Witness the Dramatic Survival Tactics of African Wildlife in Nature – Okavango: River of Dreams from Award-Winning Filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert
Cinematic, three-part look into species thriving in the life-sustaining African oasis premieres Wednesdays, October 23-November 6 on PBS
The Okavango River in Southern Africa is an unlikely oasis and lush paradise in the middle of a hostile desert that supports and feeds an incredible abundance of wildlife. Unlike most rivers that flow toward the shores of a nearby ocean, it instead runs inland through Botswana, creating a huge river delta before finally disappearing into the Kalahari Desert. An all-star cast of charismatic African wildlife lives and dies in the timeless drama of survival revealed in the three-part miniseries Nature – Okavango: River of Dreams, premiering nationwide Wednesdays, October 23-November 6 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app.
Filmed by Emmy and Peabody Award winners Dereck and Beverly Joubert (Nature: Soul of the Elephant), who have lived in the Okavango for 35 years, the blue-chip miniseries shares the tale of a unique ecosystem at its finest and most beautiful to its epic extremes, narrated by F. Murray Abraham.
Among the one-of-a-kind footage captured includes that of a lioness injured by a buffalo and left for dead by her pride. While recovering, she must find a way to care for her two young cubs on her own. In a surprising sequence, hyena and warthog families share neighboring dens, helping each other by keeping an eye on potentially threatening predators such as lions and leopards. And in the deadliest part of the river, a leopard mother must climb trees in order to hunt from above.
“The Okavango is a true natural wonder, a place we have called home for over 35 years because of its pristine beauty; where we found we could be excited and at ease at the same time,” said Dereck and Beverly Joubert. “The series tells the story of the river’s journey and all it touches. Framed as a natural version of Dante’s work, from paradise to inferno, it is an extremely intimate look over four years at these creature’s struggles and triumphs, where someone’s paradise is another’s purgatory. We hope that the series will explain the mysteries and precious value of the Okavango like never before.”
Episode 1, “Paradise,” premieres Wednesday, October 23 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app
Explore the landscape and wildlife of the Upper Okavango River, where the deep water shows elephants swimming and carving channels through the reeds and papyrus, setting small birds afloat to drift past hippos and crocodiles. A lioness severely injured by a buffalo is left for dead by her pride. Now disabled, she must survive in the swamp alone, hunting to feed her little cubs.
Episode 2, “Limbo,” premieres Wednesday, October 30 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app
Delve into the landscape and wildlife of the “Middle World,” the delta of the Okavango River. In the most dynamic and lively part of the river, long caravans of elephants travel along the water, and Pied kingfishers hover before diving in for fish and frogs. Hyena and warthog families share neighboring dens, helping each other by keeping an eye on threatening predators. Lions rule these floodplains, hunting buffalo and hippos through the waters.
Episode 3, “Inferno,” premieres Wednesday, November 6 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app
Discover the landscape and wildlife of the Lower Okavango River, where the land is baked dry by the scorching sun of the Kalahari Desert and animals must adapt to the extreme environment. Large herds of zebra and wildebeest migrate to the dry plains in search of the precious salt that these animals need. A leopardess brings up her cubs and survives the rapid seasonal changes by constantly moving.
Now in its 38th season on PBS, Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).
Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer, Bill Murphy is Series Producer and Janet Hess is Series Editor. Okavango: River of Dreams is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC, Terra Mater Factual Studios and Wildlife Films in co-production with Doclights/NDR Naturfilm, in association with ARTE France, Sveriges Television AB, and WNET. The miniseries was produced by Dereck and Beverly Joubert and written by Dereck Joubert. Cinematography by Dereck Joubert and Taylor Turner, with series editing by Jolene Van Antwerp. Sound production and design by Beverly Joubert, and original music by JB Arthur and Sarah Class. Narrated by F. Murray Abraham.
Support for this Nature miniseries was made possible in part by The Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, The Fairweather Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, Sandra Atlas Bass, Doris R. and Robert J. Thomas, The Arlene and Milton D. Berkman Philanthropic Fund, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by Viewers Like You.
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.
About Terra Mater Factual Studios
Terra Mater Factual Studios were founded January 1st, 2011 and are based in Vienna, Austria. The full-blown production unit is a subsidiary company of Red Bull and specializes in premium factual programming for TV, multimedia platforms and theatrical release. TMFS are committed to the highest production values regarding visual excellence, innovative technology and amazing storytelling. Core genres are nature, science and history presented in blue-chip primetime series and specials. The production company also brings together a wide array of genres and styles to create exciting new factual and entertainment formats. For the big screen, TMFS produce stories that are highly relevant and strongly rooted in reality: from the classical feature doc to wild drama, where nature plays the main role, further on to fiction films, where real stories are the matrix for our scripts.