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M5 sells ‘Earth,’ ‘Volcanoes’

National Geographic, Discovery pick up pair

MADRID — National Geographic Intl. and Discovery Science USA have zeroed in on two HD docu miniseries from Gallic sales company M5 Europe Images Intl., part of France’s powerful Lagardere Ent.

National Geographic has acquired “Between Earth and Skies,” which comes in at four 52-minute segs, Produced by Lagardere subsid Angel Productions, Canal Plus and Planete, the Eric Gonzales directed “Earth” follows intrepid hot air balloonist Sebastian Lafont as he drops in on the few tribes in the world who still practice ancestral customs as part of their daily lives, rather than dredging them up in tourist parks.

Produced for the Canal Plus New Explorers strand, “Earth” portrays Lafont’s flying visits to the Dogon, Berbers, Venda and Himba.

Another travel and discovery skein, “On the Volcanoes of the World,” which also comes in at four 52-minute segs, is in final negotiations to sell to Discovery Science USA.

It tracks the veteran and, remarkably, still alive Guy de Saint Cyr, a geologist and volcano buff, as he leads unitiated parties up to belching pyramids in the Vanutu Islands, Ethiopia’s Erta Ale and Dalloc, Congo’s Nyiragongo and, perhaps most spectacular of all, Tanzania’s Ol Doingo Lengai, which spews lava.

M5 Europe Images will also be unveiling two news series, said Catherin Alvaresse, senior VP sales and co-productions: another four-part New Explorers series, “Open Skies,” produced by Angel, which records great hand-gliding locales worldwide; and wildlife and scientific skein, “Of Sharks and Men,” featuring four deep-dives and man’s devastation of the world’s shark population.

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