All3Media Buys ‘Our Planet’ Natural History Producer Silverback Films

Manori Ravindran
·3-min read

Production and distribution powerhouse All3Media has acquired leading natural history producer Silverback Films.

Founded in 2012 by Alastair Fothergill (pictured, left) and Keith Scholey (right), Silverback Films is the U.K.’s top natural history producer outside of the BBC Natural History Unit, and creates wildlife content for film and TV. Recent credits include the documentary “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet”, which had a worldwide theatrical release at the end of September before launching on Netflix.

The deal is a tremendous coup for All3Media, which has been on the market for more production acquisitions in the last two years. The company’s portfolio spans 28 companies around the world, with key titles including “Fleabag,” “Call the Midwife” and “Liar.” While All3Media has a number of reputable unscripted production outfits in its wheelhouse, the acquisition of Silverback puts it firmly in the natural history space as a major contender going forward.

Netflix chose Silverback to produce its first landmark natural history series, “Our Planet,” a four-year collaboration with WWF (The Worldwide Fund for Nature). The Emmy-award winning series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, is Netflix’s globally most watched original docuseries of 2019, and 45 million homes tuned in during the first four weeks, according to the streamer.

Elsewhere, Silverback Films’ wildlife documentaries for the BBC include seven-part series “The Hunt,” which revealed the remarkable strategies use by hunters to catch their prey. The team has also produced 11 out of 16 Disneynature films released on streaming platform Disney Plus, including “Bears,” “Monkey Kingdom,” “Penguins” and “Dolphin Reef.”

“Elephant,” narrated by Meghan Markle, was released this year.

Forthcoming projects include “A Perfect Planet,” a blue chip natural history and earth science series that explains how our living planet operates. The five-part landmark series for BBC One and Discovery will launch in 2021.

Jane Turton, CEO of All3Media, said: “The talent is world class and Silverback is at the very top of its game at a time when the relevance of landmark natural history programming has never been greater. Silverback’s films are stunning – showing us the diversity of the natural world and through their fantastic storytelling and ingenious mastery of technique and technology, they capture breathtaking moments on camera and take us to places we have never seen before and continue to teach us about the world’s natural environments, and how vital it is to preserve them.”

Alastair Fothergill, joint founder and CEO of Silverback Films, added: “We have found a partner that shares our creative ambition to make the highest quality programming. Key to this is our shared focus on attracting and retaining the best talent long into the future. We are very excited by all the new opportunities now open to Silverback within the All3Media family and Keith and I are looking forward to leading the company through the next chapter of its development.”

Silverback was advised by Tom Manwaring of Helion Partners on the transaction.

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