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Groundbreaking Natural History Series Queens Premieres This International Women’s Month

Groundbreaking Natural History Series Queens Premieres This International Women’s Month

| Film & Television

The Seven-Part Series, narrated by Angela Bassett, Premieres on 4 March on Disney+ and from 10 March on National Geographic channel.

By Underground Press

Published Wednesday, 28 February 2024 13:09

Music Video for theme song ‘Umi’ Is Co-Written and Performed by Alewya

Johannesburg, 28 February 2024: Never before has a women-led production team set out to capture the wondrous beauty of the natural world, and never before has natural history storytelling focused solely on matriarchal societies… until now. National Geographic, world-renowned for its rich tradition in natural history storytelling and cinematic craft, announces QUEENS, an epic, six-part natural history docuseries that follows six powerful sisterhoods within the animal kingdom where females rule.

QUEENS will premiere on 4 March on Disney+ and on Sundays at 18:00 (CAT) from 10 March on National Geographic Wild. The all-women visionaries behind the series draw on their female intuition to shine a fresh light on the natural world, revealing unique feminine behaviours in six distinct animal communities: hyenas, elephants, ring-tailed lemurs, insects, primates and orcas.

Each episode devotes itself to discovering just why the title of queen is so coveted and tenuous. While getting to the top signifies power, holding rank is far from easy. Every day brings challenges – and challengers – to a queen’s rule. How she remains dominant depends on individual personality, loyalty, cooperation, politics, strength, and fate.

Guided by powerful narration from award-winning actress Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “The Flood,” “Good Night Oppy”), QUEENS features matriarchies and female leaders from around the world to tell stories of sacrifice and resilience but also friendship and love. Each episode showcases matriarchs, from the peace-loving bonobos of the Congo basin to the ruthless jewel bees of Costa Rica to the powerful elephants of the Savanna. Through watching their struggles, successes and heartbreaks, we see the importance of intergenerational love and protection, the fierce lengths a mother will go to to have her children succeed, how the thirst for power can rip families apart, and how even in the face of tragedy, a mother must selflessly persevere.

National Geographic has also released a music video for “Umi,” the title track from the female-led docu-series. The song is co-written (with Dean Barratt) and performed by Alewya, a rising London-based multihyphenate artist of Ethiopian and Egyptian heritage known for her unique brand of Middle Eastern-inspired dance-pop music.

Released through Disney Music Group’s Hollywood Records, the music video features powerful moments from the seven-part series, introducing viewers to six iconic worlds ruled by the fierce and formidable matriarchs of the animal QUEENdom, along with exclusive footage of Alewya recording the track in-studio.

Four years in the making, QUEENS leverages cutting-edge technology to reveal surprising insights into how females in the natural world rise to power, often relying on cooperation and wisdom over brute strength to get ahead. The intimate production captured many staggering moments within the animal kingdom for the first time, including rarely seen hyena infanticide, the first filming of bonobos in the canopy from tree platforms, colour documentation of the Ngorongoro Crater through the night, and a development time-lapse of the Orchid bee brood. The final episode of the series celebrates the women who have gone to the ends of the Earth and dedicated their lives to documenting and protecting animal queens.

Despite major behavioural differences among each society – for example, bees, wasps and ants are slaves to a single dictatorial queen, while elephants choose the oldest and wisest of their matriarch – there is at least one thing that each queen has in common: family comes first. In QUEENS, nothing outmatches the powerful bonds of sisterhood.

“With QUEENS, National Geographic challenges an historical bias in wildlife storytelling that favours masculine societies,” says Janet Han Vissering, senior vice president of development and production, National Geographic. “The assembly of our first-ever women-led production team will bring a new perspective to telling these intimate narratives. Scientifically, women score higher for emotional and social intelligence, so it will be fascinating to see how the team will read relationships to underscore the nuances of how female-bonded societies operate.”

QUEENS is produced by Wildstar Films for National Geographic. For Wildstar Films, Vanessa Berlowitz is executive producer, and Chloe Sarosh serves as showrunner and writer. Sophie Darlington and Justine Evans are the series’ directors of photography. For National Geographic, Pamela Caragol is executive producer, and Janet Han Vissering is senior vice president of Development and Production.

Updated on:
>> Wednesday, 28 February 2024 13:09

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National Geographic, Disney+, Queens


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