A wide range of industry players and experts were invited to the ORF Apéro at the Five Seas Hotel on Monday, April 17, getting the chance to catch glimpses of upcoming ORF productions.
“We are thrilled to present high-quality content that educates, entertains, and inspires audiences around the world. I am truly humbled by the overwhelming response to our Apéro and I couldn't be more proud of our team for making it happen.”, says Oliver Böhm, CEO of ORF-Enterprise and host of the event.
The showcase started with wildlife documentary gems of the acclaimed UNIVERSUM Nature strand, which has been recently celebrating its 35-year anniversary, looking back on a long history of state-of-the art wildlife filmography:
“After 35 years of producing some of the world's most acclaimed nature documentaries, we at UNIVERSUM Nature remain as committed as ever to our mission of showcasing the wonders of the natural world. We believe that there will always be a place for high-quality nature programming that inspires and educates, especially in a period of time where the conservation of our only habitat, planet Earth, should become a number one priority”, comments Gernot Lercher, Head of Natural History UNIVERSUM at ORF.
From the Austrian Alps to Vietnam – New wildlife documentaries take the stage
The first title shown was Transylvania's Wild Side, which is all about Romania's wilderness which boasts untouched forests, abundant wolf packs, lynx, and brown bears amidst abandoned medieval villages. Desert Phantoms - Surviving the Skeleton Coast depicts the journey of three orphaned desert lion cubs from their first steps in the desert to hunting along the mystical Skeleton Coast and is the most recent production of acclaimed filmmakers Will and Lianne Steenkamp.
Secret India - The Real Jungle Book follows the daily and seasonal struggles of India's charismatic animals, including tigers, wolves, elephants, and black panthers, that author Rudyard Kipling depicted in his work, bringing to life the truth beyond the fiction.
Untamed Vietnam - Wilderness Reborn travels from Vietnam’s northern forests and mountains to the tropical Mekong Delta in search of the last endemic species, many threatened by extinction.
Corridors of Life documents the challenges that wild animals face as they navigate disrupted migration routes caused by human interference.
An adventurous Indian filmmaker invites audiences in Nicobar Islands - A Monkey's Long Tale to explore the unique and fascinating row of twenty-four islands in the Indian Ocean that are mostly uninhabited by humans. Green Island, Grey Desert showcases the enchanting wildlife and raw beauty of the Burren, a limestone desert on Ireland’s west coast that is home to a harsh, rugged landscape unlike any other.
Lastly, Arlberg - A Wild Celebrity focuses on a mountain that attracts the international jet set as a famous skiing destination, but the region's flora and fauna face new challenges as they adapt to rising temperatures as they work hard to survive and thrive in a changing landscape.
From Facts to Fiction - First Insights into new gripping Drama Series
After stunning footage of fauna and flora, the thematic focus switched to fictional inter-personal human affairs with a trailer for the ORF/ARD co-production Days That Never Were: this mini-series tells the story of four women who have known each other since their elite school days, as their friendship is put to the test when a team of investigators shows up and examines an accident that suddenly turns into a murder case.
“ORF Originals – high-end fictional productions made in Austria – are one of the main pillars of our offer as a public broadcaster. The collaboration with our partners in Germany, Switzerland and other European countries is essential for us. Together we manage to produce state of the art movies and series with some of Europe’s best creative minds”, says Stefanie Groiss-Horowitz, Program Director at ORF.
In addition to Days That Never Were, guests also got to see first glimpses of the new series highlight School of Champions, which will go on sale later this year. It depicts the struggles of ten young talents who push themselves to their limit at an elite ski boarding school to realize their dream of reaching the top. They face immense pressure to succeed, tough training schedules and the struggles of adolescence. To succeed against the odds, some of them must pay a high price.
“The past years have shown a tremendous shift: whereas traditionally ORF-Enterprise has always been a known supplier of blue-chip factual content, recent success stories of ORF Original Drama in other language markets proves the audience’s love for German-language drama and encourages us to expand our catalog respectively”, adds Armin Luttenberger, Head of Content Sales International at ORF-Enterprise.
The expanding catalogue of documentaries, ORF Originals, and much more is conveniently accessible on contentsales.ORF.at and offers a wide range of titles for buyers from all over the globe.