Female filmmakers and animals will reign in “Queens,” an upcoming National Geographic global series about matriarchal societies in the animal world. The team behind the series is led by women, with Wildstar Films on production duty and Vanessa Berlowitz exec producing.
“We’re accustomed to a narrative where the male animal voice often outshines that of the mis-perceived ‘gentler’ sex,” Berlowitz said. “In ‘Queens,’ females drive the story. The most accomplished women in the industry get behind the camera to turn things on their heads, revealing surprising insights into how females rise to power, often relying on cooperation and wisdom over brute strength to get ahead.”
The series will follow a sisterhood of a particular animal in each of its six episodes. The producers said the show would reveal unique feminine behaviors in six distinct animal communities: hyenas, elephants, ring-tailed lemurs, insects, primates and killer whales.
Cinematographers on the series include Sophie Darlington (“Our Planet”), Justine Evans (“Planet Earth”), Sue Gibson (“Big Cats”) and Gail Jenkinson (“Blue Planet II”).
“This series is full of possibilities and will offer a contemporary perspective on nature with the ambition to build industry legacy through diversity, collaboration and inclusiveness,” Darlington said. “It’s so exciting to create a project with such a talented team. We share a strong commitment to the environment and believe that engaging women is key to saving the planet.”
Filming on “Queens” is now underway. The crews will spend 300 immersive days filming each of the six episodes. The series will drop on Nat Geo in the U.S. and around the world.
Janet Han Vissering, Nat Geo’s SVP of development and production, said the show would challenge a historical bias in wildlife storytelling. “The assembly of first-ever women-led production team will bring a new perspective to telling these intimate narratives,” she said. “Scientifically, women tend to score higher for emotional and social intelligence, so there’s an advantage in their ability to better read relationships to underscore the nuances of how female-bonded societies operate.”