”It has a standout theme and global appeal thanks to unique access to the Queen and Attenborough”


Distributor Cineflix Rights
Producer ITN Productions
Length 1 x 60 minutes
Broadcaster ITV (UK)

The Queen has planted more than 1,400 trees during her reign, so it seems fitting that she wants her legacy to include the creation of a global network of national forest parks.

In this hour-long documentary, ITN Productions uses the ‘Commonwealth Canopy’ initiative as a clever backdrop through which to explore a relationship between two national treasures.

For at the heart of this doc – due to air on ITV later this month – is a segment showing the Queen and naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough walking through the grounds of Buckingham Palace, discussing the trees they have grown up with.

The informal and relaxed conversation between the 91-year-olds, who were born just a few weeks apart, shows their close relationship as they walk along discussing what gives trees their individual character.

The documentary’s intimacy is the signature of the film’s multi-award-winning director Jane Treays, best known for her Cutting Edge and Real Life documentaries, plus BBC2 series Inside Claridge’s. 

Elsewhere, the film focuses on other generations of the royal family, highlighting how its younger members are supporting the Canopy initiative.

Prince Harry is featured planting a tree in the Caribbean and the doc also follows Prince William to Canada.

The brothers discuss the project’s lasting effect and the responsibility of their generation to follow their grandmother’s path and care for the environment.

Other high-profile figures featured include UN special envoy Angelina Jolie, who plants a tree on behalf of the Queen in Namibia, where the Hollywood star is supporting a nursery to help counter ongoing deforestation.

According to Cineflix Rights chief executive Chris Bonney, when the distributor found out that this documentary was in the pipeline, “we jumped on it early”.

He adds: “It’s got a standout theme and global appeal thanks to unique access to the Queen and David Attenborough. When you watch that footage, it’s like listening to two friends talking. It’s almost like you’re eavesdropping.”

Bonney anticipates that the royal wedding on 19 May will also help to drum up international sales.

The distributor has already secured pre-sales to Australia’s ABC and Sky New Zealand.

Bonney says that while Commonwealth countries are the primary target, the US, Europe and Scandinavia are also key territories.

Among the other shows Cineflix is taking to Cannes is Expecting, a 17 x 30-minute series for US cable channel UPTV in which expectant couples turn the camera lens on themselves without any producers or crew present. The series aims to capture the milestones of pregnancy with unprecedented intimacy.

Also lined up is single doc Going To War, the latest film from Sebastian Junger, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, here working with Marine officer and author Karl Marlantes.

The Vulcan Productions doc is an unflinching first-hand look at the military experience, from civilian life to frontline battle and soldiers’ return home.

In Cineflix Productions’ 13-parter Secrets Of The Morgue, meanwhile, high-profile murder cases are told from the perspective of the medical examiner working alongside homicide detectives to bring justice to murder victims and their families.