Manchester production company delivers historical docudrama for European broadcasters

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

God's Soldiers was the first major production to shoot and complete in Malta after the first wave of COVID, created by Northern Quarter-based Urban Canyons and its Maltese prodcution partner.

The production houses have delivered the drama documentary - which covers the 16th century religious war in the Mediterranean - to European broadcasters ZDF, ARTE and ORF. Urban Canyons is a PACT-registered production and distribution company specialising in historical drama documentaries based on Stephenson Square in Manchester's Northern Quarter.

God's Soldiers, which will air on the German and Austrian public broadcaster and on French-German channel ARTE, follows two individuals in a long-running conflict between two of the most powerful world religions, which built up to a climactic battle in the Mediterranean.

It was supported by grants from the Malta Film Commission and European MEDIA Creative Europe. It was produced in line with COVID restrictions - including completing post-production in HD and 4K remotely from home and business premises in secure locations in Manchester, Valletta, London and Vienna.

ORF Commissioner, Caroline Haidacher, said: “I was amazed to have this beautiful production delivered just in time for our blue-chip Universum History slot at the end of December. The complex delivery of several broadcast versions was part of a combined effort across several countries. The 90 minute feature achieved impressive ratings for a late evening audience on ORF2.” 

ZDF and ARTE Commissioner, Peter Allenbacher, added: “God’s Soldiers is a drama-driven documentary with a remarkably high production value. Urban Canyons’ historic re-enactments are accurate and have a unique cinematic look.”

God's Soldiers is released in two 52-minute episodes and one 91-minute version.

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