Bristol-based Offspring Films has secured its first commission for the BBC with an hour-long documentary about orangutans for the British pubcaster.
Red Ape: Saving the Orangutan provides exclusive access to frontline conservation efforts in Borneo by following a team of medics from International Animal Rescue (IAR) in their fight to save the region’s endangered orangutan.
The one-off special will follow the IAR, who documented a 10-year period in which they rescued apes from Borneo’s devastated jungles, cared for orphaned babies, and released rehabilitated primates back into the wild.
The film will also utilize expert testimony and previously unreleased archive footage to document why one of mankind’s closest relatives is being pushed towards the brink of extinction. Featured interviews include IAR founder and program director Dr. Karmele Sanchez; primatologist Dr. Ben Garrod; John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK; and Gemma Tillack, of Rainforest Action Network.
Red Ape: Saving the Orangutan is directed by Offspring’s Rowan Musgrave. It was commissioned by the BBC’s Roger Webb, editor of the Natural World strand, as a coproduction with BBC Worldwide and Discovery, and overseen by John Hoffman and Jon Bardin.
Red Ape: Saving the Orangutan premieres May 10 at 9 p.m. on BBC2.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the BBC’s Natural World team on this really important film,” Offspring’s founder and executive producer Alex Williamson said in a statement. “As a production company working in natural history we’re able to film some of the most incredible landscapes on Earth and the extraordinary animals that inhabit them – like the orangutan. However, we also get to see how vulnerable our planet is and meet the extraordinary people working on the front line of conservation to protect them. “