22 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Tile Films Takes ‘Sacred Sites’ Season 2 to MIPCOM
12 Sep 2017 :
LA based Irish actor Kevin J. Ryan (Copper, Raw, Sons of Liberty) plays King Arthur in Tile Films “Sacred Sites – King Arthur” directed by Stephen Rooke.
6 x 1 hour 4K UHD Science / History Docudrama Series for the Smithsonian Channel

Dun Laoghaire-based Tile Films is heading to MIPCOM next month with their latest six part international docudrama series, “Sacred Sites – Season 2”. The new season of “Sacred Sites” was commissioned earlier this year by the Smithsonian Channel in Washington and is well into production.  Filming is taking place in 14 countries: Ireland, Wales, England, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Malta, Guatemala, Mexico, Egypt, Morocco, Canada and the USA.

Building on the success of “Sacred Sites” season 1, which was broadcast on Smithsonian Channel in 2016, season 2 explores six civilizations and their amazing sacred sites. Dynamic new evidence, cutting-edge scientific research and revolutionary theories will offer new perspectives on these monuments and the people who built them.

The six episodes will focus on the timeworn pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela, the haunting Stone Age temples of Malta, the mystical sites associated with King Arthur and Dark Age Britain, the sanctuaries of powerful Egyptian priestesses, the spectacular and evocative cities of the Maya, and the Nazi obsession with an atmospheric German sacred site, the Externsteine.

Each film is driven by a gripping story in which the sites are the settings for a compelling new revelation. Did Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler search the ancient monuments of the Saxons for proof of an Aryan super race? Are the hallowed relics of St James in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela really the bones of a forgotten heretic? Did ancient Egyptian priestesses celebrate rituals in which sex played a key role? World experts from a range of disciplines, including archaeology, history, anthropology, paleoecology, geophysics and archaeoastronomy, will provide vital insights and context.

This ambitious series is being produced by multi award-winning filmmaker Stephen Rooke (“Aerial Ireland”, “Sacred Sites”, “Waterways”, “Saving the Titanic”) and producer Laura Danaher  (“Sacred Sites”, “Death or Liberty”). Tile Films Head of Development David Ryan (“Sacred Sites”, “After Braveheart”) is Creative Producer on the series and scriptwriter for three episodes. Stephen Rooke is directing three episodes of the series while Ruán Magan (“Waterloo: Na Laochra Gael”, “The Men who Built America”) is directing and scripting the remaining three episodes. 

The series is being filmed on 4K UHD by Directors of Photography Mick O’Rourke and Colm Hogan. Spectacular aerial footage, filmed using the latest drone technology, will reveal the scale and setting of each sacred site. Jim Dalton and Keith Walsh are editing while Ray Harman, Giles Packham and Damien Walsh are composing the original music scores.  Production managers, Maeve Kenny and Maggie Fagan are in charge of over 200 people who are involved in the production of the series.

Over 30 million households in the U.S. and Canada subscribe to the Smithsonian Channel, and it is anticipated that “Sacred Sites” season 2 will attract very favourable viewing figures. Smithsonian Channel commissioned Tile Films to produce “Sacred Sites” season 1 in 2015 after the pilot episode, “Sacred Sites: Ireland” (broadcast in 2014) rated extremely well on the Channel. Founded by Stephen Rooke in 1989, Tile Films has had a long-standing and extremely fruitful relationship with the Smithsonian Channel, and hopes to continue this partnership in the years to come. “Sacred Sites” season 2  is being produced with the support of Section 481, Ireland’s Film Corporation Tax Credit.

“It wouldn’t have been possible to make “Sacred Sites” season 2 without Section 481 funding,” said Stephen. “Section 481 is a crucial part of the financial plan for this series, as it has been for many of Tile Films’ creative documentaries. The Irish Tax Credit is a vitial part of what Ireland can offer when you are attending meetings at MIPCOM”. “Sacred Sites” season 2 is employing over 200 crew, cast and production personnel over the course of the production.

Tile Films manging director, Stephen Rooke and head of development, David Ryan will participate on the Enterprise Ireland “Ireland on Screen” stand at MIPCOM.

“Sacred Sites” season 2 is a Tile Films production for the Smithsonian Channel. Stephen Rooke is executive producer for Tile Films, while David Royle and Tim Evans serve as executive producers for Smithsonian.

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