INDEPENDENT NEWS

NHNZ to Pitch the Incredible Evenkia at Mipcom

Published: Wed 12 Oct 2005 06:27 PM
October 12 2005
NHNZ to Pitch the Incredible Evenkia at Mipcom
NHNZ and acclaimed Hungarian filmmaker Zoltan Török are taking the story of Siberia’s last reindeer nomads to Mipcom in 2005.
Already years in the planning, this incredible HD film will take audiences into the heart of one of the world’s most remote and least known regions with a story of a unique and ancient people whose lives are tightly interwoven with nature.
An 800,000 square kilometre region of Russia’s central Siberia, Evenkia is protected by its isolation and harsh climate. Although inhabited by only 20,000 people, the region is home to 67 distinct ethnic groups.
The Evenk community make up around 20 percent of Evenkia’s population and only a few families still follow the traditional nomadic lifestyle. Török’s film, Evenkia – The Cold Heart of Asia, is the story of one family as they escort their reindeer herd north towards summer grounds.
There are many potential dangers for the nomads in the taiga, or conifer forest, and mountain passes, including the abundance of wild lynx, wolverine, brown bears and Arctic wolf who inhabit the region.
Hunted almost to extinction during the communist era, Siberia’s wolf population has mushroomed over recent years and are now an ever-present danger to the Evenk nomads, especially at the many river crossings.
The route through the mountains is also home to the brown bear. Despite the danger bears pose to the nomads, they are a sacred totem animal for the Evenk people. The nomads love for the bear means they are even granted the same funeral rites, including burial on a tree platform.
At summer’s end many of herd have mingled with the 800,000 wild reindeer that inhabit Evenkia. To retrieve their own animals, the nomads must don reindeer skins and separate their domestic livestock from the wild herd.
NHNZ’s Director of Production Neil Harraway describes Török as “a filmmaker of extraordinary vision and tenacity”.
“To make a film like this, in such a remote and difficult environment requires not only technical and artistic skill, but talents as a negotiator and an adventurer. He knows exactly what he wants and how best to achieve that, and has assembled a small, talented team around him who have experience working in Russia and the Arctic.
“This film has been Zoltan’s passion for many years and his tenacity, patience and unfailing enthusiasm will be apparent to all who see his work.”
Zoltan Török will be with the NHNZ delegation at Mipcom in 2005 to discuss Evenkia – The Cold Heart of Asia with potential co-producers.
NHNZ is one of the world’s leading producers of factual programming embracing the genres of nature, health, science, adventure, and people. With over 70 programmes currently in production, its crews work in locations around the world to produce a diversity of films for international broadcasters including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Health, National Geographic Channel, France 5, Canal +, NHK, ZDF, WDR and NDR. Based in Dunedin, New Zealand, the company is wholly owned by Fox Television Studios.
ENDS

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