Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH
Wambachergasse 2
1130 Vienna

T +43 1 870030 / F +43 1 87003 27609 / E office@terramater.at

Founded January 1st, 2011, Terra Mater Factual Studios is the new home of the internationally acclaimed former production team of UNIVERSUM, ORF’s Natural History Unit, and is based in Vienna.

The company is a subsidiary company of Red Bull and specialises in factual production and distribution for cinema, TV and multimedia platforms.

Walter Köhler CEO comments, “We will invest a lot of our energy in strengthening the output in our core genres – wildlife, science and history, but will move on to create top-end productions for the big screen and develop new and innovative factual formats for every media platform. Together with our worldwide partners we want to make Terra Mater Factual Studios a brand which is recognised throughout the world for its unmatched quality: for visual excellence and storytelling of the highest level.”

Terra Mater Factual Studios’ (TMFS) commitment to the highest production values results in premium factual programming for TV and theatrical release. Our core genres are wildlife and nature, science and history presented in blue-chip primetime series and specials. We also bring together a wide array of genres and styles to create exciting new factual and entertainment formats. And in our large cinematic projects the borders between fiction and fact become seamless and sometimes dissolve at all resulting in a different take on feature film production. TMFS collaborates with the best producers, cameramen and directors worldwide and uses the latest cutting-edge equipment to realise its cinematic dreams.

There are three key ingredients which make TMFS productions a unique viewing experience:

  • Visual Excellence: Images are more powerful than words in conveying powerful emotions and surprising insights. Fascinating camera shots and unconventional editing set us apart.
  • Innovative Technology: TMFS embraces state-of-the art recording technologies, from super-slow motion to super-time-lapse, to reveal nano-second events and processes so slow their evolution is invisible to the naked eye. Images generated by electron microscopes and computer animation give insight into the microcosm. Special cameras turn night into day. Endoscopes and medical scanners provide an inside view of living organisms. And HDTV is enhanced by a new dimension – 4K at its best.
  • Amazing Storytelling: TMFS uses the dramatic narration dynamics of the feature film to represent reality while upholding the principles of factuality. TERRA MATER presents people who understand our world and tells us stories written by real life.

Management Team

Dinah Czezik-Müller

Head of Business Affairs


Walter Köhler



Sabine Holzer

Head of TV



It’s February already!
28 February 2018

This month has brought us as many as 17 nominations for ten productions at four different film festivals all over the globe. And it’s predominantly lions that steal the show: while last year’s epic three-part production ‘The Lions’ Rule’ has already gathered five nominations in 2018, we’re currently keeping our fingers crossed for the TMFS and Wildlife Films production ‘Tribe versus Pride’, nominated twice at the upcoming International Big Cats Film Festival in NYC this weekend. Go, lions!

September 2017

Five Awards for TMFS at the US-Nature Film Oscars

Jackson Hole/Vienna. For the 15th time, awards have been handed out by the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. All in all, a total of 25 awards were presented in a glamorous gala on the evening of Sept 28th, 2017. And a fifth of these 25 awards went to Vienna-based Terra Mater Factual Studios.

[IvoryGame©TMFS_photographer_Richard Ladkaniw] ‘The Ivory Game’, an already multi-awarded thrilling feature documentary about the worldwide illegal ivory trade, was honoured with three awards in Jackson Hole.
The film has already convinced many juries at film festivals around the globe not only in aesthetic and dramaturgical terms, but most of all with its political and societal message; a combination which put the film on the shortlist for the 2017 Academy Awards.
At the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival 2017, ‘The Ivory Game’ was honoured with the Best of Festival-award, the “Grand Teton Award”. Furthermore, it won in the categories “Best Writing” as well as “Best Theatrical Program”.
Walter Köhler, CEO of Terra Mater Factual Studios, is highly delighted about these awards: “‘The Ivory Game’ is one of the most important films I have ever produced. It is wonderful to see it getting attention at various film festivals all around the globe. And all these honours help draw attention to the problem, so governments are pressured into banning the ongoing illegal ivory trade. We believe that each single award contributes to the elephants’ survival – and that’s what’s at stake here.”

‘The Ivory Game’, which has been shot in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam, is a production of Terra Mater Film Studios with Vulcan Productions, a company of Microsoft-Co-Founder Paul Allen, and in association with Appian Way, production company of Leonardo DiCaprio. Allen as well as DiCaprio act as Executive Producers for the movie.
Award-winning director Richard Ladkani and Academy Award®–nominated director Kief Davidson filmed undercover for 16 months with a crack team of intelligence operatives, undercover activists, passionate frontline rangers and tough-as-nails conservationists, to infiltrate the corrupt global network of ivory trafficking.

Another of the prestigious 25 awards handed out yesterday evening went to the multi-awarded TMFS production ‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth’. Natural History legend Sir David Attenborough’s performance as presenter led to the JHWFF 2017 award in the category “Best Host/Presenter Led-Program”. This science/nature documentary reveals never-before-seen behaviour of living creatures producing their own light with the help of specially-developed, extremely light sensitive cameras.
‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth’ was produced by Terra Mater Factual Studios and Ammonite Films, in co-production with the American SVOD service CuriosityStream, and in association with BBC, UKTV and ABC Australia.

A very special honour was bestowed on the TMFS production ‘Tribe versus Pride’, as it was awarded the “Special Jury Award”of the festival. Directed by renowned wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, this production closely follows how Kenya’s Maasai people celebrate their relationship with African lions; and how, to protect the latter, the Maasai people have gone as far as to change century-old rituals of their tribe. ‘Tribe versus Pride’ was produced by Terra Mater Factual Studios in co-production with Wildlife Films.

The 25 prestigious awards were handed out during an award gala at the Center for the Arts in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on the evening of September 28th, 2017. The winning films – 25 out of 600 – were screened and chosen by preliminary judges before the ceremony. Ahead of the festive event, a week-long media market took place in Jackson Hole, where filmmakers, journalists, scientists and conservationists were able to share contact details and ideas.

Delighted winners: f.l.t.r.: Wolfgang Knöpfler (Producer Terra Mater Factual Studios), Carole Tomko (Managing Director Vulcan Productions), Richard Ladkani (Director “The Ivory Game“), Sarah Edelson (Head of Development Vulcan Productions), Walter Köhler (CEO Terra Mater Factual Studios)


Triple–Award Win: ‘The Ivory Game’ triumphs at the prestigious GreenScreen Nature Film Festival

Eckernförde/Vienna: On Saturday Night, Viennese production company Terra Mater Factual Studios was honoured within a festive gala for two productions in the categories ‘Best Film of the Festival’, ‘Best Postproduction’, ‘Praising Mention for Advancement in Camera Technology’ and the special prize ‘Green Report’at the international Nature Film Festival GreenScreen.

‘The Ivory Game’, a thrilling feature documentary about the worldwide, illegal ivory trade, was able to convince the jury not only on aesthetic and dramaturgical terms, but also with its political and societal message. The Docuthriller, which was already shortlisted at the 2017 Oscars, was nominated as ‘Best Film of the Festival’. Furthermore, it was honoured with ‘Best Postproduction’ and the special ‘Green Report’-award.

Walter Köhler, CEO of Terra Mater Factual Studios, is impressed: “Critical nature documentaries can actually change something: after ‘The Ivory Game’ went global, the worldwide trade with ivory was finally made illegal in China.” And Köhler is delighted about the awards for the film: “This festival helps to spread awareness on illegal ivory trade amongst people, and increases the pressure on governments to act. Hence, every honour is another contribution to secure the survival of elephants.”

Another production of Terra Mater Factual Studios got a ‘Praising Mention for Advancement in Camera Technology’: the already multi-awarded ‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth’. Presented by natural history legend Sir David Attenborough, this science/nature documentary reveals never-before-seen behaviour of living creatures producing their own light with the help of extremely light sensitive cameras.

August 2017

Jackson Hole Film Festival 2017 have recognised the work of Terra Mater Factual Studios across the board - with 11 nominations across six of their productions. These include nominations for The Ivory Game,( Best Impact, Best Theatrical Film, Best Editing, Best Writing,)  Paris: A Wild Story ( Best Ecosystem, Best Writing), Tribe versus Pride ( Conservation), David Attenborough's Light on Earth ( Science in Nature, and Best Host), Brothers of the Wind ( Best Visualization)...more 

July 2017

Germany’s biggest and longest-running nature film festival, NaturVision, has awarded us with a special prize: for the maybe “most beautiful film of the festival”, as they stated it; “a complete work of art on its own”. The winner? ’Islands in Time’, our three-parter about paradisiac South East Asian islands. The news in more detail? Read on here <link to TMFS NHN page>

And we’re happy to announce that ‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth’ has been nominated in two categories at this year’s News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Competition in both categories – Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Outstanding Nature Documentary – is strong, but fingers crossed! Congratulations and thank you to our production partners CuriosityStream, BBC, ABC Australia, UKTV and Ammonite.



More Awards
29 June 2017

The 2017 US International Film & Video Festival has honoured TMFC with a total of 10 awards. In categories ranging from Cinematography, Nature/Wildlife, Environment/Ecology and more, four of our productions have collected Gold Cameras, Silver Screens and Certificates. Congratulations to all our production partners who helped make ‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth‘, ‘Islands in Time‘, ‘Soul of the Elephant‘ and ‘Animal Homes’ happen!
TMFS' feature film ‘Brothers of the Wind’, which boasts incredible natural footage shot in the magical Alps alongside renowned actors such as Jean Reno and Tobias Moretti, has been honoured with the Special Jury Award from as far away as South Korea – and the film had its successful cinematic release in Spain just now, on June 23rd, 2017. Alos, the Deauville Green Awards have included ‘Wild Cornwall‘ and ‘Nature’s Greatest Talents’ in their list of official nominees. Congratulations to our production partners!


TMFS were proud to co-sponsor the sold-out Jane Goodall-lecture “Five Reasons for Hope“ on 18 May 2017 in Vienna. More than one thousand pairs of ears were encouraged by the famous primatologist’s words to keep up working for an exciting future and a healthy environment – and enjoyed some stories giving insight into Goodall’s long and fascinating life.

TMFS have been nominated by the German GreenScreen Festival for “David Attenborough’s Light on Earth“, “Islands in Time“ and “The Ivory Game“ in a number of categories - fingers crossed!  The Shanghai International Green Film Week has also handed out a nomination for “David Attenborough’s Light on Earth“. And finally, the FIFA festival International du Film d’Animalier has honoured our productions “Soul of the Elephant“ and "Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La“ with prizes, in addition to four more nominations. More detailed information regarding all awards and nominations can be found at www.terramater.at.

24 May 2017


The Ivory Game’ wins Beijing International Film Festival

'The Ivory Game’, an outstanding feature documentary about the illegal ivory trade, was just honoured as ‘Best International Feature Documentary’ by China’s Beijing International Film Festival. The film was produced by Viennese production company Terra Mater Factual Studios.

Beijing/Vienna. The world’s primary player in the global illegal ivory trade, China, has made a profound decision: to honour ‘The Ivory Game’ with the prize for ‘Best International Feature Documentary’ at the 2017 Beijing International Film Festival. ‘The Ivory Game’ traces the brutal machinations behind the multi-million dollar illegal trade in ivory, going undercover to expose the web of criminals from poachers to businessmen involved in the slaughter, export and processing of the tusks of the endangered African elephant. []


Game-Changer Award and Genesis Award: further honours for ‘The Ivory Game’

GAME-CHANGER AWARD - On 7 April 2017 the Tusk Wildlife Gala 2017 took place in New York. It was held by the African wildlife conservation organisation Tusk USA, under the patronage of HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

Directors of ‘The Ivory Game’, Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson, received the Game-Changer Award presented by Jane Goodall for the efforts put into creating ‘The Ivory Game’, the undercover documentary feature infiltrating the corrupt global networks of ivory trafficking and poaching. CEO of Terra Mater Factual Studios and producer of the film, Walter Köhler, was also in attendance when Ladkani and Davidson were handed the trophy to honour their outstanding work on ‘The Ivory Game’.

Ladkani and Davidson were in good company: renowned paleoanthropologist, conservationist and Kenyan politician, Richard Leakey, received the organisation’s 2017 Legacy Award.

GENESIS AWARD / OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FILM - In addition, it was just announced that ‘The Ivory Game’ has received the Genesis Award in the Outstanding Documentary Film category, handed out by The Humane Society of the United States. The Genesis Awards recognise excellent works in television, print, film and other special categories for raising awareness of animal protection issues.

These honours follow China’s announcement in late December 2016 to ban all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017.

‘The Ivory Game’ is globally available on Netflix in 19 languages. The 2016 Wildscreen-winner of the ‘Golden Panda’, the “best-of-festival-trophy”, was also shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Feature.

11 April 2017

A BAFTA-nomination for ‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth’

TMFS are proud to announce having gained a nomination in the Specialist Factual category of the 2017 BAFTA TV Awards.

BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, are an independent British charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public.

“David Attenborough’s Light on Earth” (listed using the official BBC-title, “Attenborough’s Life That Glows”) is up in the running against three further productions – “Planet Earth II”, “Grayson Perry All Man” and “Alan Bennett’s Diaries”.

See all nominations here and the Specialist Factual nominations here.

“David Attenborough’s Light on Earth” is a Terra Mater Factual Studios production in co-production with CuriosityStream in association with BBC, UKTV and ABC Australia, produced by Ammonite.

[David Attenborough's Light on Earth] Produced and directed by Joe Loncraine and Martin Dohrn, “David Attenborough’s Light on Earth” portrays the phenomenon of bioluminescence, spectacular and magical light made by living creatures. With Sir David Attenborough as our guide through a world that glows, and specially developed high-tech cameras to catch it all, “David Attenborough’s Light on Earth” is a breath-taking visual journey, that has by now already garnered eight awards from festivals around the world, amongst them the NHK Science Award and the Technical Innovation Award at the prestigious biannually held Wildscreen-Festival.

The proud winners of the 2017 BAFTA Awards will be announced during the ceremony on Sunday, May 14th, 2017.

11 April 2017


The Ivory Game

The Ivory Game - Title Sequence from Kaiserlicht on Vimeo.