Nature programs and premium dramas lead ORF-Enterprise spring slate

Titles like “Transylvania's Wild Side”; “Desert Phantoms - Surviving the Skeleton Coast”; “Days That Never Were” and "School of Champions" were showcased during MIPTV.

24 APR 2023

Armin Luttenberger

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ORF-Enterprise has presented its line-up of brand-new nature documentaries from the ORF UNIVERSUM Nature portfolio as well as acclaimed ORF Original drama series during MIPTV. “We are thrilled to present high-quality content that educates, entertains, and inspires audiences around the world.”, said Oliver Böhm, CEO of ORF-Enterprise.

The Austrian company featured wildlife documentaries from UNIVERSUM Nature, which has been recently celebrating its 35-year anniversary, looking back on a long history of state-of-the art wildlife filmography: “After 35 years of producing some of the world's most acclaimed nature documentaries, we at UNIVERSUM Nature remain as committed as ever to our mission of showcasing the wonders of the natural world. We believe that there will always be a place for high-quality nature programming that inspires and educates, especially in a period of time, where the conservation of our only habitat, planet earth, should become a number one priority”, comments Gernot Lercher. Head of Natural History UNIVERSUM at ORF.

Among the new documentaries, ORF-Enterprise presented is "Transylvania's Wild Side”, about Romania's wilderness which boasts untouched forests, abundant wolf packs, lynx, and brown bears amidst abandoned medieval villages. “Desert Phantoms - Surviving the Skeleton Coast”, depicts the journey of three orphaned desert lion cubs from their first steps in the desert to hunting along the mystical Skeleton Coast and is the most recent production of acclaimed filmmakers Will and Lianne Steenkamp.

"Secret India - The Real Jungle Book" follows the daily and seasonal struggles of India's charismatic animals, including tigers, wolves, elephants, and black panthers, that author Rudyard Kipling depicted in his work, bringing to life the truth beyond the fiction. “Untamed Vietnam - Wilderness Reborn” travels from Vietnam’s northern forests and mountains to the tropical Mekong Delta in search of the last endemic species, many threatened with extinction.

"Corridors of Life" documents the challenges that wild animals face as they navigate disrupted migration routes caused by human interference. An adventurous Indian filmmaker invites audiences in “Nicobar Islands - A Monkey's Long Tale” to explore the unique and fascinating row of twenty-four islands in the Indian Ocean that are mostly uninhabited by humans. “Green Island, Grey Desert” showcases the enchanting wildlife and raw beauty of the Burren, a limestone desert on Ireland’s west coast that is home to a harsh, rugged landscape unlike any other. Lastly, “Arlberg - A Wild Celebrity” focuses on a mountain that attracts the international jet set as a famous skiing destination, but the region's flora and fauna face new challenges as they adapt to rising temperatures as they work hard to survive and thrive in a changing landscape.

The ORF/ARD co-production “Days That Never Were” is a mini-series that tells the story of four women who have known each other since their elite school days, as their friendship is put to the test when a team of investigators shows up and examines an accident that suddenly turns into a murder case.

The new series highlight "School of Champions" will go on sale later this year. It depicts the struggles of ten young talents push themselves to their limit at an elite ski boarding school to realize their dream of reaching the top.

“ORF Originals – high-end fictional productions made in Austria – are one of the main pillars of our offer as a public broadcaster. The collaboration with our partners in Germany, Switzerland and other European countries is essential for us. Together we manage to produce state of the art movies and series with some of Europe’s best creative minds”, says Stefanie Groiss-Horowitz, Program Director at ORF.

“The past years have shown a tremendous shift: Whereas traditionally ORF-Enterprise has always been a known supplier of blue-chip factual content, recent success stories of ORF Original Drama in other language markets proves the audience’s love for German-language drama and encourages us to expand our catalog respectively”, adds Armin Luttenberger, Head of Content Sales International at ORF-Enterprise.


Histoire from France picked " Lost City of the Gladiators" and the two-parter "The Great Wall" as well as the history documentary "Victims of the Vikings". The French broadcaster KTO adds four titles, including "Christmas in Vienna" (2017) and "Sister Mary from Nairobi" to its program line-up. France's Ushuaia opted for the two documentaries “When the Water Rises” and “Tropics, Frost & Perpetual Ice”.

On other deals, TG4 (Ireland) will broadcast "Life on the Wing - Miracle of Bird Migration" and "Hudson River Wild". RAI (Italy) secured four documentaries, including "The Nero Files - Uncovering an Ancient Conspiracy" and "Augustus and Livia - Empire of Blood".

Discovery Italy will soon be showing the 19th and 20th seasons of "Soko Kitzbuehel", continuing its year-long cooperation with the finale of the hit series and TV Unam in Mexico presents its viewers with the "Universum History” documentary "The Builders of the Alhambra".

Atresmedia in Spain brings the 13th and 15th seasons of "Soko Kitzbuehel" and the fourth to seventh seasons of "Fast Forward" to the screens of its viewers. The Spanish RTVE secures ten ORF "Universum" nature productions in a package deal while Axess TV (Sweden) draws from the diversity of the content catalogue and licenses four productions. These include top-class cultural productions such as a recording of "Nabucco" from the St. Margarethen Open Air Opera and the two-parter "Continent of the Displaced - Europe after the War".