Screen staff reporters identify forthcoming nature documentary projects.
Animals In Love (Fr)
Dir: Laurent Charbonnier
French director Charbonnier, who was the DoP on the Oscar-nominated documentary Winged Migration, makes his directorial feature debut on the $10m Animals In Love, which explores courtship and love in the animal kingdom. Produced by Jean-Pierre Bailly for MC4 Productions, Animals In Love will start rolling out later this year. Philip Glass composed the score.
Int'l sales: M6 DA/SND, (33) 1 41 92 68 66
Arctic Tale (aka Call Of The North) (US)
Dir: Sarah Robertson
National Geographic Films, which was behind Oscar-winning documentary March Of The Penguins, has partnered with Paramount Vantage on Arctic Tale, which follows the life cycle of a polar bear and a walrus. Director Sarah Robertson worked on TV series Nature. The narration is written by Mose Richards and Linda Woolverton, whose credits include The Lion King and Mulan. Queen Latifah is narrating. Premieres at the Silverdocs (June 12-17).
Int'l dist: Paramount Vantage, (1) 323 956 2000
Dir: Alastair Fothergill
Following their collaboration on the hit TV series and feature documentary Deep Blue, the BBC and Greenlight Media team up on Earth, which follows three animal families' migration. Earth was made in parallel with the Planet Earth TV series. Both are directed by Alastair Fothergill. Lionsgate has US, UK and Australian rights.
Int'l dist: Greenlight Media, (49) 307 262 000
The Meerkats (UK)
Dir: James Honeyborne
BBC Films has joined forces with the BBC's Natural History Unit for the first time to make The Meerkats, looking at one family's daily fight for survival. James Honeyborne, a producer with the unit, is directing with Trevor Ingman and Joe Oppenheimer producing. The film is slated for a September 2007 theatrical release, with a subsequent play on TV.
Int'l sales: The Weinstein Company, (1) 646 862 3400
Elephants Of The Okavango (UK)
DoPs: Richard Jones, Martyn Colbeck, Mike Holding
Produced by UK-based Waterstone Westwood, the film follows a family of African elephants as they cross 300km of desert to reach the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, focusing in particular on the youngest of the group, an eight-week-old calf, and her mother. Wildlife veterans Richard Jones, Martyn Colbeck and Mike Holding are DoPs on the film, which is in pre-production. ContentFilm has already made a number of sales on the project, including Germany, France and Latin America.
Contact: ContentFilm, (44) 20 7851 6500
The Turtle's Song (UK)
Dir: Nick Stringer
Sold by Germany's Sola Media, the film tells the story of a loggerhead turtle who is born on a beach in Florida, rides the Gulf Stream all the way to the frozen north and ultimately swims around the entire North Atlantic to Africa and back to the beach where she was born. The documentary is in production and directed by Emmy winner Nick Stringer. The UK's Film And Music Entertainment and Big Wave are producing the picture, which will be delivered in November 2007.
Contact: Sola Media, tel: (49) 711 479 3666.