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(Los Angeles, Calif.) - Discovery Channel President Rich Ross announced today at the Edinburgh TV Festival that the network, along with Discovery Networks International, plans to air the groundbreaking documentary SHERPA in more than 200 countries and territories around the world next year.  From Director Jennifer Peedom, the film looks at how Mount Everest's Sherpa community united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain following the deadly avalanche that struck on April 18, 2014, killing 16 of their members.

"This is a film that is powerful and moving," Ross said. "It brings us somewhere we've never gone before - deep into the lives of the Sherpas who make Everest's climbing culture possible."

The project originally began as a documentary about the upcoming climbing season from the Sherpas' point of view after a highly-publicized confrontation in 2013 between Western climbers and a group of Sherpas. Peedom and her team planned to focus on legendary Sherpa Phurba Tashi's world record-breaking attempt to summit Everest for the 22nd time. Instead, they captured the single deadliest day in the mountain's history after an avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, the area just above Mt. Everest base camp. Coverage of the aftermath aired around the world. Discovery was also on Mount Everest during the tragedy in preparation to film a live event with climber Joby Ogwyn, which later turned into a documentary about the rescue and recovery efforts. The disaster provoked a drastic reappraisal of the Everest climbing industry, and it served as a turning point for many of the Sherpas and their families as they considered whether to continue working on the mountain.

"Jennifer Peedom scales the heights of storytelling in SHERPA because of the deep trust she engendered in the Sherpa people and the unparalleled access they granted her as a result," said John Hoffman, Executive Vice President of Documentaries and Specials for the Discovery Channel. "The result is a tour de force that will forever change the way viewers see Mount Everest."

"Jennifer Peedom captured a moment of unexpected high drama and with consummate skill," said Phil Craig, EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Discovery Networks International. "We are delighted to team up with Rich Ross and his team to bring this important story to a global audience." 

SHERPA was produced by Bridget Ikin, co-founder of Felix Media, a leading independent film and television company in Australia, and John Smithson, Joint Creative Director of Arrow Media, one of the UK's top independent creative forces. For Discovery Channel, John Hoffman serves as Executive Vice President of Documentaries and Specials with Jon Bardin as Director of Development and Production of Documentaries and Specials.

About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 pay-TV programmer reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 200 countries and territories. For 30 years Discovery has been dedicated to satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers with high-quality content through its global television brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Discovery controls Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. For more information, please visit

About Felix Media

Felix Media (Australia) comprises the producing partnership of Bridget Ikin and John Maynard, both veterans of independent film and TV.  Well known for their support of directors such as Vincent Ward (VIGIL and THE NAVIGATOR), Jane Campion (SWEETIE and AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE), Warwick Thornton (ART + SOUL) and Alison Maclean (CRUSH and THE REHEARSAL), they specialize in quality drama and documentary, always pushing the edges of the familiar.  Their films and television productions have won numerous awards over many years.  They also specialize in exceptional moving image projects with artists.  

About Arrow Media

Arrow Media is one of the UK's most ambitious creative forces. A fast-growing independent production company, Arrow Media specialises in creating high quality and innovative content across TV, film and digital media from long-running series to big ambitious projects such as Live from Space, Ultimate Airport Dubai and Kevin's Supersized Salvage. Established in 2011, the company was founded by Tom Brisley, John Smithson, and Iain Pelling, and operates in the UK, US and other key international territories, where all three partners have extensive experience.


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