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Smithsonian expands factual slate

US cablenet Smithsonian Channel has expanded its slate of factual wildlife content with a pair of one-hour one-offs.

The documentary Yukon’s Wild Grizzlies has been picked up by the channel and follows the life of a young female grizzly bear named Sophie.

It was filmed in 4K over two years and showcases Sophie as she struggles for survival and raises a litter of cubs in the Yukon’s tundra. The documentary is a copro between Vancouver-based Omnifilm and Canadian pubcaster Knowledge Network.

Meanwhile, Pride of Pumas is set in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park and follows local wildlife filmmaker René Araneda as he follows the native pumas. Araneda joins forced with wildlife expert and tracker Casey Anderson for the production.

Additionally, Smithsonian Channel has also sponsored the first annual Santiago Wild film festival, to be hosted in the Chilean capital Santiago in December this year. The film festival is organised by Chilean nature platform Ladera Sur and will coincide with the United Nations climate change conference, COP25.

Smithsonian, a joint venture between Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute, is in the midst of a global roll-out, which included a launch in the UK earlier this year.

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