THIS IS THE LAST PLACE ON EARTH WHERE WOLVES CAN BE WOLVES
NAT GEO WILD OFFERS RARE LOOK AT WOLVES AS WE'VE NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE IN "KINGDOM OF THE WHITE WOLF" PREMIERING AUGUST 25, FROM 8-11PM ET
Three-Part Special Event Follows National Geographic Photographer Ronan Donovan's Emotional Journey Through the Desolate Arctic
To Become Accepted by a White Wolfpack
(Los Angeles - July 23, 2019) - Steeped in legend, myth and fear, wolves have been misunderstood from the age of fairy tales. Often hunted or painted as the 'Big Bad' maligned creature of nightmares, they remain mysterious and elusive. Today, most wolves have grown skittish and wary of humans - apart from the Arctic wolves located so far north, which have escaped human interaction.
In KINGDOM OF THE WHITE WOLF, premiering August 25 from 8-11 PM ET, National Geographic WILD offers an unprecedented window into the lives of wolves behaving within their true nature: powerful, playful and closely bonded. Untouched within the remote Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Ellesmere Island, the white wolves freely hunt, howl and raise their matriarchal-led families as they have since the Ice Age - unaware, unfettered and unafraid of any danger posed by humans.
Revealed through the lens of National Geographic Explorer Ronan Donovan, the three-part special event takes audiences along on the field biologist-turned-photographer's sweeping journey to find a wolfpack that allows him to quietly observe its everyday behavior in hopes of sharing the true story of the wolf with the wider world.
"The Arctic landscape, the terrain, everything about Ellesmere Island is the perfect chance to portray wolves in the way you can't in any of the other part of the world," says Donovan. "Up there, wolves don't know to fear humans, so it allows for this unparalleled window into their lives. Climate change will alter the Arctic in ways we haven't yet fully comprehended, so I feel an urgency to document this place through a family of wild wolves before it's changed forever. I'm deeply privileged to bear witness to that - to see these powerful, playful and mysterious creatures living untouched and unafraid - and I feel it's my duty to share this story."
After multiple weeks of searching in vain, Donovan finds himself suddenly nose to nose with a 10-member pack. It's a rare opportunity to become accepted, but the wolves inspect and playfully feel out Donovan as he self-films the extraordinary raw interaction.
"It was a truly exhilarating moment when this pack of wild wolves surrounded me," says Donovan. "But they looked upon me not with aggression or fear, but pure curiosity. They saw me as this third type of animals on the landscape - not a threat and not food. It was as close to being treated as an equal as I've ever felt in the presence of a wild animal."
With the matriarch and wider pack's blessing, Donovan is accepted by the pack and spends his remaining four weeks with the pack observing its extraordinary hunts and daily fight for survival as well as its playful romps and deep family connections. Perpetually on the brink of life-threatening events, the wolves are caught between the challenge of hunting musk oxen - spanning up to 10 times the wolves' size - and the harsh winters of the Arctic, which grow ever more perilous due to climate change.
In this world, where no day is the same and every day could be their last, family is everything. When the matriarch of the pack mysteriously disappears, the reverberations and mournful howls can be felt across the frozen tundra. After members of the pack search for her and return empty handed (with a bloody snout), viewers are left to ponder how the pack will adapt to the disappearance of its fearless leader.
Blending classic blue-chip wildlife filmmaking with immersive and breathless reality, KINGDOM OF THE WHITE WOLF offers viewers a completely unique and moving portrait of the loving, lively and family-oriented white wolf. Emmy-nominated composer Paul Brill ("The First 48," "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work") complements the story with his original score, and filmmakers Tony Gerber (CNN Films' "We Will Rise," "Explorer: Battle for the Virunga") and Lynn Nottage ("Sweat," "Mmilba") help strike a cinematic, lyrical and emotional tone.
"We are thrilled to unveil a more complete picture of these mysterious animals than anyone has ever seen before," says Janet Han Vissering, Senior Vice President of Development and Production for Nat Geo WILD. "In watching Ronan's footage of the pack, you can't help but fall in love with these extraordinarily multi-dimensional creatures. We fully expect our audience to come away from KINGDOM OF THE WHITE WOLF having been inspired, struck and moved by a completely new understanding of wolves."
Market Road Films produces KINDGOM OF THE WHITE WOLF for Nat Geo WILD. Tony Gerber and Lynn Nottage are executive producers for Market Road Films. Pam Caragol is executive producer for Nat Geo WILD.
In addition to this three-part Nat Geo WILD special, the September 2019 issue of National Geographic magazine will also highlight Donovan's unique encounters with the Arctic wolves. The issue will take a special, in-depth look at the state of the Arctic and include a feature that takes a close look at a large population of Arctic wolves as scientists are beginning to uncover behaviors. Donovan's photographs, accompanying a piece written by National Geographic writer Neil Shea, will convey how the latest insights and behaviors are drastically different from those of the southern gray wolf.
About Market Road Films
Market Road Films is a New York-based, independent production company founded in 2003 by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage and Emmy Award-winning film director Tony Gerber. The company's mission is to bring evocative storytelling to unusual and otherwise untold stories. We work in both fiction and non-fiction. From characters as riveting as bush pilot flying aid into war-torn regions of Congo, to locations as arresting as the US Army's urban war simulation in the California desert, recent work includes film for National Geographic and the award-winning feature Full Battle Rattle. We are a full-service production company. In addition to our character-driven, long-form work, we have created music videos, commercials, museum installations and projections for downtown and Broadway theatre.
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between the National Geographic Society and Disney, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers ... and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.