Extra: Ecoflix debuts deforestation doc; back2back, Flame content deals

Not-for-profit streamer Ecoflix to debut deforestation doc The Last Stand for Earth Day Global not-for-profit streaming platform Ecoflix will mark Earth Day this Friday (April 22) with the worldwide release of ...
April 20, 2022

Not-for-profit streamer Ecoflix to debut deforestation doc The Last Stand for Earth Day

Global not-for-profit streaming platform Ecoflix will mark Earth Day this Friday (April 22) with the worldwide release of its original feature eco-doc The Last Stand (pictured).

The film, directed by nature and factual adventure specialist Peter von Puttkamer (Biggest & Baddest), uses the flashpoint of the “Battle of Fairy Creek” — in which environmental activists undertook a year-long blockade of logging roads to prevent the cutting down of old-growth forests on British Colombia’s Vancouver Island — as the entry point for a wide-ranging examination of the effects of deforestation worldwide.

Actor and environmental advocate Peter Coyote narrates the doc, which includes interviews with experts and forest defenders from around the globe, as well as on-the-ground footage of the frontline protestors manning the B.C. barricade.

One of our goals at Ecoflix is to offer a ready platform for all of the relevant voices that might not otherwise be heard,” said Ecoflix CEO David Casselman, a co-executive producer on the doc. “I seek a world where the collective rights of animals, Indigenous people and nature are all properly respected, such that healthy forests, biodiversity and the global climate are properly valued and fully protected by governments, corporations and civil society. Making films like The Last Stand bring the many pressing issues of deforestation to life.”

back2back secures international sales for new and returning factual series

UK factual prodco back2back has confirmed the pre-sale of a new science and tech series, as well as new seasons of returning series Unexplained: Caught on Camera and The World’s Deadliest Weather.

The new addition is Engineering Repurposed (10 x 60 min.), which has been pre-sold to the Tegna-owned U.S. factual network Quest. The series focuses on structures and machinery that have been transformed to serve new functions, including a former grain factory that now houses one of Africa’s largest art galleries and a jet engine revamped as a mobile home. London-based BossaNova Media, which provided funding, holds worldwide distribution rights to the program, which is produced by Hannah Assenza.

“As a regional indie, we thought we were doing well to still be trading after the last two years, which have seen so many small creative businesses go under,” said back2back founder and MD David Notman-Watt. “To be able to announce a new commission — and a commission from a media giant, at that — is genuine cause for celebration. With Quest and BossaNova on board, Engineering Repurposed is not only guaranteed to be seen and sold around the world, but will [also] be a welcome addition to our growing slate of returnable bankers.”

On that latter note, returning for a third season on the Warner Bros. Discovery platforms Discovery+, Really and the Travel Channel is the supernatural/science series Unexplained: Caught on Camera (10 x 60 min.), which brings in teams of paranormal experts to analyze UGC footage of eerie, uncanny events. Produced by Brett Lawrence, the series is distributed globally by Canada’s Boat Rocker Media.

Finally, BBC Earth and M6 France have picked up the fifth season of The World’s Deadliest Weather (13 x 60 min.), which uses UGC content and archive footage to document extreme weather events around the globe. UK sales and funding outfit Drive has international distribution rights for the series, which is produced by Nigel Gainsborough.

Flame closes first factual sale for BBC America in slate of North American content deals

Global distributor Flame Distribution has closed a raft of North American unscripted, cross-genre content deals totaling more than 100 hours of programming.

Blue Ant Media has acquired a slate of true-crime programming for its FAST channels CrimeTime in Canada and TotalCrime in the US, with titles including The Family Court Murders (4 x 60 min.), For Love or Money (5 x 45 min.), Unsolved (10 x 45 min.) and seasons one to four of Taken (52 x 30 min. total).

CBC, meanwhile, has picked up a range of factual titles for its streaming service CBC Gem, including Outback Rabbis (1 x 53 min./1 x 75 min.), A Girl’s Guide to Fishing, Hunting and Wild Cooking with Analiese Gregory (8 x 30 min.) and Rhod Gilbert: Stand up to Shyness (1 x 60 min.). In addition, the Canadian pubcaster acquired Hitler’s Secret Bomb (2 x 45 min./1 x 84 min./1 x 60 min.) for its Documentary Channel.

Last up is Flame’s first sale to US broadcaster BBC America, the nature series Life in Colour with David Attenborough (3 x 40 min. + 1 x 45 min. making-of special).

“Flame’s relationships across all media platforms celebrate the vibrant and growing North American marketplace,” said Anne Corsak, Flame’s SVP of content sales for North America and global digital strategy. “BBC America is respected in the US for premium blue-chip wildlife, so I am thrilled Life in Colour with David Attenborough joins their stellar lineup.

“Our growing relationship with Blue Ant Media and their expanding FAST channel rollout is quite exciting, opening up new opportunities in the true-crime and history genre factual space beyond traditional linear options,” she continued. “CBC and their streaming service CBC Gem is a valued and important one to Flame also, offering new titles in history, adventure and culture [that are] both entertaining and inspiring.”

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