Discovery Channel has scooped up U.S and international rights of HUNTWATCH it was announced today by John Hoffman, EVP Documentaries and Specials, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel. The film will air on September 22 as part of the Discovery Impact banner, immediately following a limited theatrical release by Discovery and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), and will debut worldwide later this year. Lionsgate will also distribute the film on home entertainment worldwide.
HUNTWATCH recounts the compelling chronology of the fight to end the commercial seal hunt in Atlantic Canada. Produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and narrated by Ryan Reynolds, HUNTWATCH highlights the tumultuous history that is the East Coast Canadian commercial seal hunt. Forty plus years of ongoing activism, that included filming the hunt with an unblinking eye, brought images of the bloody ice floes to people’s television sets and into their homes around the world. Garnering international headlines and sparking what some believe to be the start of the modern animal welfare movement, the hunt was almost brought to an end in the eighties. But trends in the fishing industry in many parts of the world, and the current demands for fur in the Far East have unfortunately reignited the battle.
“Like most people, I thought the horrendous practice of clubbing baby seals for fur ended a long time ago,” explains Hoffman. “By documenting these inhumane acts IFAW has created a valuable visual weapon to expose them. Discovery’s goal is to sound the alarm worldwide that this is still happening and ignite change.”
“We are delighted that Discovery is bringing Huntwatch to the world,” said IFAW President and CEO, Azzedine Downes. “Discovery’s commitment and courage to present the film is inspiring and we hope that the massive global Discovery audience will join us to help relegate the commercial seal hunt to where it belongs—in history books. We couldn’t have a better partner for our film.”
HUNTWATCH premieres as part of DISCOVERY IMPACT, a series of trailblazing documentaries focusing on humankind’s impact on the environment and our wildlife and what individuals and communities can do to solve global problems. HUNTWATCH premieres Thursday, September 22 exclusively on Discovery Channel.