footage and interviews, highlighting her legacy as the world’s first giraffologist and shedding light on the devastating realities that giraffes are facing today.
Ahead of the release of its new streaming service, Apple announced a wide variety of shows and films to lure in potential subscribers. And, if nature documentaries are your thing, Apple TV+ has something to convince you to sign up, too.
“The Elephant Queen” centers around a Kenyan elephant herd led by Athena, a 50-year-old female elephant.
Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s film begins with the herd at their green season home, but soon their watering hole begins to dry up, and they have to travel to find a new home during the drought.
Narrated by actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, “The Elephant Queen” speaks to environmental and poaching issues that elephants face through the lens of one particular elephant family.
“The Elephant Queen” is available now on Apple TV+.
“When Lambs Become Lions,” a new documentary about African elephant poaching, reveals the fight to protect these animals is far more complicated than one would imagine.
The official trailer for the documentary shows the fight from both perspectives.
Director Jon Kasbe spent years embedded with both a small-time ivory dealer who is willing to break the law to provide for his family as well as a man willing to put elephant lives over human life and who operates like no ordinary conservation ranger.
Executive produced by Matthew Heineman, director of the Oscar-nominated “Cartel Land,” the documentary is shot similar to Heineman’s films with striking, slick cinematography befitting a fictional wartime thriller.
A release date has not been announced for “When Lambs Become Lions.”