Smithsonian Channel takes the Sea of Okhotsk by storm with Russia’s Wild Sea, the first comprehensive documentary revealing this untouched area of natural wonders. It debuts on Wednesday, June 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, with the second hour premiering Wednesday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Located almost 4,000 miles from Moscow in Russia’s Far East, the Sea of Okhotsk is a constant survival battleground for humans and a range of wildlife that includes orcas and humpback whales, as well as tigers prowling the forests. The two-part special from award-winning director Franz Hafner tells the fascinating stories of the region’s inhabitants and presents the incredible contrasts of the sea’s beauty and wilderness, rarely seen on film.
In the Sea of Okhotsk, animal and human lives are intimately connected in ways that allow no room for error, and every decision is a matter of life or death. Riddled with typhoons in the summer, covered with packed ice in the winter and shaken by earthquakes and volcanoes overlooking its shore, the sea is an unpredictable and dangerous place. A rare, pristine natural region, this wild sea is home to millions of wild animals and the site of spectacular rocky coastlines, scores of untamed rivers and never-ending primeval forests. It is a place of both plenty and starvation, a paradise which doubles as an ultimate endurance test for living creatures.
Russia’s Wild Sea explores this unforgiving environment and the ingenious adaptations that make life possible in spite of hardship, as well as gentler times of abundance when life flourishes. With no roads reaching the shores of the sea, the filmmakers, led by Hafner, arrived by plane and explored by ship, withstanding conditions such as tsunamis, pack ice, typhoons and thick fogs to capture the incredible landscape and wildlife. Granted full, exclusive access to the area, Hafner has produced the first exhaustive documentary on the region.
RUSSIA’S WILD SEA is produced by Interspot Film GmbH for ORF-Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Smithsonian Networks, Arte France, ZDF, Channel One Russia and National Geographic in association with ORF-Enterprise. Heinrich Mayer-Moroni and Nikolaus Klingohr are executive producers for Interspot Film GmbH. Charles Poe and David Royle are executive producers for Smithsonian Channel.