With its long and rich history, the Smithsonian has become an institution synonymous with research, culture and factual truth. So it was only fitting that they would sooner or later run with this reputation and venture into the media landscape with original programming anchored by their seal of approval. Hence the birth of Smithsonian Channel in 2007 and its successful evolution ever since, becoming an award winning platform.
In time the channel faced the challenges of the digital revolution and the boom of the fake news era, just to name two, and managed to come out on top every time. Their new task at hand is quite different and involves broadening their scope towards a region with some of the richest history, geography an biodiversity in the planet. The launch of Smithsonian Channel in Latin America was announced in a news conference in hotel Madero , with the special attendance of Executive VP and Chief Programming Officer David Royle and producer Mónica Barrios, who presented the details of the new venture along with clips and teasers of their upcoming slate.
Latin America, in Royle’s opinion, will definitely benefit from a channel like Smithsonian. “It’s important to have a name like the Smithsonian in today’s media landscape”, Royle states. “This is a televisión network that puts the fact back into factual televisión. There’s no playing around with reality, it’s just telling stories as they are and I do think there’s a great hunger in the world for that today and I think that is our unique positioning”.
As an example of their programming ideas, Royle underlined Los Andes Salvajes, a documentary series filmed in 4K, that celebrates the andean region in all its glory, from its breathtaking landscapes, to its diverse fauna. “We think the Andes piece is the most exquisite and vivid portrait of the Andes that has been made”, Royle explains. “The filmmakers spent almost four years making it. It’s a beautiful series and what I’m always struck by is that even though it’s a piece that will be loved by people outside of this región we are frequently approached by people from Peru, Argentina or Chile that say they had no idea that their country had such diversity and natural wonders, and it’s a feeling of natural pride”.
Besides this series, Smithsonian has over 15 projects that have been produced or are currently under production in Latin America, including Migrando a México, Campo Pantanal from Brazil and Los Reyes del Acordeón from Colombia. The channel is, quite simply, a way of understanding and rediscovering our continent, through the eyes of one of the most respected institutions in the world. “It’s a way of creating a community of people interested in learning more about their world”, Royle concludes.