Discovery Channel picks up anti-sealing doc “Huntwatch”

Produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the doc will air on the U.S. cable net on September 22 following a limited theatrical run.
August 17, 2016

Discovery Channel has acquired U.S and international rights for Huntwatch, a Ryan Reynolds-narrated documentary about anti-sealing activists.

The film will premiere on the cable net on September 22 under the Discovery Impact banner following a limited theatrical run. Huntwatch is the second to be released via Discovery’s doc partnership with distributor Lionsgate. It will air globally later in the year.

Produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the doc looks at opposition to the commercial seal hunt on the eastern coast of Canada, and how trends in the fishing industry and demands for fur in Asia have reignited the battle between the Canadian sealing industry and animal welfare activists.

“Like most people, I thought the horrendous practice of clubbing baby seals for fur ended a long time ago,” said John Hoffman, EVP of documentaries and specials for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel, in a statement. “By documenting these inhumane acts IFAW has created a valuable visual weapon to expose them. Discovery’s goal is to sound the alarm worldwide that this is still happening and ignite change.”

Huntwatch was directed by Brant Backlund and executive produced by Hoffman, Azzedine Downes, Erica Martin and Shawna Moos.

The deal was negotiated by Kevin Iwashina and Zac Bright of Preferred Content on behalf of International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.