WildBear Entertainment has launched a distribution division, to be based across Australia and Europe.
Dubbed WildBear International, the arm will be led by WildBear Entertainment CEO Michael Tear in Canberra, with a start-up sales team comprising Edwina Thring and Margaret Yoshida of Wild Thring Media – WildBear’s long-term co-production and pre-sales finance partner – operating out of Europe.
The new business is accompanied by a launch slate featuring history series Rise and Fall: The Turning Points of WW2, The World War, and Bomber Terror of WW2; natural history titles World’s Most Toxic Animals and Under the Sea; plus three series of ob-doc Demolition Down Under, and the second season of Mega Mechanics.
All three seasons of Demolition Down Under, which was commissioned by Discovery Australia and New Zealand, have been acquired by Discovery UK, Discovery Germany, and Viasat, following earlier pre-sales to Mediawan in France and Network Ten.
World’s Most Toxic Animals gets up close and personal with some of the world’s most toxic animals to understand how they target their victim, what chemistry they use to tailor their attack, and how humans can best survive it. The series has been acquired by Sky Nature in the UK, Sky Italia, Viasat in Europe, Discovery Asia, and RTP in Portugal, while NTV in Germany pre-bought the series.
WildBear International has also secured a number of early deals for Rise and Fall: The Turning Points of WW2, including with ProSieben in Germany, Mediawan in France, A+E Italy, RTP in Portugal, Viasat, Canal Historia in Spain, Foxtel in Australia, and The Military Channel in China.
The launch slate is timed to coincide with the MIPCOM/autumn sales period, with WildBear Entertainment producing all the new series.
Tear said WildBear International was about providing another avenue of financial assistance, while also expanding the reach of the company’s content.
“Financing production is an increasingly complex and timely business, often with many moving parts,” he said.
“By establishing WildBear International, we are providing another route for both funding and finding international viewers for our content and see this development in a similar light to adding a new distribution partner to our roster.
“This is an exciting time for WildBear as it continues to grow its output, reputation, and international footprint, but our focus will always remain on having the best possible distribution partner for each title we produce.”
Earlier this year, WildBear Entertainment appointed former BBC and Nat Geo filmmaker Dr Chadden Hunter as an executive producer, and also announced the establishment of the WildBear Aotearoa office in New Zealand.