The world’s leading independent producer of landmark natural history series, Bristol based Silverback Films, has been bought by All3Media, the London-based international television, film and digital production and distribution group.
Founded in 2012 by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, Silverback Films brings together a top-class team of filmmakers to create the highest quality wildlife content for both television and cinema, including the recently released documentary David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, which had a worldwide theatrical release at the end of September, becoming the widest-ever documentary release in British cinema history, before launching globally on Netflix.
Jane Turton, CEO of All3Media, said: “I am delighted that Silverback is joining All3Media and we are looking forward to working with Alastair, Keith and the team. 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.”
All3Media is owned jointly between Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.
Alastair Fothergill, joint founder and CEO of Silverback Films, said: “All of us at Silverback Films are delighted to be joining All3Media. 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 has an unparalleled reputation with broadcasters and platforms around the world. Netflix chose the company 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 docu-series of 2019 and its only natural history series to be included in its global top 10 most watched – 45 million homes tuned in during the first four weeks. The series was supported by Halo, a wide range of short films and mini-series – viewed over 100 million times – as well as by interactive apps and VR. The associated education pack was downloaded by 60,000 teachers.
Silverback Films’ ground-breaking wildlife documentaries for the BBC include 7-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+, including Bears, Monkey Kingdom, Penguins and Dolphin Reef. Elephant, narrated by The Duchess of Sussex, was released this year.
Forthcoming Silverback projects include A Perfect Planet, a unique fusion of blue chip natural history and earth science which explains how our living planet operates. This five-part landmark series for BBC1 and Discovery will be premiered in 2021 and will show how the forces of nature – volcanoes, sunlight, weather and oceans – drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of life. The final episode looks at the dramatic impact of the world’s newest force of nature: humans, and what can be done to restore our planet’s perfect balance.
Silverback was advised by Tom Manwaring, of Helion Partners, on the transaction.