WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2012)—National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV) announces the release of “Meerkats 3D,” the first in a series of films developed expressly for digital cinemas in museums worldwide. “Meerkats 3D,” which will roll out to theaters internationally this spring and summer, was developed through a partnership between National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) and SKY3D in the U.K. NGCV will distribute a 40-minute and a shorter version of “Meerkats 3D,” both adapted specifically for the cinema.
Meerkats are squirrel-sized members of the mongoose family, known for their upright posture. When perched on their hind legs, as they are famed for doing, they stand 10-12 inches tall, allowing them to keep watch for predators across the southern African plains where they live. Their strength lies in their unique solidarity, which comes in handy for both hunting and protection, and there are 30 distinct calls in meerkat “vocabulary.”
Narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Emily Watson, “Meerkats 3D” takes audiences on a journey with a family of meerkats as they cope with the twists and turns of life in the Kalahari Desert. The film begins as matriarch Klinky’s most recent litter emerges from the burrow for the first time. Klinky and her family, including elder children and regular babysitters Ms. Bean and Harry, must endure turf wars from rival families, attacks from vicious predators big and small and internal family turmoil. The survival of this clan hinges on the meerkat golden rule: Stick together, and keep calling.
“We are excited to bring another wonderful natural history story to life in 3D for digital theaters in museums all over the world,” said Lisa Truitt, president of NGCV. “This truly entertaining family film is the first of many we look forward to bringing to audiences in response to a growing demand for digital content in the institutional market.”
The film was produced by Oxford Scientific Films in association with Principal Large Format with the assistance of Cambridge University for NGCI. Andrew Graham-Brown and Anne Sommerfield directed, with Caroline Hawkins as producer. Robin Cox was the cinematographer, and Phil Streather and Ralston Humble were stereographers. Renoir Tuahene was the film’s editor.
“As the film shows so eloquently, the strength of the meerkat species lies in its selfless co-operation,” said Clare Birks, the film’s executive producer for Oxford Scientific Films. “The story of Klinky and her brood and their tenacity as a group is one that will not only delight audiences but might also remind them of their own families.”
About National Geographic Cinema Ventures
National Geographic Cinema Ventures is responsible for production and distribution of giant-screen, 3D and specialty films. Over the last decade, NGCV has produced or released a number of successful films, including Oscar-nominated documentaries “Restrepo” and “The Story of the Weeping Camel”; giant-screen award-winning films “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure,” “U2 3D,” “Mysteries of Egypt” and “Forces of Nature”; and feature-length films “The Last Lions” and “Life in a Day.” Lisa Truitt is president of NGCV; and Mark Katz is president of NGCV distribution. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/movies.
About National Geographic Channels International
National Geographic Channels International inspires viewers through its smart, innovative programming that questions what we know, how we view the world and what drives us forward. A business enterprise owned by National Geographic Ventures and FOX Entertainment Group, NGCI contributes to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education through its six channels: National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel HD, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo WILD HD, Nat Geo Adventure and Nat Geo Music.
Globally, National Geographic Channel (including NGC U.S., which is a joint venture of National Geographic Ventures and Fox Cable Networks Group) is available in more than 380 million homes in 163 countries and 37 languages. For more information, e visit www.natgeotv.com.
About Sky 3D
Sky launched Sky 3D, Europe’s first domestic 3D channel to millions of Sky homes on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, with an exciting line-up of movies, live sport and further shows spanning entertainment and the arts. All Sky+HD viewers with a 3D TV are able to receive Sky 3D as a no set-top box upgrade is required. At no extra charge, customers who subscribe to Sky’s top channel and HD pack can receive access to a wide range of 3D movies, entertainment and sports. Sky 3D is now available in more than 1,500 pubs and clubs across the U.K. and Ireland following the world’s first commercial launch in April 2010. Over a million sports fans have already marveled at a range of sports broadcast live in 3D since the channel’s launch. Sports covered to date include football, rugby union, cricket, rugby league and darts. Sky 3D is compatible with all of the 3D TVs being introduced by Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic and works with both “active” and “passive” 3D formats.
About Oxford Scientific Films
Oxford Scientific Films is a BAFTA- and Emmy-award-winning producer of contemporary factual, natural history, science and history. We are known for outstanding and innovative programmes that rate. We have a passion for storytelling and we are proud of the company’s heritage as a technological pioneer. Our producers have been responsible for a wide range of quality programming including the global hit series “Meerkat Manor” (Animal Planet), “Fatal Attractions” (Animal Planet), “Atom” (BBC), “Richard E Grant’s History of the Safari” (BBC), “Impaled!” (Discovery Channel US and Five), “Lockdown Oz Maximum Security” (National Geographic) and “Saving Africa’s Witch Children” (Channel 4).