OTF sees broadcasters line up YouTube hit following Vatican blessing | Deals | News | Rapid TV News
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Global non-fiction content company Off The Fence (OTF) has announced its first global deals for feature-length premium documentary The Letter: A Message For Our Earth produced by the Academy Award-winning creative team behind My Octopus Teacher.
PBS NRK The Letter 24Nov2022
The film is inspired by the encyclical, letter, from Pope Francis in which he calls for the people of the world to take “swift and unified global action” against global warming. With extraordinary access to the Holy Father — who is credited with doing more to fight the climate emergency than any other leader on the planet — the cinematic 90-minute film tells the stories of people from around the globe whose everyday lives have already been profoundly impacted by global warming.

The documentary premiered on YouTube in early October 2022 with a premiere event and screening which also took place at the Vatican the same day and has since had over 8 million views. The attendees at the Vatican included an audience of ambassadors, leading figures in the climate debate and civil society, and representatives of the four main contributors to the film: Arouna Kande from Senegal; Chief Dadá from the Brazilian Amazon; US conservationists Greg Asner and Robin Martin and thirteen-year-old climate activist Ridhima Pandey. On a grassroots level, thousands of private screenings are now taking place across six continents over the coming months.

Produced in full collaboration with the Laudato Si’ Movement and the Vatican, The Letter is written and directed by Nicolas Brown (H2O: The Molecule That Made Us; The Sergengti Rules; Human Planet), produced by Ellen Windemuth (My Octopus Teacher) and executive produced by Off The Fence’s CEO Bo Stehmeier.

PBS has agreed terms on a partnership that includes a multi rights deal that will see The Letter broadcast later this year across the public broadcaster’s 350-plus member channels in the US. Norwegian broadcaster NRK has also acquired the film.

“We’re proud to partner with OTF to bring this intimate and compelling view of our Earth to PBS,” said Bill Gardner, vice president, multiplatform programming and head of development for PBS. “In a truly gripping and enlightening journey like no other, our audiences will experience the Pope’s urgent call to action to all citizens of the planet and view climate change through the lens of the humans and wildlife most impacted.”

Added Stefanie Fischer, managing director of sales at OTF: “It’s clear how important the message is behind this film and the appetite out there for inclusive and coherent voices on this the biggest issue of our time. We wanted it to reach as many people as possible so we couldn't think of better partners such as PBS and NRK together with YouTube, to reach the widest audience possible. The Letter is a powerful reminder of our responsibility as human beings, regardless of race, creed or colour, to come together in solidarity for the greater good of one another and the preservation of our planet.”

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