44 Blue Productions & Kevin Costner team for Indigenous docuseries

Red Arrow Studios-owned 44 Blue Productions has partnered with Hollywood star Kevin Costner for Onward, a new natural history docuseries exploring traditions and rituals preserved through generations by Indigenous communities around the world.

Meralta Films boss Smriti Mundhra (Indian Matchmaking) will serve as director and showrunner, and Cale Glendening acts as series creator, while Costner will exec produce alongside Glenn Kleczkowski and Mark Gillard of Monitor & Merrimack Pictures and Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch for 44 Blue.

Each episode will follow a different Indigenous community, turning a lens on mankind’s oldest tribes and how their people, land and cultures have endured through existential threats including climate change, commercial development and the coronavirus pandemic, among others.

The concept for Onward is based on Glendening’s documentary short of the same name that chronicles his time embedded with Kazakh-Mongolia eagle hunters in the remote Altai Mountains of Mongolia.

“We hope Onward will be an intimate portrait of family and community life that celebrates the diversity of cultures – many of them at risk of extinction – across the world,” said Drachkovitch, who is 44 Blue’s co-founder and co-CEO.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to explore the themes of family, sustainability, culture and community through a global Indigenous lens,” added Mundhra. “Especially in partnership with storytellers who are most closely connected to those worlds.”

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