Murdoch’s BSkyB greenlights ‘Pandas 3D’

Oxford Scientific Films co-produces with Chinese partners


Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. paybox BSkyB has green-lit another 3D natural history film.

The latest film, a co-pro with the Chinese, focuses on endangered pandas living in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China.

“Pandas 3D” is believed to be the first time that giant pandas have been filmed in 3D.

Show is being made by U.K. shingle Oxford Scientific Films in cahoots with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, and the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

Oxford Scientific Films is a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning producer, whose docus have been shown by Discovery Channel U.S., the BBC, Animal Planet and National Geographic, among others. “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, director of 3D.

Caroline Hawkins, creative director at Oxford Scientific Films, said: “It is a privilege to have this opportunity. 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.”

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

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