Docs

Extra: Michael Keaton to narrate “Wings 3D”; NHK commissions “Okavango”

Michael Keaton tapped to narrate bird migration doc Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Keaton has boarded the IMAX nature documentary Wings 3D as narrator. Wings 3D, told over a seasonal year, will follow the ...
March 13, 2019

Michael Keaton tapped to narrate bird migration doc

Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Keaton has boarded the IMAX nature documentary Wings 3D as narrator.

Wings 3D, told over a seasonal year, will follow the lives and migration patterns of birds in “North America’s Amazon” — an area spanning the prairies of western Canada and the Dakotas.

The film is executive produced by Dorsey Pictures, a Red Arrow Studios company, and Archipelago Films, with SK Films handling distribution. Dorsey Pictures CEO Chris Dorsey will serve as executive producer.

“Few people on our continent know just how important — and fragile — these habitats are for tens of millions of wild birds that fly across our continent and into our daily lives,” said Dorsey in a statement. “Through the magic of the medium, we hope to entertain and inspire generations to protect these vital ecosystems.”

Icon Films, Natural History Film Unit prep Okavango for NHK

Japanese pubcaster NHK has commissioned UK prodco Icon Films and the Natural History Film Unit Botswana to produce the 8K feature-length documentary Okavango (pictured), about Africa’s Okavango Delta.

Shooting from the air, on land and underwater, veteran natural history filmmaker Brad Bestelink and his Natural History Film Unit team will film over a full seasonal cycle on the Delta, exploring waterways created by flooding and their effects on local ecosystems and indigenous peoples.

Okavango was commissioned by Masa Hayakawa for NHK.

“Revealing the epic beauty of both the people and animals of the Okavango is a great subject to be shooting in 8K, it’s a time to see it in its full aesthetic glory,” said Bestelink in a statement.

Pact council elects Wil Stephens as vice chair

UK producers trade association Pact has named Wil Stephens vice chair of the Pact Council, alongside seven new co-opted council members.

Stephens was elected to the vice chair role for a second term, having served in that capacity until last December.

He founded the interactive entertainment company Fusebox Games, which develops and publishes mobile games based on TV shows, in 2016 and serves as CEO. He also founded gaming and interactive TV prodco Cube TV.

Pact Council also co-opted seven new members, selected to ensure the council represents the diverse interests of Pact’s membership. They are Archie Baron, creative director at Wingspan Productions; Nicky Bentham, founder and producer at Neon Films; Richard Johnston, CEO of Endemol Shine UK; Billy Macqueen, executive producer and co-MD of Darrall Macqueen; Claire Mundell, creative director and founder of Synchronicity Films; and Steve Warr, managing director of Raw Cut.

The co-opted members were appointed in January following the appointment of the elected Pact council in December.

The Pact council oversees the work of the trade body, signing off budgets and financial plans, as well as overseeing the organisation’s policies, campaigns, terms of trade and collective agreements.

UKTV greenlights My Greatest Dishes

British commercial broadcaster UKTV is producing a new cooking series for its pay-TV food channel Good Food.

My Greatest Dishes (20 x 30 minutes) brings together 20 top British chefs — including Prue Leith, Tom Kerridge, Monica Galetti, Michel Roux Jr., Giorgio Locatelli and Angela Hartnett — and explores the four most important dishes that have influenced each of their lives.

The series is made by Sidney Street Productions and will be distributed by Endemol Shine.

Elsewhere, UKTV’s entertainment channel Dave has recommissioned the Romesh Ranganathan-fronted Judge Romesh. The extended second season run (12 x 30 minutes) from Hungry Bear Media will premiere later this year.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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