Docs

Discovery Asia preps “Frontier Borneo”

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific is gearing up for the premiere of the 10-part blue chip natural history series Frontier Borneo. Produced by Singapore-based Beach House Pictures and Kyanite TV, the series explores ...
February 24, 2017

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific is gearing up for the premiere of the 10-part blue chip natural history series Frontier Borneo.

Produced by Singapore-based Beach House Pictures and Kyanite TV, the series explores the rich biodiversity of the world’s third largest island while tracing a cast of characters attempting to protect and preserve the region.

Narrated by Luke Evans, the 10 x 30-minute docuseries utilized the latest in filmmaking technology—from aerial photography to underwater cameras—to capture never-before-seen images of Borneo, revealing the island’s landscape and the reality of frontier living.

Beach House and Kyanite partnered up with a wide range of local organizations, from the government-run Sabah Parks and Sarawak Forestry Department, to international research units and wildlife rescue centers.

The series is produced through the largest factual copro agreement between Singapore and Malaysia to date. Beach House collaborated with Malaysian content producer Kyanite TV, alongside Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, UKTV, Media Development Authority of Singapore and the National Film Development Corporation.

Chiara Bellati served as series showrunner for Beach House and Kyanite.

Frontier Borneo will premiere digitally tonight (Feb. 24) at 9 p.m. on Astro on the Go, four days prior to the launch on linear. The series will then debut across linear television across Discovery Channel in Asia-Pacific on Feb. 28 at 9:55 p.m.

It’s slated to debut via multi-channel broadcaster UKTV later this year before moving across several territories worldwide via distribution house TVF.

“We really wanted this series to paint the world’s third largest island in an entirely different light,” Bryan Seah, head of original content for Southeast Asia at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific told realscreen. “Apart from spotlighting Borneo’s stunning wildlife, we wanted to pay tribute to the stories of the unsung heroes—the men and women who are at the frontier in the critical fight to preserve the flora and fauna of Borneo.”

Additionally, Discovery is investing in a second local series—Surviving Borneo—which follows local television host and influencer Hendry Golding as the descendent of the once feared Iban tribe of Sarawak.

Before marital bliss, Golding undergoes a personal mission to discover his tribal roots through the unfamiliar and unforgiving jungles of his homeland to attain his “bejalal,” an Iban rites of passage.

“Both Borneo series are just two of the 16 local productions we are commissioning out of Southeast Asia in 2017. This year, we are taking the lead and investing in more local content than ever before, deepening our connection with existing and new audiences with homegrown stories across Southeast Asia,” added Rohit Tharani, director of content curation for Southeast Asia at Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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