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SSA Public Relations NEWS RELEASE



Arlington, VA (15 September 2010) – PBS Distribution announced today the acquisition of home video and educational distribution rights to the remarkable Emmy Award-winning Nature series, seen weekly on public television. The series’ 29th season, which continues to connect viewers to the ever-evolving natural world, will debut on PBS stations nationwide on Sunday, September 26. The first film of the season, Cuba: The Accidental Eden, is set to street on November 9, followed by Echo: An Elephant to Remember, set for debut on December 7. Additional Fall titles from the series will be released later in 2010 and early 2011.

“PBS Distribution is so excited to be able to offer our customers the breathtakingly beautiful and informative Nature programs on DVD and Blu-ray,” said Kathy Gilbert, Director of Sales, Wholesale. “These new Nature titles will be a great complement to our other public television products from award-winning series like NOVA, Masterpiece, American Experience, and FRONTLINE.”

In Season 29, Nature remembers the remarkable life and living legacy of Echo, the world’s most famous elephant; follows one’s man’s dangerous mission to save the Mesopotamian Marshes; and examines the landmark Born Free story, half a century later, which transformed the way we consider wildlife.

The new Nature season will include the following sixteen episodes:

Cuba: The Accidental Eden -- Cuba’s economic struggles and decades of U.S. embargo may have miraculously preserved the island’s ecosystems. In recent years, Cuba’s flourishing wildlands, consisting of tropical forests, wetlands, and desert coasts, has attracted a steady growth of tourism. Now faced with the possible end to the U.S. travel ban, Cuba’s forgotten paradise hangs in fragile balance as scientists race to protect its unique and colorful wildlife.

Echo: An Elephant to Remember tells the story of the world-famous elephant matriarch who died of natural causes last fall. Echo and her herd have been studied by researchers for the past 30 years led by expert Cynthia Moss. The film looks back at Echo’s extraordinary life and the fascinating new chapter that’s unfolding for her family now that she’s gone.

Bears of the Last Frontier -- The film follows adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan on a motorcycle odyssey deep into the wilds of Alaska to bring viewers an intimate understanding of what it means to be a bear. From the grizzlies of Katmai to the big city black bears of Anchorage to the polar bears of the high Arctic, this is a one-of–a-kind journey through their world.

The Born Free Story [working title] -- 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of Joy Adamson’s milestone book Born Free that was turned into a seminal movie, which won two Academy Awards. The dramatic story of the Adamsons’ rescue of three lion cubs and their attachment to Elsa, whom they released back into the wild, was the first filmic exploration of animals as individuals. Nature will examine the story, revisit the people featured in the film, and discuss the importance and dangers of viewing animals through a human lens as well as the shifting attitudes about conservation.

A Murder of Crows -- Crows do not have the best of reputations. They are generally dismissed as spooky. But their image is about to take a real turn. New research has shown they are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools and recognize each other’s voices and 250 distinct calls. And they are able to recognize individual humans and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later. Crow experts present captivating footage of the species as we have never seen them before.

Braving Iraq -- In the early 1990’s, Saddam Hussein destroyed the Mesopotamian Marshes when its inhabitants rebelled against him. Once the richest wildlife habitat in the Middle East, this beautiful “Garden of Eden” was reduced to mile after mile of scorched earth, and was thought to have been destroyed forever. But one man is making an extraordinary effort to restore both animals and people to the scene of one of the greatest ecocides of the Twentieth Century.

Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom -- Legend paints the wolverine as a solitary, blood-thirsty killer that roams the icy heart of the frozen north, killing prey as large as moose with their bone-crushing jaws. But there is another image of the wolverine that is just beginning to emerge, one that is far more complex than its reputation suggests. The program will take viewers into the secretive world of the largest and least known member of the weasel family to reveal who this dynamic little devil truly is.

Revealing the Leopard -- Leopards are the ultimate cat. They are the most flexible of cats, the most intelligent, the most dangerous, and, until recently, one of the least understood. They hunt from South Africa to Siberia, from Arabia to Sri Lanka, and are the most widespread predator of their size on land. Leopards are the beautiful killers that live in the shadows. This film will add up the evidence and put together a psychological profile of this extraordinarily cunning cat.

Broken Tail’s Last Journey [working title] -- Broken Tail was the most charismatic tiger cub ever seen in Ranthambore, one of India’s best protected tiger reserves. But suddenly and without warning, Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and was ultimately killed by a train nearly 200 miles from his home. Irish cameraman, Colin Stafford-Johnson and his soundman, Salim, spent almost 600 days retracing the tiger’s last days – and through his story reveal the fate of the few surviving tigers in India.

Birds of Paradise [working title] -- Living in the depths of the New Guinean Rainforest are birds of unimaginable color and beauty. When Europeans first saw these creatures in the sixteenth century, they believed they must be from heaven and called them Birds of Paradise. But to find them in New Guinea is the holy grail of wildlife filmmakers. David Attenborough introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists on a grueling expedition to find and film these extraordinary birds.

Nature has won nearly 600 honors from the television industry, international wildlife film communities, and environmental organizations – including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys, and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. Most recently, the series won a Peabody Award for Silence of the Bees and received an Emmy nomination for Victoria Falls.

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG for PBS. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer. William Grant is Executive-in-Charge. Major corporate support for Nature is provided by Canon U.S.A., Inc. Additional support is provided by the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust and by the nation’s public television stations.

Nature Online (pbs.org/nature) is the award-winning web companion to the broadcast series and is spearheading Nature’s distribution to new media platforms. At Nature Online, visitors can stream full episodes of Nature programs, watch behind-the-scenes video exclusives with filmmakers and producers (also available at iTunes), view program excerpts (also available on YouTube), and find fun interactive content, teacher lesson plans, and more. Join Nature on Facebook (Facebook.com/PBSNature) and follow the series on Twitter (Twitter.com/PBSNature) to keep up with the latest videos, photos, program alerts and more.
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