WildBear Entertainment has entered into a production partnership with British documentary company Dogwoof to develop, finance and co-produce a slate of five projects.
The couple previously collaborated on the documentary selected by Sally Aitken at Sundance Playing with Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Storywhich was created and executive produced by Bettina Dalton of WildBear and produced by Dogwoof CEO Anna Godas and Head of Acquisitions Oli Harbottle, alongside Alan Erson of Wildbear and Paul Wiegard of Madman Entertainment.
Other notable titles to come under the London-based theatrical production, sales and distribution entity include Free Solo, Apollo 11, Collective, The act of killingand Black fish.
Dalton told SI she was “so impressed” with Dogwoof’s sales strategy and execution on Play with sharkswhose worldwide rights were acquired by National Geographic Documentary Films, leaving him feeling that the two companies had more to offer each other.
“The partnership seemed like an organic evolution rather than lightning in a bottle,” she said.
“With Dogwoof moving into production and WildBear looking to move forward in the streaming space, our skill sets seem to complement each other. Building on the success of Play with sharkswe started the conversation on an early development list and that conversation pretty quickly morphed into a discussion about deeper engagement.
The production of the first title of the partnership is already well advanced, with the filming of the first stage The fastest thing on the wings having been completed in Los Angeles.
Centered around the characters involved in the rehabilitation of hummingbirds in the American city, the film continues WildBear’s creative relationship with Aitken, who will once again direct.
Australians Dan Freene and Nathan Barlow are also on board as DOPs for the project, which the company hopes to release in 2023.
Dalton said the documentary reflected WildBear’s “desire to connect with the natural world” in its subject matter of a “magical bird that seems to capture the imagination of Angelenos and beyond”.
“It’s a bird that literally brings people to their knees when they find they need rescue anywhere in Los Angeles,” she said.
While details of the other projects have yet to be revealed, Dalton said further announcements would be made soon, adding that WildBear’s key goal in forming the partnership was to “fully integrate” its films on the international streaming market and to work with Australian creators to make world-class content.
“Working with Dogwoof early on makes strategic sense for us,” she said.
In an interview with DeadlineGodas said working with WildBear was a “natural fit” for the company.
“This is an opportunity that we see where we can seek to fund these projects independently where possible by evaluating different models where we can minimize risk and we can be enterprising and develop a real business partnership,” he said. she declared.