Holly Ringland (Photo: Giulia Zonza) and Aaron Pedersen (Photo: Daniel Asher Smith).
Actor Aaron Pedersen and author Holly Ringland will front Back to Nature, a new factual lifestyle series from the ABC that will explore the Australian landscape and uncover unexpected stories designed to reconnect audiences with the land.
Filming has begun on the 8 x 30 minute Media Stockade and Threshold Pictures production, which has been funded in association with Screen NSW and The People and Parks Foundation.
The series will explore how the land is important for our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, looking at mythology, geology, history, traditional Indigenous knowledge and the latest natural science.
A variety of locations throughout Australia will be featured, from the ancient rainforests of Gondwana in the South East of Queensland, the high Country of the Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, to the mysterious volcanic landscape of the Macedon Ranges, Victoria and Larapuna, the magical Bay of Fires, on Tasmania’s North East Coast.
Each episode is set in one main area, focusing in on three nearby locations. The locations featured are clearly presented by maps, providing key takeaway content for viewers. Within each episode, there will a recipe that uses local ingredients and ‘Calls to Action’ will be featured and cross promoted via social media.
Pedersen calls Back To Nature a ‘breakthrough series’, saying: “Nothing like this has been done before. We’re all connected to all of life. Most nature shows feel like they sit above the earth, like they’re separate from it. This series feels like we’re part of it – there’s a relationship. Back To Nature is medicine for all of us. And it’s medicine for me. I need to do this.”
Ringland said: “One of my greatest passions is sharing the magic of the natural world through story. Stories cultivate empathy and understanding; nature offers us stories that reflect our common experience of what it is to be alive. Being in nature, and connecting to nature through story, is how we come home to ourselves and each other.
Threshold Pictures’ Jane Manning is the series producer and director, while Rebecca Barry and Madeleine Hetherton produce for Media Stockade. The ABC EP is Frances O’Riordan. Post-production will be completed in NSW.
Barry said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with ABC on this series. With all that is going on in the world today, Back To Nature will find the common ground across the spectrum of the audience. This series will be the tonic of hope we all need.”
Manning said: “We hope this unique and beautiful series will be a balm for the soul and a pleasure for the senses, enhancing the audience’s love of being outdoors and connection to the landscape around them,” says Jane Manning from Threshold Pictures.
Head of ABC entertainment and factual Josie Mason-Campbell said: “The ABC is excited to be collaborating with Media Stockade, Threshold Pictures, Aaron Pedersen and Holly Ringland as they take us on a stunning journey into some of Australia’s most inspiring landscapes. This series will inform and delight Australians and allow us all to slow down, connect to nature and further appreciate the unique beauty of our land.”
International sales will be handled by Escapade Media.