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Discovery goes on global Huntwatch

Discovery Channel has acquired US and international rights to theatrical documentary Huntwatch.

John HoffmanThe movie will air on September 22 as part of the Discovery Impact doc banner in the US after a limited theatrical release by Discovery and Lionsgate, before debuting internationally later this year.

Huntwatch, produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and narrated by Ryan Reynolds, recounts the fight to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt. Some believe campaigning against the industry birthed the modern animal welfare movement.

Kevin Iwashina and Zac Bright of Preferred Content negotiated the deal with Discovery on behalf of International Fund for Animal Welfare.

John Hoffman, Discovery Channel’s executive VP, documentaries and specials, made the acquisition. He was drafted in last year as Discovery Channel president Rich Ross made it clear he was putting documentaries with campaigning causes at the centre of the cable network’s schedule.

“Like most people, I thought the horrendous practice of clubbing baby seals for fur ended a long time ago,” said Hoffman. “By documenting these inhumane acts IFAW has created a valuable visual weapon to expose them. Discovery’s goal is to sound the alarm worldwide that this is still happening and ignite change.”

Discovery Channel last year broadcasted the Louis Psihoyo doc Racing Extinction globally alongside a limited theatrical run.