EXCLUSIVE– Gallic telco giant Orange’s production arm, Studio 37 is diving deeper into 3D content with two high-profile stereotropic wildlife docus, Guillaume Vincent’s “Land of the Bears” and “Hurricane” from Andy Byatt (“Blue Planet”) and Cyril Barbancon.
“Bears” will chronicle the pilgrimage of a mother bear and her two cubs, for two years in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, a region boasting an abundant wildlife and the largest population of brown bears.
Script is co-written by Vincent and Yves Paccalet, a well-known French ecologist who served as scriptwriter for Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Vincent previously helmed “The Monkey Who Crossed the Sea,” which nabbed the Brussels’ European Nature Film Festival prize and was acquired by the BBC to be part of the Planet Earth.
“Bears” key tech crew boasts Rene Heuzey, who shot the underwater images for Gallic box office docu hit “Oceans.”
The documentary feature is produced by Les Films en Vrac and co-produced by Studio 37.
Doc is budgeted at e6 million ($8.4 million) .
” ‘Land of the Bears’ is a wildlife film shot like a drama, aimed at a wide audience in the same vein as ‘March of the Penguins,’ ” said Frederique Dumas, topper of Studio 37, adding the film will start shooting in November for a July 2013 delivery.
“Hurricane” is a $17 million docudrama depicting a hypothetical hurricane, named Harvey, as it sweeps from the Ethiopian Highlands across the West African Sahel and Cape Verde Islands. The documentary film is produced by Saint Thomas Prods. and will be distributed in France by Paramount.
“Hurricane” co-helmer Byatt, who spent 18 years at the BBC’s Natural History unit, directed a flurry of popular programs, notably docu-series “Blue Planet,” and Emmy-winning docs “Deep Blue” and “Planet Earth.”
Dumas pointed out the directors have been collaborating with scientists and researchers from the NASA and the National Hurricane Center.
“The journey of the ‘Hurricane’ is for me like a kind of pilgrimage,” said co-helmer Barbancon.
Kinology handles sales on both docus.
At Cannes, Studio 37 announced it was on board to co-produce and co-finance Alexandre Aja’s $120 million “Cobra” and Pierre Morel-produced actioner, “Overdrive.”
The company’s slate also includes Cannes competition titles “The Artist,” and “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai,” plus Juan Solanas’ “Upside Down,” which is in post-production.
Studio 37 also has 3D-animated thriller “Prodigies.” The young adult-skewed toon bowed as a special screening in Cannes on Thursday and garnered positive reviews.