Blue Ant International’s refreshed spring slate includes 165+ hours of new programming, from top tier producers around the world
(Toronto, ON – April 1, 2021) – Global distributor, Blue Ant International, unveiled today its diverse new slate with 165+ hours of premium programming across its tentpole categories of Specialist Factual, Factual Entertainment, High-Impact Documentaries, Kids & Family and Scripted. Debuting at MIPTV 2021, the new slate includes a jam-packed line-up of premium series and documentaries that are sure to inspire and entertain audiences around the world, while fueling content pipelines for media companies and streamers with fresh, new programming.
“Timely and relevant stories are at the heart of our latest slate. This Spring, our premium production partners are delivering long-running hits and high-impact documentaries that span blue-chip natural history, factual, history and adventure and that also offer unique access and talent-driven stories,” says Solange Attwood, EVP, Blue Ant International. “Our diverse line-up includes fresh and contemporary escapist programming, such as Searching for Secrets, which allows viewers to vicariously travel to iconic cities and Growing Belushi which gives unparalleled access to Jim Belushi’s experience in becoming a cannabis farmer, as well as new instalments of returning international hit series like See No Evil and Hotel Paranormal.”
Blue Ant International’s new Spring offering includes specialist factual titles Dawn to Dusk, a visually stunning series that closely examines the intricate daily life cycles of fascinating creatures, as well as an impressive array of factual entertainment titles, including: Searching for Secrets, which unveils intriguing secrets about the world’s most iconic cities; See No Evil Season 7, the latest instalment of the long-running hit series that reveals how CCTV footage has solved real crimes; World’s Most Scenic River Journeys, a stunning look at the stories of six epic rivers through the characters who live and work on them and narrated by Bill Nighy; and Growing Belushi, which follows actor, singer and writer Jim Belushi on an ultimate quest to heal people with cannabis. New high-impact documentaries include: the previously announced Search and Rescue: North Shore, which takes viewers on gripping rescue missions to save people in distress among the rugged mountains of the Northwest Coast of North America; Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head, an inside look at an iconic glamour-punk band with never-before-seen images and interviews from fellow rock legends; UFO Town, which re-examines a mysterious small-town UFO sighting in the early 90s and the conspiracies that surrounded it; and Murdered by a Mob, a sobering look at the murder of Iranian refugee Bijan Ebrahimi and the subsequent investigation into racial bias in the police. The distributor’s scripted programming is bolstered by the addition of new scripted series, Web of Darkness, a spine-chilling anthology series where accounts of monsters, aliens, and encounters from beyond are brought to life. It’s also adding a new kids series, Let’s Go For a Walk, a delightful series that follows children and host Roger Hamza on walks, while encouraging adventure and exploration.
Blue Ant International’s full 2021 MIPTV Slate:
Dawn to Dusk (6 x 60’; 4K; NHNZ) gives viewers an up-close-and-personal look at the daily dramas that a myriad of wildlife experience between sunrise and sunset. From the tropical forests of Asia to the arid Australian outback, the series unveils the finely-tuned and sometimes quirky routines of unique and exotic creatures as they face the trials and triumphs of life over a single day. The episodes showcase captivating details of animals in six diverse and extraordinary locations including the Americas, Asia, India and Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, the sub-Antarctic Islands and the tropical Pacific.
New Kids in the Wild (5 x 60’; UHD; Off the Fence), is a captivating series that follows the first crucial months in the lives of five baby animals. Each episode delves into the experience of a different animal, from its birth and first fragile steps to its venture out into the world to face formidable challenges. Animal characters include: Usana the cheetah cub, who fights off troublesome jackals; Ravi, the young lion-tailed macaque, who evades a deadly king cobra; Lyca the wild-dog pup, who helps her family track a huge antelope; Chinga the lion cub who forms a strong lifelong bond with her sister, and Chico the ingenious capuchin who learns how to use stone-age tools to open nuts.
The Great Elephant Tale (1 x 60′; 4K & HD; Merx International) The film follows three elephant herds in three very different African environments; the lush abundance of the Okavango delta (Botswana), the wilds of the remote Lower Zambezi valley (Zambia) and the harsh terrain of the Hoanib Desert (Namibia). In each habitat we follow a different character. A mother guides her family to find food, water and shelter, a young calf navigates the dangers of her new environment and a bull pursues a breeding herd as he attempts to extend his bloodline. The three narratives intertwine as we compare and contrast the challenges faced by the same species in vastly different scenarios, while bitesize factual sequences are placed to give the viewer a deeper understanding of what makes elephants tick.
The Pacific (4 x 60′; HD; Voltage TV) This epic landmark series celebrates the wildlife, geology, weather and environmental factors of Earth’s greatest marvel—The Pacific: the largest of Earth’s great oceans. Sixty million square miles of vast deep blue; it extends to the deepest reaches known to humankind, plays host to unique life forms, and stirs up the strongest hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones ever recorded. Larger than all of Earth’s landmasses combined, it’s the heart of our planet, without which we couldn’t survive.
Into the Blue (8 x 60′; 4K & HD; ZONA MIXTA) Filmed over two years, this sweeping series explores the stunning Coral Triangle, in the western Pacific Ocean, home to over 18,000 islands and the largest marine biodiversity on the planet. Into the Blue is a stunning look at the various marine ecosystems and the thousands of underwater creatures that make the Coral Triangle home.
Kingdom of the Tide (1 x 60′; HDR, 4K & HD; Infield Fly) This documentary introduced audiences to the intertidal zone—part land, part sea—a place where change is the only constant. Here, some of the hardiest and most bizarre organisms on the planet have adapted to survive a daily cataclysmic cycle that few creatures can withstand. The result is a specialized and critical habitat whose importance reaches far beyond its borders. Yet this extraordinary world between worlds is surprisingly fragile. Altering the delicate balance of water and temperature could be enough to disrupt and even destroy life in the intertidal zone and affect the health of the ecosystems it supports.
Wild Pacific Rescue (3 x 60′ HDR, 4K & HD, White Pine Pictures) This series showcases wild seas and even wilder animals. In one of the most beautiful coastlines on the planet, a dedicated, passionate veterinarian leads a skilled team of animal care experts from the rugged Pacific coastline to the operating rooms of a world class aquarium. Audiences follow Dr. Marty Haulena and his team as he rescues, rehabilitates, and releases some of the most extraordinary creatures in the sea. Sea lions, harbour seals, sea otters and penguins – these are just some of the patients Dr. Marty and his team of animal lovers save.
Africa’s Wild Year (4 x 60′; 4K & HD; Merx International) This epic, cinematic series is set over the course of a single year, in 10 different countries in Africa. Each episode focuses on one of the four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter, and reveals surprising seasonal variations around the continent and how animals adapt to the changing conditions. Filmed in stunning detail, the life stories of our cast of creatures will captivate the audience whilst introducing them to some of Africa’s many hidden wonders and reveal the vast array of ways in which animals thrive on the continent.
Baboons: Rules of the Troop (1 x 60′; 4K & HD; Merx International) This film follows four baboon families–the Beach, Mountain, River and Desert troops and their dramatic stories of survival on the African continent. Through the course of evolution, species have emerged that are adapted to constantly changing environments and there are few more resilient than the baboon. From the highlands of Ethiopia, down rivers in Botswana, through deserts to the southernmost beaches of Africa, the film beautifully depicts the adaptations baboons have made to survive under a myriad of harsh conditions.
Asia’s Wild Secrets (3 x 60′; HD; NHNZ) Asia has some of the world’s most incredible wildlife and scenery: from Himalayan mountain peaks and tropical rain forests to islands fringed with coral reefs. In every environment live the animals who have evolved how to survive in their unique surroundings. This three-part series reveals how water, mountains and islands shape the lives of animals, including tigers, snow leopards, hot-pool dwelling macaques, komodo dragons and many more creatures both iconic and obscure.
Deep Water Salvage (8 x 60’; HD; Renowned Films and Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company) This series offers a rare and in-depth look at the demanding world of marine construction firms around the globe as they race against the clock to salvage ships in peril from extreme ocean weather. Each episode is an immersive, revealing and exciting adventure in which viewers get access to the closed and sometimes secretive world of marine salvage. Through exclusive admission to four salvage companies operating in the USA, Central America and the UK, the docu-series offers a look into the tough and unrelenting world of the salvage crews. Body cams and diving helmets equipped with HD cameras, combined with footage captured by production crews embedded in the action, allow audiences to go along on these high pressure missions.
Searching for Secrets (6 x 60′; HD; Bigger Bang and Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company) In this series, a cast of local guides, bloggers and historians take audiences on an extraordinary journey around some of the world’s most iconic cities. Every great city has its secrets, you just have to know where to search for them; from the eerie catacombs of Paris, to the hustle and bustle of London’s west end. And from New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty, to the graffiti covered remains of the Berlin Wall. Examining intriguing clues and objects takes viewers back in time to reveal the secret history of the cities we know and love, and shine new light on the exciting, and often surprising stories that helped shape them.
See No Evil Season 7 (56 x 60’; HD; Arrow Media and Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company) The new installment of this multi-season, hit series continues to reveal how real crimes are solved with the help of surveillance cameras. Police reveal how CCTV footage has unlocked the answer to cases that otherwise might have remained unsolved – leaving dangerous killers at large. The series features real footage and dramatic reconstructions, combined with first-hand testimony from police, witnesses and families.
World’s Most Scenic River Journeys (6 x 60’; HD; BrightSpark Films & Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company) Golden Globe-winning actor, Bill Nighy, narrates this visually stunning six-part documentary series, telling the stories of six epic river journeys through the characters who live and work on them. Winding through rivers in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA, each episode showcases beautiful and distinctive landscapes, from emerald green hills, ancient forests and bio-diverse river deltas, to fairytale castles, chocolate box villages and iconic cities. We meet the rich diversity of people who live and work on the rivers, hitch rides on fishing boats and yachts, even canoes and replica Viking Ships, hopping on and off to explore the wealth of hidden stories along the riverbanks of the world’s most beautiful rivers
Hotel Paranormal Season 2 (20 x 60’; HD; Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company) The second installment of this hit series follows the terrifyingly true stories of those who have come face-to-face with otherworldly hotel guests. Acclaimed writer, actor, musician and filmmaker Dan Aykroyd, who is no stranger to the unexplained, narrates each episode featuring spine-tingling stories of paranormal encounters told from stays at grand hotels, highway motels and short-term rentals around the world. From objects flying across rooms to ancient spirits trapped in lobbies to demonic guests, Hotel Paranormal brings to life terrifying encounters with dramatic recreations and paranormal expert insights.
Growing Belushi (3 x 60′; HD; Original Productions & Live Nation Productions) This series follows Jim Belushi, actor, singer, writer, and family man, on his path to becoming a cannabis farmer. Determined to heal the world and its ailments, Jim believes the medicine in cannabis can bring peace and healing to all who need it. With the help of Captain Jack, the weed dealer for the cast of Saturday Night Live, a farm full of misfits, and even fellow Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd, Jim sets on a whirlwind mission to get a foothold in the oversaturated cannabis market. The series sets out to see if Jim Belushi is able to achieve his ultimate goal of healing people with medicine from the earth, or if his venture will go up in smoke.
Chatsworth House (6 x 60; HD; ITN Productions) Filmed throughout 2020, this documentary series is a unique insight into Britain’s best loved stately home with unprecedented access during extraordinary times. Six episodes follow four seasons, weaving stories and characters from the house, the gardens and the entire 35,000 acre estate.
Christmas at Stately Homes (2 x 60′ HD; ITN Productions) This series chronicles how Christmas is celebrated in England’s grandest Stately Homes as they throw open their doors to welcome more than a million visitors through the festive season. Exclusive behind-the-scenes access granted by estate owners gives an inside peek as staff deck the halls of these magnificent homes with hundreds of Christmas trees, millions of baubles and billions of fairy lights. Tradition runs deep and the festive season is the key to unlocking a privileged insight into Britain’s most famous family homes. All combine the magical ingredients of this special time of the year with enchanting history and access to aristocracy.
A Very Royal Christmas: Sandringham Secrets (1 x 60′; HD; ITN Productions) This series offers a look at how the royal family celebrates Christmas Day at the Queen’s country estate in Norfolk, England, combining archive footage with interviews from royal insiders and former staff. Interviewees reveal the garish gifts, classy celebrations and historical traditions, as well as why Monopoly has been banned from royal Christmases for more than a decade.
Fish of the Day (38 x 30′; 4K or 50 x 30’; HD; Wild Film) The new season of this one-of-a-kind fish-to-feast series explores the most stunning locations in the South Pacific and turns unique catch into breathtaking culinary creations. Audiences join Clarke Gayford as he, and some of the world’s best rodmen, offer tips and tricks for a successful expedition, and learn how to best prepare their awe-inspiring finds.
Fraud Squad Season 3 (20 x 60’; HD; Brown Bob Productions) The latest installment of the series continues to take audiences along with investigators whose job is to catch and convict anyone with their hand in the UK’s public purse. Featuring a fraudster leading a double life, a multi-million pound scam targeting the disabled, and even a dishonest headmaster creating a sex dungeon using school funds, the episodes uncover the biggest and most shocking cases of theft from public coffers.
Women on the Force Season 2 (12 x 60’; HD; Flint TV & Lambent Productions) The new season of this gripping hit series captures the stories of the women on the West Yorkshire Police force, following the unexpected twists and turns of one week on the job. With Frontline policing tougher than ever, the episodes give insight into the demands that a life for women on the force can place on their lives – both on duty and at home.
High Impact Documentaries
UFO Town (1 x 60’; HD; Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company) In the early 90s a mysterious VHS tape emerged from Carp, a small town outside Ottawa, Canada, and with it an outrageous claim: that a UFO had crashed in a field in this rural community. The Carp case has since become a legendary part of UFO lore. The series follows author Ian Rogers, who investigated the Carp case as a teenager, on his present-day quest to try and understand just what it is people saw that night and continue seeing in the region.
Murdered By A Mob (1 x 60’; HD; Zeppelin Films) This gripping documentary examines the murder of Iranian refugee Bijan Ebrahimi, beaten to death and his body set alight after neighbours erroneously assumed that he was a paedophile. With two police officers jailed for failing to protect him and two dismissed from the force, this gruelling case sparked an investigation into racial bias in the police, and institutional racism in the local council. This film explores what allowed this barbaric, medieval-like act to happen in the 21st century.
See What You Made Me Do (3 x 60′; HD; Northern Pictures) This three-part documentary is a vital, thought-provoking and powerful look at one of the biggest emergencies facing society—domestic abuse. Most who experience domestic abuse will never report it, and their abusers will never be called to account. In this series, investigative journalist Jess Hill shines a light into the kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms where abuse is destroying lives. She talks to abuse survivors, perpetrators and the people working with them to curb their behaviours. Resolutely solution focused, Jess explores radical innovations which could make a seismic difference to curbing this crisis in our homes.
Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head (1 x 90; 1 x 60; HD; FeltFilm, in association with TVO) This riveting doc takes viewers behind-the-scenes with Teenage Head, an iconic Canadian glamour-punk band, who, decades after they captivated a generation of fans, are determined to perform in the limelight once again. However, they must first save their founder and lead guitarist from a crushing depression. The documentary includes exclusive access to the band’s extensive photo archive, never-before-seen images from the 1980 Heatwave Festival (the Canadian Woodstock), and rare black and white footage from an early 1977 concert. Celebrated music industry peers weigh in on Teenage Head’s influence, including Marky Ramone, Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip and legendary punk writers Jon Savage and Nina Antonia.
Fauci: The Virus Hunter (1 x 60’; HD; HITN TV in collaboration with The Associated Press and South Florida) This hour-long, high-impact documentary features an in-depth look at Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the world’s most renowned and trusted voices on the coronavirus, from his early beginnings to his incredible leadership in the ongoing, extraordinary battle against COVID-19. The film spans Dr. Fauci’s humble beginnings in Brooklyn to his research in the 1980s, which played a major role in uncovering the impact of AIDS as well as extensive investigations on virus outbreaks such as SARS, Avian influenza, H1N1 (also known as the Swine Flu), Zika, Ebola, and most recently, COVID-19
Why Horror (1 x 90′; HD; Don Ferguson Productions) This feature-length documentary follows horror journalist and superfan Tal Zimerman as he looks at the psychology of horror around the world in order to understand why audiences love to be scared. Tal travels the world and meets with the genre’s leading filmmakers, writers, historians, psychologists and sociologists to discover horror in different cultures.
Let’s Go For a Walk (50 x 15′; HD; Hello Halo) There is magic and adventure everywhere if you only look closely enough. This series is a way for every child to enjoy being outdoors and appreciate the nature on their doorstep, whether that’s out in the countryside, on the coast, in the inner city or town. The world outside is full of sights, textures, tastes, smells and sounds. And it’s all about noticing the beauty of their surroundings on their walk in a more mindful way: the shapes of the chimney pots; the smells of the market; the rattle of a train; the crashing of the bin lorry. The walks are child-led, and the children are accompanied by Ranger Hamza, who helps them see the potential for adventure and exploration.
Web of Darkness (8 x 60′ HD; Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company) is a spine-chilling anthology series where accounts of monsters, aliens, and encounters from beyond are brought to life. Each episode tells five stranger-than-fiction stories – terrifying tales inspired by actual events. The series imagines a place between this world and the next; a place that straddles the world of the known and the realm of the unexplained and where this world intertwines with the supernatural.
Blue Ant International is a leading worldwide distributor of high-quality, creative content that engages audiences worldwide and across multiple platforms. The company offers a full-service approach to production partners with sales operations in London, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Blue Ant International has a growing slate of over 4,000 hours of premium content, including distinctive series and formats in five key genres including factual entertainment, specialist factual, high-impact documentaries, kids and family, and scripted. Blue Ant International also has one of the world’s largest offerings of 4K natural history content. Blue Ant International is a division of Blue Ant Media.