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‘River Monsters’ Producer, Brad Bestelink Making 8K Doc ‘Okavango’ for NHK (EXCLUSIVE)

Africa’s Okavango Delta will be seen in 8K after NHK greenlit a feature documentary on the African wildlife oasis.

“Okavango” will be made by Icon Films, the U.K.-based shingle behind Animal Planet hit series “River Monsters,” alongside veteran natural history filmmaker Brad Bestelink’s Botswana-based Natural History Film Unit.

Natural history filmmakers are among the first to experiment with, and embrace, the possibilities offered by 8K . Japanese pubcaster NHK has also been a keen advocate of the emerging ultra high definition format.

The “Okavango” team will film a seasonal cycle on the delta, using aerial and underwater photography. The final film will be told through the eyes of indigenous river people of the Okavango over 14 months.

“Revealing the epic beauty of both the people and animals of the Okavango is a great subject to be shooting in 8K,” Bestelink said. “It’s a time to see it in its full aesthetic glory.”

The producers are setting out to capture the drama of the flood and the impact on wildlife of the sudden creation of more than 150,000 islands threaded with countless waterways. The film will follow the effect on the herds of water antelope, marsh lions, elephants and other animals as they reach the floodwaters.

Brad Bestelink’s extraordinary talent and craftsmanship allows him to reveal and share this magical water world as never before,” said Icon Films’ CEO Laura Marshall.

NHK has previously acquired content from Icon-NHFU, but “Okavango” is its first commission from the partners. The broadcaster’s Masa Hayakawa greenlit the film.

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