ARTE Distribution has inked its first co-production deal with Chinese youth-skewing online platform Bilibili.
From French indie Les Gens Biens Production and ARTE France, The Deep Med follows a team of divers who spend 28 days exploring the depths of the Mediterranean 120 meters below the ocean’s surface.
After 700 Sharks, Diving with the Coelacanth and Expedition Antarctica, Laurent Ballesta and his team push “the limits of their body” by spending a month in a pressurized 55-sq-ft cabin (5 sq meters) in July 2019. The expedition allowed the divers to film several times a day, collect “rare and sometimes unknown specimens” and test the quality of the water and biodiversity.
The film, directed by Gil Kebaili, will premiere on ARTE’s Saturday night prime-time slot in the fall in a 90-minute version. A 52-minute version is available for international distribution.
“Bilibili’s audience will be expecting a feast of never-seen-before images of the deep med, the record-breaking 28 days underwater expedition and what’s more important, the calling to protect the nature,” Bo Zhang, Bilibili’s head of international co productions, said in a statement. “Bilibili, as the major documentary co-production online platform in China, will be looking forward to more projects to work with ARTE.
“ARTE produces about 5 major scientific expeditions a year for our prime time science slot, and we hope that this will pave the path to future co productions with Bilibili,” added Céline Payot Lehmann, head of ARTE Distribution.