Documentary

Film
Release Year
Runtime(s)
Synopsis
The City: San Francisco
2017
53

The San Francisco Bay Area is a realm of adventure and beauty with ever-changing skies and light; and ever-evolving culture and technology.  Throughout its colorful history, San Francisco has maintained its unique flavor and aesthetic as the tides of time and the serpentine fog pour over and through.  Discover this iconic city and its surroundings at a pivotal moment in its story.  Filmed in 8K resolution by land, sea, and air, The City: San Francisco will engulf the senses with the heart and soul of fog city.

The Disaster Diaries
2015
3 x 75 min

While we can’t look into the future and foresee what may hit us next, we do know that each year brings its share of natural disasters that we often try, in vain, to anticipate, understand, and predict.  This is a new kind of natural disaster programme: instead of relying on poor quality archive footage, our crews are on standby ready to take off anywhere around the planet to film these disasters in Ultra-High Definition.  They will use state-of-the-art film technology, such as gyro-stabilized mounts attached to helicopters, drones, or ships, collapsible dolly carts and even rotating portholes that evacuate sea spray by centrifugal force to bring the highest quality images to your screen.

The Dying King
2016
76, 53

In the open wilderness of Africa, there are only 20.000 lions living a free life.  Humans have killed hundreds of thousands in the last decades – mostly for purely hunting purposes.  In the last couple of years, a new industry has developed called the canned hunting.  After 4-5 years of breeding, young lions are shot in special areas, after which tourists pay up to 40.000 USD for the corpse of the dead male lion.

A real industry developed in South Africa – lion cubs are used in petting zoos, bones of the animals are exported to Asia for so-called medical “purposes.”

Figures of more than 10.000 lions in captivity being targets for future canned hunting are supposed to be real these days.

We want to open public eyes on these industries using big cat lives for money making.  With investigative means, hidden cameras, we will try to get in touch with the people behind these intrigues.

First and foremost we want to stress the work of FOUR PAWS to save and protect big cats worldwide.  As part of FOUR PAWS’ work for wild animals in captivity, the organization focuses on the situation of big cats in zoos, in private captivity, and in the entertainment industry.

First successful action took place in 2002, when four lion cubs used for taking photos with tourists were sent from Romania to a sanctuary in South Africa.  Ever since then, FOUR PRAWS has increasingly stepped in more on this issue and has undertaken research in several countries in order to collect information about the conditions and numbers of big cats in captivity.  In November 2007, the first transfer or “rescue action” with two lions from Romania, and ten lions from Austria took place.

In the meantime the Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK in South Africa is now home to more than 90 big cats.  Furthermore, FOUR PAWS concentrate on collecting more information on big cats around the world and will increase its network with other big cat sanctuaries and big cat experts.

The Genet
2014
36

This is remarkable story about a young genet who after losing its mother’s track decides to embark on a lonely journey to look for her.  The forest gives it shelter, food, but it is also filled with traps of nature, threatening dangers, and enemies that turn into allies.

The Great Amazon: Monkey Enigma
2016
49

The Amazon rainforest is a luscious jungle wonderland, a treasure trove of many unidentified animals.  The jungle is long on anecdotes about various legendary creatures, in particular the primate “Mono Grande.”  A photo taken in the early 20th century of this gigantic ape amazed the world as a possible new simian, and sightings remain rife today.

“Does the Mono Grande really exist?”

Driven by the desire to find out, an NHK crew thrusts deep into the jungle, encountering exotic monkeys on the way.

After over 100 days of desperate exploration, the crew finally meets up with a enormous monkey!  But is it the legendary Mono Grande they are after … ?

The Great Amazon: Secrets of the Mighty River
2016
49

The Amazon River is home to a wide variety of unique fish.  NHK spent over two years exploring the dense jungle to closely follow the Amazon’s stunning underwater creatures with 4K cameras.  The exploration led to an encounter with a crystal clear natural spring, and successful recordings of fascinating creatures of the Amazon.  Captured on camera are very rare footage of electric eels hunting prey, energetic images of the Amazon river dolphin attacking a school of fish in high speed 4K, and a unique sight of local fishermen catching a gigantic 2-meter shark-like catfish.

Come and unveil the drama of the legendary fish in the most magnificent river.

The Last Wild
93, 55

A spectacular journey in Ultra HD cinema through the most remote and fascinating nature parks in Namibia, Africa, underlines the need to restore human contact with wildlife.  Elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos and many other wild animals share the same biological and spiritual bond with nature as the human race, but growing pressure from the predatory behaviour of man and the spread of civilisation across the Planet is threatening their survival.

The Last Wild is a cry for the need to restore contact with and respect for nature and all the living things that inhabit it in order to build a new more positive and sustainable world.

The Last Wild film offers to the audience a touching cinematic experience discovering one of the remotest wild regions of Africa and promoting the need to preserve a more respectful relationship between humans and nature.

The film travels to the Western Kalahari region, in Namibia, inquiring about the spirit of the wild and the deep sense of the human condition as part of the nature cycle.

The Last Wild, a very high quality film shot in 4K resolution from the ground and from the air, joins spectacular pure wildlife images with a deep conservationist message and a very moving soundtrack.

Filmed in the remote Khaudum National Park and its surrounding area, and in the Kavango-Zambeze region that borders with Angola, Zambia and Botswana, capturing spectacular landscapes, meeting bushman tribes and finding herds of elephants and buffaloes, big cats, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, and many more wild animals.

The Last Wild spread out a very powerful conservationist message to the next generations, contained in a symphony of cinematic sensations, taking the audience to contemplate the ordinary rhythm of nature and wildlife without interferences, connecting with it, as it was part of it.

Enjoying The Last Wild film, the worldwide audience will experience an extraordinary adventure that connects human spirit with the spirit of wildlife.

The Moon’s Spell on the Great Barrier Reef
2014
59

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef, covers a range of over 2,000 kilometers off the northeast coast of Australia.  Magnificent spectacles of the birth of life unfold here every summer.  Male and female surgeonfish swim at lightning speed toward the water surface and spawn; tens of thousands of green sea turtles simultaneously come ashore under the star-filled sky to lay eggs; and the climax is a rare sight of some 100 varieties of coral all spawning at once within a timeframe of only 15 minutes.

Enjoy the breathtaking moments successfully caught on an unprecedented scale by taking full advantage of the amazingly rich colors of high-definition 4K cameras.

Immerse yourself in the mysterious drama of life under the spell of the moon on a summer night.

The New Sperm Whale
52

Sperm whales are back, and learning how to steal fish off their hooks.  They are also learning how to speak a special “coda” language, and fool killer whales – their ancient enemies.  They have now started to investigate our oil rigs, telecommunication cables, and submarines.  Their large brains – the biggest in the animal kingdom – try to decipher our innovations … and turn them to their advantage.  Discover the new sperm whale.

The Ninja Birds of Kakadu: Comb-Crested Jacanas
2015
52

Kakadu National Park is located in the northernmost part of Australia.  During the rainy season, when vast expanses of wetland appear and many aquatic insects and fish emerge, aquatic birds arrive to feed on them and breed.  Among them is the comb-crested Jacana.  These unique birds use their long toes to gracefully walk across lotus leaves and catch underwater prey.  Interestingly, these birds are polyandrous, meaning the females mate with more than one male.  Females therefore lay a lot of clutches and it is the males alone who care for them.  This episode, filmed between the rainy season and dry season when the park undergoes drastic changes, follows the lives of these aquatic birds.

The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat
2012
48

In 1959, a government employee named Richard Oyler, living in the tiny desert town of Lone Pine, California, asked world-famous modern architect Richard Neutra to design his modest family home.  To Oyler’s surprise, Neutra agreed.  Thus began an unlikely friendship that led to the design and construction of an iconic mid-century modern masterpiece.

Considered the father of California Modern Architecture, Time Magazine put Richard Neutra on their cover in 1949, ranking him second only to Frank Lloyd Wright among America’s greatest architects.  The Oyler House: Richard Neutra’s Desert Retreat explores how Neutra came to befriend this modest, small-town family, and how he was inspired by the site’s stunning desert setting, which Neutra compared to the grandness of the mystical Gobi Desert.

Now owned by the actress Kelly Lynch and her writer-producer husband Mitch Glazer, the post & beam-style home and its exotic surroundings shine through beautiful cinematography, and the story comes to life through interviews with Richard Oyler, Kelly Lynch, Neutra’s sons, and well-known Los Angeles real estate agent Crosby Doe, who has represented homes by some of history’s greatest modern architects.

The Pro
2014
3 x 60 min

This is a story that follows three famous pro-golfers during their off season training in Thailand and America.  See how vigorous the training is in preparation for the championships.  Also get some invaluable tips on how to improve your own game.  All this and more, against the beautiful backdrop of Thailand and America.

The Story of German Beer
2016
52, 42

This documentary looks at the history of beer starting with the Sumerians who invented it 5.000 years ago through to the leading export of today and the new trend of the future: craft beer.  Prost!

Prince Luitpold of Bavaria: if Germany were still a monarchy, this member of the House of Wittelsbach would be King of Bavaria.  What does this have to do with beer?  His Highness brews one of the best beers in Bavaria.  No wonder – it was one of his ancestors that introduced the Reinheitsgebot (German purity law) in 1516, and it remains in force to this day: the only ingredients permitted are hops, malt, and water.  500 years of pure beer – without chemicals, flavour enhancers or colour additive additives as is common in the rest of the world.  There are 5,000 different beers in Germany, produced in more than 1,300 breweries.

Great beer has always been synonymous with Germany.  Let’s find out why!

The Wild Pacific
2015
56

It is the largest body of water on earth, covering nearly 30% of our planet.  Home to a stunning menagerie of creatures.  Great Whites hunting in ghostly silence.  Ballets of whale sharks and giant mantas.  Swarms of mating squid in a magical kelp forest.  Voracious striped marlin, sea lions, and pelicans decimating great schools of herring.  Experience The Wild Pacific.  From Emmy-nominated producer Michael Watchulonis.  Cinematography by Emmy-winning cameraman Johnny Friday.

Threads of India
2015
30

Intricately handwoven cotton and silk, with adorning embellishments of threadwork and embroidery – each uniquely crafted in India.  It is through these colours, patterns, and textures that Indian designers express their individuality & creativity in this land of contrasts and contradictions.  New York-based Smita Conjeevaram has returned to India to uncover the hidden gems of her native land, exploring the artistry and ancient traditions of the textile industry from the foothills of the Himalayas to the backstreets of Mumbai.  Brought to life for the first time, Threads of India is an adventure like no other – a colorful feast for the eyes, a resounding musical treat for the ears, and an unparalleled cultural experience for the soul.

Tougher Than It Looks
2016
12 x 30 min

How hard is it to do some of the toughest, oddest, most dangerous tasks on the planet?  Andrew Younghusband (Don’t Drive Here, Canada’s Worst Driver) finds out first-hand as he delves into the world of terrifying heights, extreme sports, tough trades, small spaces, and strange hobbies.  Younghusband’s wild quest takes him into the dangerous, weird and just plain crazy, as he meets people driven by passion who do jobs and partake in pastimes that often look impossible.  But are they?  In each episode, with minimal training, Younghusband struggles to keep up with the pros as they explain what they do, while showing him the ropes.  From working as a window cleaner on a dauntingly high skyscraper and wing walking on a bi-plane in mid-air, to barefoot water skiing and racing lawnmowers, nothing is too scary or obscure for Younghusband to try at least once.

Tour de Tirol
2016
47

Competitors take part in all 3 stages of the Tour de Tirol.  The Söller Zehner, the Kaisermarathon Söll and the Pölven Trail.

On your mark!  Get set!  The boom of the starter gun indicates go and go they went.  The Tour de Tirol is a stage race of about 75 km and 3650 hm, which takes place in Söll and lasts three days.  On the first day, the finish line is set at 10km.  The second day is a 52km marathon over a mountainous trail and the final day is a 23 km trail rum with plenty altitude.  It is quite an insane challenge but with this race one gets to know one’s body, one’s limits, and one’s drive to succeed.  From this race one finds out what one is capable of!

The Tour de Tirol started in 2006.  It is a unique race with high standards within beautiful mountain sceneries of the Austrian Alps.  We accompany Alexander Bille, 42 years old, hobby runner from the flatlands, during these three days, we watch him from above and along the route to the finish line and interview him before and after the race.  He knew it would be hard, but he did not know how hard it was going to be.

Trails of the World
2017
6 x 60 min

We go along different trails around the planet – but we will not take the easy road.

Hiking and biking will help us to discover spectacular places and unknown land-sites from the Inca Trail in Peru through Spain’s Extremadura to the Way of St. James in Norway.  We get to meet the local population, drink and eat the regional food and take part in fiestas and traditions.  But we will also look for spaces to relax and visit the cultural sites.  Travel through waterfalls and gorges to amazing peaks and cosy shelters.  You will enjoy the trip – the active way!

Treasures of Thailand
2014
30

Thailand, Land of Smiles.  Home to exotic food, dance, and temples.  There are secrets in each temple.  Hidden temples inside caves, majestic Grand Palaces, and more.  Explore the wondrous mysteries of Thai dance where every movement of the hand and body tell a story.  Sample the famous Thai spice and the exciting surprises of Thai Street food.  Experience the unseen wonders of this Magical Kingdom.

Tsukiji — Inside the World’s Largest Fish Market
2015
49

Tsukiji Market is the world’s largest fish market.  Every day, 1,700 tons of fish are sold to over 30,000 professional buyers in search of the finest fish from across the globe.  Even computers cannot keep up with the amazingly fast pace of the auction — the most heated of which takes place over tuna.  Complex human relationships and negotiations are on full display, but the deep trust between players creates a surprising spirit of harmony.  The market is run by a network of experienced professionals as complex as the neural pathways of the brain.  Go behind the scenes at the fascinating Tsukiji Market.

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