Discovery Channel has nabbed domestic and international rights to “Huntwatch,” a look at the fight to end commercial seal hunting in Canada. Ryan Reynolds of “Deadpool” fame provides the film’s narration.
Discovery is planning a limited theatrical run this fall and plans to premiere the movie on the channel on Sept. 22. Lionsgate will oversee the theatrical rollout and will distribute the film on home entertainment platforms. The time in theaters will allow the film to qualify for awards.
The film was produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and premiered last October at DOC NYC, a prominent non-fiction film festival. The film focuses on how activists tried to use the television medium to galvanize popular opinion against the killing of baby seals on ice floes by showing pictures of the practice. Initially, their efforts were successful and seal hunting was almost brought to an end in the ’80s. But changing trends in the fishing industry in many parts of the world, and the current demands for fur in Asia have made the practice of killing seals more common.
“Huntwatch” will premiere as part of Discovery Impact, a series of documentaries focusing on humankind’s impact on the environment and wildlife. The film is directed by Brant Backlund (“Exhuming Adams”) and produced by Kerry Branon, Richard Moos, Backlund and David Kennedy.