Murdoch's BSkyB Greenlights 'Pandas 3D'

Oxford Scientific Films co-produces with Chinese partners

LONDON – Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. paybox BSkyB has greenlit natural history film “Pandas 3D” about endangered pandas living in China’s Wolong National Nature Reserve.

Show is being made by the U.K.’s Oxford Scientific Films with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Assn. and the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

“Pandas 3D” will be helmed by Nicolas Brown and produced by Caroline Hawkins, whose credits respectively include the BBC’s “Human Planet,” and National Geographic and Sky 3D’s “Meerkats 3D.”

Access to the pandas was secured by Chinese producer Shuyun Sun, and the film was commissioned by John Cassy, channel director of Sky 3D.

Caroline Hawkins, creative director at Oxford Scientific Films, said: “The Giant Panda is one of the most adored species on the planet, but it is also one of the most misunderstood; with some suggesting that it is not worth saving from extinction.

“This film gives us the opportunity to show the advances the Chinese have made in understanding panda reproduction, and the great progress they are making towards restoring populations in the wild.

“The fact that we are able to get unrestricted access to pandas in China, and in 3D, makes this film an exciting first.”

BSkyB has been a 3D TV pioneer. Previous films include “Flying Monsters 3D,” “Kingdom of Plants 3D” and “The Bachelor King 3D,” all presented by the doyen of British natural history TV, David Attenborough.

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