Multi-genre lineup highlights the company’s recent merger of production and distribution businesses with marblemedia
New offerings include premium documentaries The Playboy Bunny Murder, My Best Friend’s An Animal and Silk Road From Above
Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make Believe, winner of Toronto International Film Festival’s 2023 People’s Choice Documentary Award also makes debut
(Toronto, ON/London, UK – September 28, 2023) – Blue Ant Media’s global distribution group is heading to MIPCOM this fall with a robust, new slate of programming that includes can’t-miss series and documentaries across multiple genres including crime, factual entertainment, formats, and nature, wildlife and environment. The lineup strategically supports the company’s recent announcement to merge production and distribution operations with marblemedia into one unified studio and rights business with hubs in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London, providing an even deeper well of expertise in international programming and distribution. With fresh content from renowned third-party production partners around the world and new and returning series and formats from Blue Ant Media’s expanded library, the slate brings broadcasters and steamers a dynamic content offering that is set up to satisfy all audiences.
“Blue Ant Media is heading into MIPCOM with the largest catalog of programming it’s ever seen, alongside a roster of experts who lead all pillars of our business from markets around the world,” said Mark Bishop, Co-president, Blue Ant Studios. “Our expanded slate of premium content across a wide array of genres enables us to even better serve international clients across all platforms. We’re looking forward to kicking off these conversations as a unified company in Cannes next month.”
This year’s MIPCOM highlights:
The Playboy Bunny Murder (2 x 60′ HD; Future Studios, Soho Studios, ITVX)
A cinematic and evocative true-crime series, in which journalist and author Marcel Theroux takes viewers to the enchantment and exoticism of the Playboy Club in London’s swinging seventies. It’s the most infamous club of Hugh Hefner’s notorious empire and the backdrop for one of the world’s most enduring unsolved murder cases of four young women. Theroux’s fearless investigation takes him around the world searching for suspects, witnesses and family members still haunted by these tragic murders.
The Murder Retrial (4 x 60′ HD; Screendog Productions, Channel 4)
A gripping new format that examines and tests the jury system. Filmed over ten days, a real murder trial is recreated by actors word-for-word from the original transcripts, and two randomly-chosen juries, neither of whom are aware of the other, are asked to judge. This ground-breaking social experiment asks profound questions about how we administer justice, by putting the jury system itself on trial. The case itself is the story of a man who admits he killed his wife, but whose defence maintains that he lost control, and is therefore not guilty of murder. Will the two different juries agree, or will they show how subjective the system truly is?
Body in the Suitcase (2 x 60’|1 x 120′ HD; Transistor Films)
A gripping, two-part special, that takes viewers deep into the shocking twists and turns of an unprecedented case in June 2021, in which a polite, middle-class church-going woman, Jemma Mitchell, is suspected of murdering her close friend. CCTV footage tracks Jemma dragging a large suitcase towards her friend Deborah Chong’s home. Hours later, Mitchell is recorded leaving the area, dragging two visibly heavy suitcases. Two weeks later Deborah’s decapitated body is discovered. The series includes first-hand accounts from family members, eyewitnesses and police.
Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe (1 x 90; marblemedia & Hawkeye Pictures, Prime Video, in association with CBC)
A TIFF 2023 selection and winner of the People’s Choice Documentary Award, this heartwarming feature documentary is based on the life and career of legendary Canadian children’s entertainer, Ernie Coombs, or, as he is more commonly known by millions of fans, Mr Dressup. The documentary is a touching look at the origins and history of one of Canada’s most beloved CBC children’s shows, Mr. Dressup, which enriched the lives of five generations and built a legacy of kindness, patience, inclusiveness and creativity during its 4,000-episode run over 29 years on CBC. The film combines never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with series puppeteers, the Coombs family and other notable Canadians, all sharing the impact the series had on them. The project also includes fascinating insights into Coombs and how he worked with other key creators and partners, including his friendship with Fred Rogers.
Best in Miniature Season 3 (10 x 60; marblemedia, CBC)
A third season of this delightfully diminutive series welcomes 11 highly skilled artists from around the world to compete in the ultimate challenge: building their dream home in miniature form. The competitors create their houses, in painstaking detail, room by room, by shrinking life-size objects to 1:12 scale. While the objects may be small in stature, the stakes could not be higher. Host and comic, Aba Amuquandoh, miniature expert, Emma Waddell and designer Michael Lambie are back to oversee the competition and rank the miniaturists on their precision and design until one is crowned the coveted title of Best in Miniature.
Race Against the Tide Season 4 (10 x 30’; marblemedia; CBC)
This fascinating, creative sand-sculpting competition series is back for an incredible fourth season. The series showcases ten world-class, sand-sculpting teams who are put to the test in an original skills competition where the stakes are as high as the tide. Filmed on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, in New Brunswick, Canada, renowned for its incredible tides, the participants dig, pound and carve extraordinary sculptures entirely made from sand, hoping to impress the judges and avoid elimination and ultimately win the title of Race Against the Tide Champion. Not only are they competing against each other, they are racing to complete their sculptures before the highest tide in the world rips them back out to sea.
Supercar Showroom (8 x 60′ HD; Air TV)
From Ferraris to McLarens, Lamborghinis to Porsches, dealer supremo Dean Bartle gives potential buyers a no-strings, no speed limit, test drive of his gleaming range of supercars on a real airport runway. Dean and his team work around the clock to seal the big deals. Their customers range from global YouTube celebrities and influencers, to retired couples treating themselves to their ultimate dream car. Whether at home base in the high end dealership or getting access to secret supercar collections, this sales team is always ready to sell, sell, sell!
Great Australian Walks (10 x 60′ HD; Mint Pictures)
TV presenter, actress, singer, writer and comedian Julia Zemiro takes audiences on some of Australia’s greatest day walks to reveal a treasure-trove of untold stories and a bounty of incredible vistas from across the east coast of the country, including rainforests, coastal landscapes, mountains and valleys. Along the way, she meets with experts and locals, First Australians and New Australians who reveal surprising and inspiring stories about Australia.
Nature, wildlife and environment
Dynamic Planet (4 x 60′ 4K; NHNZ Worldwide)
Filmed over three years, this exciting new series travels to extreme locations on all seven continents to meet extraordinary people and animals living and working on the front line of climate change. They reveal how science, nature and tradition can prepare us for the future, as temperatures rise, icecaps and glaciers melt, oceans warm, forests burn, weather patterns change and the world as we know it transforms.
Macaque Island (3 x 60′ 4K & HDR; Beach House Pictures)
This three-part natural history series combines stunning footage shot in Singapore’s hilltop forest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, with the stories of three distinct tribes of long-tailed macaques and the parallel stories of the devoted conservationists working to preserve the species. The result is a fascinating saga that takes audiences inside the complex social network of the macaques, while simultaneously investigating how they are thriving amid Singapore’s growing urban population.
My Best Friend’s An Animal (6 x 60′ 4K & HDR; Big Wave,)
This emotive, heart-warming series tells the stories of humans who have unlikely and extraordinary friendships with wild animals. Featuring dozens of stories filmed all over the world, the series proves that respect, trust and understanding can be found in the most surprising relationships. We meet a Cheetah saved from the brink of death, a shiver of affectionate sharks and the guardian of the last two northern white rhinos on earth; as the episodes reveal extraordinary bonds of camaraderie between humans and wild animals.
Deep Dive Australia (3 x 60′ 4K & HDR; Big Wave)
This series follows Lizzie Daly as she embarks on an epic road trip across Australia from the cold water shores of South Australia, to the tropical reefs of northern Queensland and the wild currents of Western Australia. Making her way around the coast, exploring some of the richest and most isolated seas in the world, Lizzie meets a host of incredible creatures, and the amazing people protecting them. Consulting marine specialists and indigenous rangers alike, Lizzie gets an extraordinary insight into the unique ecology of Australia as she discovers what makes these waters so special.
Levison Wood: Walking With… (3 x 60′ HD; October Films)
Explorer Levison Wood journeys into some of the most remote and physically challenging environments on Earth in search of three of the last remaining and critically endangered animals: desert lions, orangutans and polar bears. In the company of indigenous guides and naturalists, Levison takes audiences on a journey of exploration and learning into how these elusive animals are surviving against worsening odds caused by the increasing threat of human activity and climate change.
Silk Road from Above (3 x 60′ 4K; Beach House Pictures)
This exhilarating aerial adventure takes audiences along the world’s most renowned trade route, from the eastern terminus in China to the breathtaking shores of Italy’s Lake Como, passing through Central Asia, Turkey, and Europe. Dramatic drone footage provides mesmerizing new angles of the countries, cities, and landscapes, showcasing individuals who have preserved ancient traditions for generations and others who have infused Silk Road customs with a modern twist.
Israel from Above (3 x 60′ HD; Ananey Studios)
This three-part series explores three iconic landscapes in Israel: Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea. Audiences are given a rare look at these fascinating locations to discover hidden signs in the landscapes, revealing significant past events and human behavior that affected the development of the country.
JFK: The Final Evidence (2 x 60’|1 x 90′ HD; Coleman Television)
A deep dive into the latest information and the prevailing theories around John F. Kennedy’s assassination, with the goals of reaching a conclusion once and for all. The two-part series examines thousands of documents on JFK’s murder for the first time as they have been newly released by U.S. authorities ahead of the 60th anniversary of his death (November 2023). While centered on the known facts, the newly declassified documents test theories of who wanted the president dead, with critical looks at the Mafia, Cuba, Russia and even the CIA.
Neu Earth (2 x 60′ HD; Beach House Pictures)
This series shows us what our Earth has the potential to be. In the year 2050, a future historian embarks on a captivating journey, peeling back the layers of Neu Earth, a world where humanity has conquered climate change and achieved carbon neutrality. What does Neu Earth look like? Key global innovations become apparent: controversial cloud manipulation experiments, the enhancing of photosynthesis to create food and energy, and innovations in construction with bamboo and fungi. Efforts to capture carbon dioxide directly also loom large. The future historian discovers the origins of an atmospheric filtration system, and the development of methods to capture carbon by land, soil and sea.
Apocalypse Plan B (1 x 60′ 4K; Grand Passage Media)
Jane Fonda narrates this film that journeys to the edge of science and science-fiction to meet the prophets of “geo-engineering” who hope to avert climate doom by dimming the sun, duplicating volcanoes, transforming ocean clouds and re-greening billions of acres of the world’s landscape. It’s up to viewers to decide if these are desperate delusions that distract us from reality, or can provide real hope for the future.
History’s Most Haunted (6 x 60′ HD; Small Army Entertainment)
A spine-tingling history documentary with a paranormal twist that dives into significant historical events that left some of the most iconic cities haunted. Three best friends turned paranormal investigators meet with historians, experts and locals to discover the rich history of the haunted locations. Real people recount their terrifying paranormal experiences and the trio investigates to provide witnesses with answers, while giving a voice to the spirits who call out a message from beyond the grave.
Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international production studio and rights business and channel operator. The company’s studio creates and distributes a premium slate of programming, in all content genres, for streaming and broadcasting platforms around the world. Blue Ant Media also operates free streaming and pay TV channels under several media brands internationally, including Love Nature, Cottage Life, Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth Canada, HauntTV, Homeful, Drag Race Universe, Total Crime, HistoryTime and Love Pets. Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with six international offices in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, London, Washington and Sydney. blueantmedia.com Twitter⼁Instagram⼁LinkedIn