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.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.