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Theme Festival - Documentary Television


Theme Festival - Documentary Television

Company overview

We uncover the most compelling documentary television available from global suppliers to help channels keep it real.

Programming Profile

New natural order


Natural history content was booming before Covid-19 but does its small crews and remote locations make it the perfect genre for the pandemic, or is all the international travel prohibitive? Clive Whittingham reports for the latest C21 Digital Screenings Theme Festival.


Natural history programming was enjoying a boom prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, with global streaming giant Netflix ploughing big budgets into series such as Our Planet from Silverback Films and Night on Earth from Plimsoll Productions, broadening the genre out from its traditional public broadcaster roots.


Martha Holmes, head of wildlife and Bristol-based Plimsoll, has also worked on Tiny World for Apple TV+ and praises the tech giants for changing the look and feel of one of television’s most enduring and traditional genres.


“Streamers are young. The older we [humans] get the more in our box we get and the more habits we pick up – platforms are the same,” Holmes explains. “I see very old institutions wanting things done a certain way. When we first worked with Netflix it was more about how we wanted to make the film and our vision. Apple, again, is young. It’s forming and finding itself and hopefully, over time, these streamers won’t get boxed into something prescriptive, because that’s when the creativity goes.