Documentary

Film
Release Year
Runtime(s)
Synopsis
Iceland – On Top of the World
2016
52

Iceland – a unique land with an incomparable landscape and pleasantly euphoric inhabitants.

This documentary is a scenic expedition through majestic volcanoes, seething geysers, powerful waterfalls, threatening fjords, and almighty glaciers.  Hardly any other country offers such a variety of spectacular forces of nature!  But not only that, this island offers its people a bout of freedom and equality that puts it on the list as the number one place to visit.  With an extremely low mortality rate, high life expectancy and stellar incomes it is giving Disney land stiff competition as the happiest place on earth.  While chalked full of excitement and good cheer, this documentary will give you an insight into how it can be that the people of a small, distant island with only a fraction of sunlight in some months can be happier than the people in sun-blessed Italy and Spain.

In Love with the Samurai Sword
2014
49

Samurai swords have served as lethal weapons but also as objects of sacred beauty in Japan.  Priced as high as $1 million, a sword’s beauty can only be revealed by the polishers who show its splendid temper patterns reflecting the sun, waves, and flowers.  But today, there are only 50 polishers left and that number is fast dwindling.

Master Sasaki is the only polisher to teach young protégés the ancient techniques.  Two rivals, Yuichi and Yuki, undergo a grueling and sometimes humorous apprenticeship, hoping to win the big contest that can make or break their future as an independent polisher.  Will the art of samurai swords stand a chance of being passed on for another thousand years?  Beautifully shot 4K images showcase the little-known world of Japanese sword polishers.

In Tune with Time: Watchmaker Masahiro Kikuno
2015
52

An “independent watchmaker” is a watch craftsperson creating works of art based on his/her own ideals without belonging to any corporation.  Among these watchmakers, Masahiro Kikuno is one that has been receiving attention for his extremely unique work that highlights traditional Japanese culture.  Now, Kikuno is aiming to recreate an ultimate timepiece into a wristwatch.  It is based on a “temporal hour clock” made by a Japanese master craftsman in 1851, which divides the time between sunrise and sunset into six equal parts.  As the length of the day varies with the season, the length of the temporal hours changes by season.  The complex and exquisite automaton clock consists of more than 1000 parts.  The documentary closely follows Kikuno’s amazing creative activity of translating the same system into a small wrist watch.

Enjoy the exquisite world of traditional Japanese craftsmanship in stunning ultra-high-definition 4K images.

Issey Miyake: Design for Feel
2015
59

A piece of cloth folded like origami transforms into a three-dimensional designer outfit when spread out.  Master fashion designer Issey Miyake has been taking the fashion world by storm for decades with innovative creations that have redefined the Western concept of clothing.  Miyake, now in his 70’s, is filled with more ideas than ever before.  This documentary closely follows Miyake in the creative process of a new series of “origami-like” designs based on his concept of “A Piece of Cloth.”  Miyake and his young staff members are relentless in the pursuit of the designs that are beautiful when folded flat, and are attractive when worn dynamically.  Witness the passion, ambition and creative struggles of Miyake and his team, beginning with the planning right thru to the completion of his new collection.

Khumbu Valley
2014
51

Spectacular journey through the Khumbu Valley, home to the highest mountain in the world, the Everest or as the locals call it, Sagarmatha – Holy Mother.  Shot in breathtaking 4K.

Kyoto Imperial Palace: Beauty Hidden for a Thousand Years
2015
52

Kyoto Imperial Palace contains several residences of the Imperial family as well as a number of vast gardens.  To promote the Imperial Palace both nationally and internationally as a symbol of Japan and an estate worthy of an imperial household, the residences feature the most luxurious furniture and the finest craftsmanship.  The Imperial Palace is part of a valuable cultural heritage that reveals an aristocratic culture dating back more than a thousand years.

Lichtmond
2012
113, 18

Award-winning Lichtmond animation “Universe of Light” in real 4K and overwhelming 5.1. and 7.1 surround sound enlarges the intense impressions and confirms Lichtmond as a multimedia artistic synthesis.  Breathtaking images and beautiful songs permit a unique trip into a stunning and wonderful journey into the realm of the senses.  The audience immerses into virtual landscapes consisting of sounds, images, and voices.  Enthralled by beauty, poetry, and purity.

Life on Fire
6 x 52 min

Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, the four wildlife episodes of Life on Fire paint survival stories around different volcanoes.  From the dark abyss to pristine snow-capped peaks, spectacular scenery provides the backdrop for the extraordinary animals and plants that have learned to juggle with fire.  Fragile and engaging, these creatures teach us lessons in survival in a world as fascinating as it is dangerous.  Two Scientific episodes show how we live and react to volcanoes.  “Volcano Doctors” portrays the current technological revolution driven by the extensive use of telemetry to monitor volcanoes.  It reveals the conflict between the scientists risking their lives to understand and predict the next eruption set against the pragmatism of people who live and work in the shadow of moody volcanoes.  “Icelandic Volcanoes: Who’s Next?” reveals that Eyjafjallajökull – though it caused havoc – was in geological history a relatively minor eruption and that several other volcanoes with the potential to create far greater catastrophe are simply biding their time …

Micro Monsters with David Attenborough
2013
3 x 50 min, 1 x 50 min Behind the Scenes

David Attenborough uses the latest 3D technology to bring to life the extreme and deadly unseen world of bugs.

Miracle Body: Russia’s Golden Mermaids
2016
49

Sports Science reveals how top athletes use their bodies and skills.

The world’s top synchronized swimmers Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina have an impossible stunt called The Russian Roulette where the two move their legs at breakneck speed during a routine when oxygen levels drop dangerously.

A first-ever research by NHK has revealed that when underwater, they display abilities only aquatic mammals are known to have!  Be amazed at the supreme performances of the duo metamorphosing into real mermaids in beautiful 4K images.

Modern Dinosaurs: The Gharials of Chitwan National Park
2015
52

The glorious Chitwan National Park extends over the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal.  A large river fed by melted snow and monsoon rains runs through this World Heritage site, attracting endangered species such as Indian rhinoceroses and Indian elephants.  Mingling among them are gharials, one of the world’s largest crocodiles.  At six meters in length, the main feature of this conspicuous creature is its long, thin jaws filled with razor-sharp teeth.  Gharials swish their jaws back and forth to catch fish with impeccable timing.  Males also make an explosive sound when courting females.  This episode, filmed over an extended period between the dry and rainy seasons, reveals the wisdom behind the secrets to their survival.

Moon Shots
2014
56

Moon Shots is a film about the one of the most significant explorations in the history of Mankind — the Apollo Moon missions of NASA.  Almost 50 years ago, brave astronauts stepped on the Moon’s surface and brought analogue Hasselblad cameras with them.  For the first time we can now see their footage and their photographs in Ultra-HD resolution and in stunning contrast.  This documentary covers the Apollo 1 to Apollo 17 mission.

More Than Just Enemies
2014
1 x 90 min, 2 x 52 min

The 17th century: The super powers are the Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire, being more than just enemies.  On September 11, 1697, the Ottoman army is annihilated in the battle of Zenta by the imperial army led by Prince Eugene of Savoy, thus ending the steady rise of the Ottoman Empire over the previous centuries.  The dominance of the Habsburgs is well documented, but the Ottoman Empire was a civilization that was no less developed and whose culture we know only little about.  Yet the Sultans ruled over Asia Minor, the Near East, the Balkans, North Africa, the Crimea and current-day Hungary for several centuries.  We follow Emetullah Rabia Gülnuş Sultan, first concubine in the harem and later, as a mother of two Sultans, Valide Sultan.  For more than 30 years the Greek woman, abducted from Crete at the age of four, had enormous influence over the political and cultural fortunes of the Ottoman Empire.  Our protagonist on the Habsburg side is Prince Eugene of Savoy, who, from an emotionally neglected childhood, rose to huge success as a feared army leader and the wealthiest man of his time.  Elaborate computer simulations and skillful re-enactments immerse viewers in the elegant, yet also brutal and merciless world of the Habsburg and the Ottoman Empire, showing not only their military encounters but also the mutual influences in the fields of culture, science and even food.

MTB Insights
2015
20 x 26 min

The MTB Insights Series offers a unique, Ultra HD view into mountain biking today.  Looking at each aspect of the sport, this series is for enthusiasts and experts alike.  Each episode takes an in-depth look at the culture, evolution, and champions of one of the fastest growing extreme sports in the world.  Season 1 broadcast internationally in over 20 countries and received outstanding feedback from VOD audiences.

After the success of Season 1, MTB Insights is back with a new 10 x 26mins season, fresh faces, and new places.  Filmed in brilliant 4K with legendary riders such as Cedric Gracia and Cam Zink.  Discover unique spots like Bear Mountain Resort and the legendary Coastal Gravity park, Canada, and many other international destinations.  This documentary driven series offers a true insight into mountain biking around the world.

Muay Thai Madness
2014
28

Muay Thai madness has swept the globe.  But no where is Muay Thai more popular than in its home, Thailand.  From the smallest boys to largest gladiators what is the magnet that draws competitors from around the globe?  See the action, feel the brutality and talk to the competitors.  What drives them?  What brings them to this revered birthplace of something that is more than a sport, for here, it is a part of life itself.

Namibia – The Spirit of Wilderness
2016
52

With more than 300 days a year, the sun dominates this country so much that it’s even shining from their flag.

It’s a barren land, sometimes like from another planet but still familiar –a land of contrasts and colours with wide landscapes and fascinating deserts.  Influenced by various cultures during colonization and now reborn from the shadows of Apartheid in 1990, Namibia gives a beautiful collage of culture, language, art, music, and food.

Everyone who loves an adventure should travel to Namibia, the precious corner of our world full of incredible natural wonders.  The experience of endless landscapes and an unparalleled blaze of colour make Namibia unforgettable.

Namibia – The Spirit of Wilderness invites you on a trip whose fascination will never let you go: from the Namib Desert over the breath-taking Fish River Canyon to the spectacular Etosha National Park where you will see wild elephants, antelopes, giraffes, zebras, and lions.

NatureStyle: Hokkaido Japan
2016
47

Jump in the van and ride shotgun with this crew of snowboarders (and the token skier) as they explore Hokkaido’s resorts, backcountry, and culture.  Witness the neck-deep powder, wild nights, and other-worldly experiences that only Japan can provide.

Ninjaboys: Quest for the Cosmic Front
2016
4 x 25 min

Popular Japanese animation, Ninjaboy Rantaro, and authentic science program Cosmic Front team up to bring a science comedy adventure show for the whole family.

Three ninja friends, Rantaro, Kirimaru, and Shinbei from the manga show set off on a great adventure in space after a surprising turn of events.

Does extra-terrestrial life truly exist in the solar system?  What is the secret behind the birth of the moon?  Join the Ninjaboys as they embark on a spectacular adventure into space and find out about the cosmos!

This fun science show features spectacular space images recreated by 4KCG using the latest astronomical data!

Origins of Land — Nishinoshima Island
2015
29

An extraordinary phenomenon is taking place in the Pacific Ocean: The formation of a new island from an undersea volcanic eruption.

Located 1,000 km from Tokyo, Nishinoshima island suddenly emerged in 2013.  It is still expanding rapidly and has already become the biggest newly-born island in historic record.  Scientists are saying that this exceptional event could literally blow away previous understanding of volcanology, and solve the mystery of how continents are made.

But field investigation is nearly impossible, since the new island is strictly off limits due to the volcanic hazard.  To overcome these issues, NHK has launched a bold project to seize this very rare opportunity and help scientists solve the unknown facets of the island.  The mission involves filming this natural spectacle from the air, land and sea in stunning 4K resolution images using remote control machines, while collecting important scientific data.

Witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience of the “birth of land” in this grand science adventure documentary.

Passing the Pillars of Hercules
2015
52

This is a wildlife feast that feature the migratory animals of the Straits of Gibraltar or the Pillars of Hercules (as it was formerly known), the border between Africa and Europe.  From the dawn of history, battles have been waged in these seas.  Today, one of them is still on each season – the fishing of red tuna in their migratory route through these waters.  This entails an intense fight between two competitors – the Moroccan fishermen and the greatest predator in the oceans, the orca.  Each year in their flight, more than 300 million of birds challenge the strongest westerly and easterly winds to head here for their winter shelters.  Will they all be able to achieve this?  For the other animal species, their migration to this land was either coincidental or compulsory, as pets or as bargaining chip between trading Arabs of Phoenicians.  Whatever the reason, the result is that these chameleons, tortoises, mongooses, and genets are all part of a legacy.  Today, they have become typical species from the south of Spain, some of them being unique representatives of their species in Europe.

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