EARTH / UNSERE ERDE
Documentary | Germany / UK | 2007 | 98 min.
by Alastair Fothergill & MARK LINFIELD
Alastair Fothergill was educated at the Universities of St Andrew’s and Durham. He joined the BBC Natural History Unit (NHU) in 1983. He has worked on a wide range of the department’s programmes, including the BAFTA award-winning The Really Wild Show, Wildlife on One and the innovative Reefwatch, where he was one of the team that developed live broadcasting from beneath the sea.
Fothergill went on to work on the BBC ONE series, The Trials of Life, with David Attenborough. In 1993 he directed Life in the Freezer, a six part series for BBC ONE celebrating the wildlife of the Antarctic. While still working on the series he was appointed Head of the NHU in November 1992. In June 1998, Alastair stepped down from his role as Head of the NHU to concentrate on directing Deep Blue, the ground-breaking feature-length film on the Earth’s oceans, which achieved both critical, and box office, success for its outstanding cinematography. Deep Blue went on to rejuvenate worldwide interest in the documentary film genre.
Mark Linfield started his career in 1990 working on a BBC documentary in West Africa. After several years he joined Green Umbrella Ltd, where he produced and directed many award- winning films including The Triumph of Life, The Battles of Braveheart, Orangutans: The High Society, and The Temple Troop. In 2000 Mark returned to the BBC full time to produce and direct on the BAFTA nominated Life of Mammals with Sir David Attenborough. In the last four years Mark has produced the award winning Capuchins:The Monkey Puzzle and two episodes of Planet Earth, including the opening show Pole to Pole.
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How well do we know planet Earth? Using the most advanced film-making methods ever developed, earth takes us on a tour of our home as we’ve never seen it before. Five billion years ago, a massive asteroid crashed into the young Earth.The impact was so great that it tilted the entire planet at an angle of twenty-three and a half degrees. But far from being a catastrophe, this cosmic accident was crucial to creating life and the world as we know it today. Without the Earth’s tilt, we wouldn’t have such a spectacular variety of landscapes, or such extremes of hot and cold. We wouldn’t have the changing seasons. And most importantly, we wouldn’t have the perfect conditions for life. Using the Sun as a guide, we set out on a truly global journey. On the way, we meet three mothers struggling to bring up their young. In the Arctic, a polar bear family awakens to the first sunlight of spring. Will they find food before the ice on which they live melts?
Half a world away, in the heat of the Kalahari, an elephant mother and her calf find water after a danger-filled treck across the desert. But they must share the pool with a pride of lions. Still their uneasy truce last? For the final leg of the journey, we follow a humpback whale mother. She must keep her calf safe on their 6,000 km migration from the equator to Antarctica. And so life on Earth goes on. A story played out billions of times a day, 365 days a year, as the Earth moves through the seasons, every living creature bending to the power of the Sun. No film has ever captured the epic scope of the drama of an entire planet, yet told it with heart-breaking and heart-warming intimacy of real animal characters. Until now...
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Directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield
Cinematography Doug Allan ... (as Doug Allen), Doug Anderson, Paul Atkins, Barrie Britton, Richard Brooks Burton, Rod Clarke, Martyn Colbeck, Justine Evans, Wade Fairley, Ted Giffords, Mike Holding, Michael Kelem, Simon King, Justin Maguire, Toshihiro Muta, Didier Noirot, Andrew Penniket, Adam Ravetch, Rick Rosenthal, Peter Scoones, Andrew Shillabeer, Warwick Sloss, Paul Stewart, Gavin Thurston, Nick Turner, John Waters
Editor Martin Elsbury
Music George Fenton
Narrated by Patrick Stewart
Produced by BBC WORLDWIDE (UK) and GREENLIGHT MEDIA (GERMANY)
A Film by BBC NATURAL HISTORY UNIT
Supported by the FEDERAL FILM BOARD (FFA) of Germany
International sales Greenlight Media
Producers Alix Tidmarsh, Sophokles Tasioulis
Executive Producers Stefan Beiten, Martyn Freeman, Wayne Garvie, Don Hahn, Mike Phillips, André Sikojev, Nikolaus Weil
Associate Producers Amanda Hill, Michael Henrichs, Connie Nartonis Thompson, Melissa Caron
With a worldwide box office of 120 million USD, EARTH is one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time.
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selected festivals to follow