Exclusive: “Sonic Sea,” “Toucan Nation” join ‘Discovery Impact’

Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld's Sonic Sea and Paula Heredia's Toucan Nation (pictured) are the two remaining documentary specials set to air across Discovery Channel's 'Discovery Impact' series later this year.
March 28, 2016

Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld’s Sonic Sea and Paula Heredia’s Toucan Nation (pictured) are the two remaining documentary specials set to air across Discovery Channel’s ‘Discovery Impact’ series later this year.

Created in partnership with Natural Resources Defense Council, Imaginary Forces and International Fund for Animal Welfare, Sonic Sea details the continued emergence of ocean noise pollution and the severe consequences it has on marine wildlife.

The film, which is narrated by Rachel McAdams, provides exclusive interviews with marine ecologists, ocean life experts and assorted wildlife activists, including Sting, to highlight how ongoing sound disturbances from shipping vessels and other sources have affected whales, including the phenomenon of cetaceans mass stranding themselves on beaches around the globe.

Heredia’s Toucan Nation, meanwhile, documents the story of Grecia, a mutilated toucan that was left to die in the Costa Rican countryside – a story that sparked international outrage.

The film follows veterinarians and animal rescuers at the Zooave animal refuge as they invite local and American innovators to design and construct a prosthetic beak using cutting edge 3D printing technology. The special will also chronicle the work of Costa Rican activists attempting to enact animal welfare laws and implement lasting change.

The ‘Discovery Impact’ banner is focused “on humankind’s impact on the environment” and the solutions available to societies, and builds off of the success of Louie Psihoyos‘s Racing Extinction, which reached more than 35 million viewers worldwide.

The two additional specials now join the previously announced water crisis doc Drought (working title) from Academy-awarded filmmakers Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Barbara Kopple, Alan and Susan Raymond, and Sundance award-winning director Jesse Moss.

All three films will air worldwide across Discovery Channel, with Sonic Sea set to premiere on May 19 and Toucan Nation broadcasting July 30. Meanwhile, Drought is scheduled to debut on August 4.

“There’s no better use of Discovery’s global platform than to sound the alarm on the many threats to our environment and what better way to do that than to give voice to the greatest storytellers in our business,” said John Hoffman, executive VP of documentaries and specials at Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, in a statement. “When you can tell those stories in partnership with organizations like investigative news organization ProPublica and environmental action group NRDC, two powerhouses in their respective fields, you provide Discovery an unprecedented opportunity to create lasting, meaningful impact.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.