Human Playground, the six-part Netflix docu-series about the origins and evolution of the most unique sports around the world, will launch internationally in 193 countries on Friday, September 30, 2022. Dutch label Scenery and Manchester- based company, both Banijay companies, have joined forces to co-produce the high-end series, which is narrated by Idris Elba, who also serves as an Executive Producer. The series also brings together editor of BBC Earth & Our Planet, director Tomas Kaan and photographer and creator Hannelore Vandenbussche.
The high-end docu-series is about the origin and evolution of exceptional sports around the world. From centuries-old rituals to billion-dollar businesses. In six episodes, narrator Idris Elba takes viewers around the world to discover: Why We Play. The visual spectacle Human Playground dives into the world of, among others, the unique robot camel races in the United Arab Emirates, Big Wave surfing in Nazaré Portugal and Eagle Hunting in Kyrgyzstan.
Tomas Kaan, Director of Human Playground says: “I knew we had something to grab when we decided to use play as a lens to examine ourselves – the playing human being. However, I could not have imagined in advance how many sides this story has to it. All those smells and colors, emotions, and cultures. Blood and sweat splashing against the lens. Human Playground was an unforgettable adventure in every way.”
Isidoor Roebers, Producer Human Playground and founder of Scenery says: “After four years of shooting under all kinds of conditions in 25 countries during a pandemic, we are extremely proud of the end result of this Netflix docu-series. The thought that this series will soon be shown all over the world still feels unreal.”
Rick Murray, Executive Producer and Managing Director of Workerbee says: “When Scenery introduced us to this project it felt like a perfect fit for Idris as narrator, and for Netflix. We are delighted to have helped get the project off the ground, the team in Amsterdam are world class and we hope to work with them again in the not-too-distant future”
The idea for the series started originally in the form of a book by creator Hannelore Vandenbussche, who was inspired during her work as the assistant photographer on the highly successful photobook: Before they pass away. She has made it her mission to portray the most special sports in the world. “Human Playground takes a look at the most impressive playing fields in the world and shows how far people are willing to go when it comes to playing a game. Human Playground is not just about sports, it’s about what makes us human,” says Hannelore Vandenbussche.
Thanks to Scenery’s partner in China, Content Connected, Human Playground will also launch on the largest Chinese streamer Youku later this year, bringing the docu-series to more than 1 billion people. It is the first Dutch-produced documentary series to launch worldwide on Netflix. In line with the series, there will also be an exclusive coffee table photo book (published by TeNeues), various art prints, and several art exhibitions will be organized. Among others during UNSEEN, the international photography fair.