ZDF Studios secures global distribution rights for stunning new nature documentary 'Smart Swarms'

Mainz, September 5th, 2022 

Smart Swarms (2 x 52'), a new documentary that studies the incredible behaviour of wildlife operating within swarms, will be distributed by ZDF Studios internationally. Produced by SPIEGEL TV for ZDF's renowned Terra X slot, the ambitious two-parter will have completed production by mid 2023.

A thrilling combination of stunning wildlife behaviour, astonishing scientific insights and gripping excursions into cutting-edge technology. Smart Swarms is a rollercoaster ride that takes us into different habitats alongside exquisitely diverse organisms. High-tech labs of researchers attempt to break swarm-codes, explain strange collective behaviours and explore the possible application of swarm intelligence to the latest technological advances. The documentary is a mesmerising mix of aesthetic beauty and incredible facts that combine to delight and excite at the same time.

Ralf Rueckauer, Vice President Unscripted, ZDF Studios, said: "The scientists involved in making this production, their experiments and findings add another layer to this fascinating subject. Combined with beautifully filmed scenes of nature's swarms, this is a documentary that will captivate audiences everywhere."

Part 1 Puzzling Powers focuses on the bizarre and baffling powers within different natural swarms. From a giant flock of starlings to ant nests, beehives, a shoal of sardines and ladybird colonies, what might at first seem like disorganised chaos soon reveals itself as complex, purposeful, ancient and intelligent cooperation between individuals acting in a coordinated system for the benefit of its members. Yet different swarms follow different patterns, follow different strategies and fulfil different purposes. 

Part 2 Cryptic Codes concentrates on breaking their mysterious codes and communication. So, what are the advantages of working together as a collection of individuals? It's this swarm intelligence in its mesmerising variety that is the focus of scientists in a wide variety of disciplines from neuroscientists to engineers, programmers and of course behavioural biologists. The quest to understand the organised chaos and intelligence of natural swarms sits at the core of these films while allowing the viewer the chance to be wowed with their astonishing beauty and incredible displays of coordination.


About ZDF Studios
ZDF Studios was originally founded in 1993 as 'ZDF Enterprises', a private subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned television broadcasters in Europe. The company was renamed 'ZDF Studios' on 1 April 2022. Based in Mainz, the business is responsible for distributing programmes worldwide, implementing international co-productions, acquiring licences and merchandising key brands under its own name, for ZDF and for third parties. Successfully established as an independent market player in Germany and globally, it operates as part of a strong network of 30 direct and indirect subsidiaries and affiliates. ZDF Studios has the largest German-language programme stock in the world, plus a constantly growing catalogue of international productions consisting of series and mini-series, television films, documentaries and children’s programmes. By continually evolving, the ZDF Studios group has been able to open up numerous business areas in the television and media sector. As a result, ZDF Studios now provides a comprehensive full-service offer and covers every stage in the creation and exploitation chain of successful TV productions in all genres, from developing content to producing, licensing, marketing, merchandising, online rights and much more.

Contact ZDF Studios
Christine Denilauler (VP Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Studios GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, 55127 Mainz/Germany, Tel.: +49 6131-9911130, Email: christine.denilauler@zdf-studios.comwww.zdf-studios.com