Off The Fence has revealed a slate of premium factual co-productions and acquisitions, focusing on climate change, biodiversity, and the future of our planet.

Headlining the slate are two projects in collaboration with EarthxTV, the production arm of the non-profit environmental forum that seeks sustainable solutions to the most urgent environmental challenges.

The first, The Future From Above  is a four-parter, co-produced between OTF Studios, Sky, EarthxTV and Korean production company Borderless, with funding from Skylife TV and Korean content agency KOCCA. The series focuses on how the world could look in 2050 — the defining year for our planet’s future — if we embrace the revolutionary technology and thinking needed to transform every aspect of our lives, from how we communicate, harness energy and travel to how we live, eat and recycle our waste.

The second OTF/EarthxTV co-production is Ocean Mysteries, an eight-parter featuring Tom ‘The Blowfish’ Hird, whose recent television projects include Fishing Impossible for the BBC. In his new series the marine biologist, scuba diver and wildlife expert combines stunts and pop-science demos with natural history footage to look at a cast of ocean creatures.

Wild Hope is an eight-part acquisition, produced by the science-focused impact studio HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and Part2 Pictures in a co-production with Wild Elements. It profiles conservationists and scientists who are restoring and protecting our planet.

Another upbeat vision of the future is provided by The Endangered Generation (working title), which comes to OTF via a new producer relationship with Australia’s Sweetshop & Green. The new feature documentary, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Laura Dern (Jurassic Park), challenges the myth that our world is fundamentally driven by selfishness and competition. Instead, scientists, artists and First Nation leaders explore the  connections that bind us all to life, our world — and one another.

“When OTF started out, our focus on natural history and the environment was considered a bit eccentric — and certainly a bit niche. Now, nearly 20 years later, the world has caught up with us and demand for the genre is fast outstripping supply,” says Loren Baxter, OTF’s head of acquisitions. “These are powerful films that tackle the greatest threat to human survival, but in a way that encourages action rather than fear and despair.”

Off the Fence develops, finances, produces and co-produces programming across the non-fiction spectrum, was founded in 1994 by Ellen Windemuth. In 2019, it was acquired by ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of the German public broadcasters.

OTF focuses on three content pillars — Yesterday (history), Today (natural history, travel and adventure, lifestyle, crime and impact) and Tomorrow (science) — across three business models: OTF Originals, OTF Studios and OTF Fast.

Pippa Considine

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