ORF UNIVERSUM and ORF-Enterprise showcased their nature film highlights for the first time in an interactive online showcase, offering exclusive insight into the upcoming titles.
Due to the pandemic, the “UNIVERSUM Dinner” adopted a 100 percent online format this year, with the presentation of the UNIVERSUM series of nature films taking place as a digital screening event on April 12. During the event, blue-chip documentaries were presented to co-production partners and buyers from around the world. In addition to a first look at the new ORF UNIVERSUM documentaries, interested participants were able to talk live with the producers and makers of the films.
The UNIVERSUM series’ new programming season features a pair of nature films, including Water of Life—Wilderness, Whisky, Highlands by Jackie Savery and Nigel Pope, a co-production by ORF and ORF-Enterprise in cooperation with ARTE. It portrays the landscape and wildlife around a traditional Scottish whisky distillery. In Russia’s Revenant—The Return of the Siberian Tiger, a co-production by ORF, ARTE, National Geographic, BR, SVT, Channel One Russia and Interspot Film in association with ORF-Enterprise, viewers follow a giant Siberian tiger as it traverses the taiga forests to find a new territory.
The documentary Austria’s Wild Heritage—One Country Six National Parks by Heinz Leger is a co-production by ORF and Interspot Film and puts the national parks in the heart of Europe in the spotlight.
Highlights that are currently in production include Colombia—Wild and Free, a co-production by ORF, NDR, PBS, ARTE and Cosmos Factory in cooperation with ORF-Enterprise. In the title, Harald Pokieser portrays rebel groups that protect the untouched forests of the Colombian national parks. Life on the Wing—Miracle of Bird Migration, by ORF and PKM Film, sees directors Leander Khil and Mario Kreuzer take a new look at the largest bird migration on Earth.
Gernot Lercher, head of ORF UNIVERSUM/Natural History, said: “The pandemic could not stop the producers and filmmakers from developing outstanding ideas for UNIVERSUM and realizing them under sometimes very difficult conditions. Nature filmmakers have to be patient and unexpected obstacles are part of their everyday life. In the current situation, their achievement in bringing the world closer to us in breathtaking nature shots and unique films cannot be appreciated enough.”
Armin Luttenberger, head of content sales international at ORF-Enterprise, said: “Thanks to more than 30 years of experience and many years of cooperation with partners from all over the world, ORF UNIVERSUM stands for the highest quality and technical innovation even in these challenging times. Thanks to ambitious filmmakers and our committed co-production partners, viewers around the globe can continue to expect blue-chip nature and wildlife films.”