Showcase: Terra Mater Studios


The Terra Mater Studios natural history slate transports viewers to nature’s wonders, often with a balance of highlighting important ecological issues. “As climate change and environmental topics become more pressing, people are more interested in learning about the natural world and the species that inhabit it,” says Sabine Holzer, head of specialist factual. “This increased environmental awareness can drive viewership and engagement with content that educates and informs about these topics.”

At the same time, with the conditions of the fast-paced (and often stressful) modern world, natural history content provides a form of escape—and Terra Mater Studios can deliver. “Watching serene and beautiful natural scenes can have a calming effect, which is appealing to many viewers,” Holzer says. “Natural history content is often seen as both entertaining and educational, making it a popular choice for people who want to learn while they watch. This also makes it a valuable resource for schools and educational institutions.”

Many natural history documentaries also now focus on global stories, showing how interconnected the planet is. “This resonates with a more globally conscious audience who is interested in understanding not just their local environment but also the wider world,” Holzer adds.

In trend tracking, cats continue to take over the world, according to Holzer, pointing to the success of Big Cats, Small WorldJaguar Beach; and Dethroned.

Through distributor Autentic Distribution, underwater adventures such as Soul of the Ocean and Treasure of the Caribbean have performed well, alongside innovative topics such as those featured in The Storm—Wildlife in Wild Weather and the miniseries Great Lakes Untamed and Roots of Life.

New highlights for the Terra Mater Studios slate include The Nature of Christmas, a nature doc sprinkled with Christmas magic and love. The three-parter Katavi is a blue-chip drama playing out in an African landscape untouched by humans. Penguin Baywatch makes use of advanced tools in 4K HDR cinematography to showcase the science around the titular species. Healthy Cities—More Than Human, available as a 2×50-minute miniseries as well as a 1×90-minute special, looks at how biodiversity, cities’ ecosystems and our own health are affected by rapid urbanization. Wild San Diego shines a light on California’s second-largest city and its seemingly inhospitable ecological worlds.

Harnessing the popularity of this content and the rise in digital consumption, Terra Mater Studios recently launched the FAST channel Terra Mater WILD with distribution partner Autentic Distribution on platforms in German-speaking territories, including Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Freevee and Pluto TV. “The channel is still young, but its performance already underscores the immense popularity of this kind of content, so we are exploring further expansion into new territories and platforms, catering to the insatiable curiosity of nature audiences around the globe,” Holzer says. “In addition, we run our own YouTube channel with exclusively produced content that has already garnered more than 72 million views and will soon reach 500,000 subscribers.”

Heading to MIPTV, Terra Mater Studios is open to discussing co-production opportunities “and would also love to hear from everyone with an interesting project who thinks that Terra Mater Studios could be the perfect partner for,” says Holzer. Upcoming projects include Riddle in the Wind, a two-part investigation into why some animals are thriving while others are disappearing on several volcanic islands; Kosha—Secret Life of a Pangolin, all about an ant-eating scaly mammal with a ridiculously long tongue; and Leopard Dynasty, tracking the story of a leopard living in a refuge in the middle of Jaipur, India.

Future projects on the planner include Wild Cape Town, a celebration of a city that has long embraced its wild side; Whispers of the Wild, about the future of tigers in Thailand; Lemur Diaries, following the ring-trailed critters to see how they survive in the modern world with an uncertain future; and Gigi Goes Home, about the concentrated efforts of keeping red pandas where they belong: in the wild, healthy and thriving.