(Silver Spring, Md.—July 19, 2018) - In a wealthy city in Australia, a young man goes blind from a lack of vitamins. In the Antarctic wilderness, an explorer dies from ingesting too many. Vitamins and supplements are dietary staples around the globe, with almost one billion of us taking them regularly or giving them to our children. They are enthusiastically endorsed by celebrities, and vitamin-fortified foods line our supermarket shelves, further feeding their popularity. Yet, scientists disagree about their effectiveness and safety. What do we really know about these products? Are they safe, and just what is a vitamin anyhow? Award-winning investigative scientist and filmmaker Dr. Derek Muller explores mysteries of vitamins and supplements in Vitamania, a feature documentary co-production with Screen Australia in association with SBS Australia, CuriosityStream, ARTE France and Film Victoria, premiering on CuriosityStream’s streaming and on-demand platform on August 2, 2018.
“We are taught from a young age to take a daily multivitamin just in case of holes in our diet, and now as a parent I find myself wanting to do best for my own child, but as a scientist I know that vitamins and supplements are not without their controversies,” said Dr. Derek Muller. “Through the making of Vitamania, I sought to find out what the vitamin science really tells us.”
“CuriosityStream helps viewers better understand their world, and now Vitamania turns a trip to the grocery store into an immersive journey as enlightening as the space travel and historic adventures we already know our viewers crave,” said Steve Burns, Chief Content Officer of CuriosityStream.
Visually stunning, richly entertaining and impeccably researched, Vitamania investigates centuries of claims and counter-claims in the science behind vitamins. Dr. Muller travels inside the Arctic Circle in Norway to eat rotten fish and trace the story of cod liver oil. In the U.S., he attends a massive “natural health” trade show, revealing the hype and hysteria that drives the $100-billion global trade. In Melbourne, Australia, he discovers that the daily amount of each vitamin the human body needs to survive is tiny – in some cases, so tiny that it can barely be seen by the naked eye – but mighty in its ability to ward off diseases like scurvy.
Supplemented by interviews with some of the world’s leading researchers and nutritionists, Muller dives deep into a detailed, surprising and engaging exploration of the ubiquitous vitamin craze. Along the way, meet real people who have suffered the dramatic consequences of ingesting too few vitamins – or too many. By its conclusion, viewers will be armed with the knowledge they need to navigate conflicting health claims about vitamins and make informed decisions about the miracle molecules so central to our survival.
Vitamania features an original score and songs by renowned Australian composer and performer Casey Bennetto, best known for his work on the highly successful stage show Keating!
Vitamania is a Genepool Productions feature documentary for SBS Australia, CuriosityStream, and ARTE France, with principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Film Victoria. It is written, directed and produced by Sonya Pemberton and executive produced by Sonya Pemberton and Michael Cordell, Nick Murray and Derek Muller.
Launched by Discovery Communications founder and media visionary John Hendricks, CuriosityStream is the award-winning streaming and on-demand destination where viewers can journey through our world and beyond. Our immersive experiences feature experts from Stephen Hawking and David Attenborough to Veritasium’s Derek Muller, stunning visuals, and unrivaled storytelling to demystify science, history, technology, nature, health, the human spirit and more. With over 1,800 features, series, and documentaries, many in Ultra HD 4K, including exclusive originals, CuriosityStream is available worldwide to watch on TV, desktop, mobile and tablets. Find us on the web and via Roku, Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and Sprint and Google Chromecast, iOS and Android, as well as Amazon Channels, YouTube TV, Sling TV, VRV, Comcast Xfinity on Demand, and the Sony, LG, Samsung and VIZIO smart TV platforms.
Genepool Productions is a multi-award winning company based in Melbourne, Australia. Led by creative director Sonya Pemberton and cinematographer Harry Panagiotidis, the team has produced highly acclaimed science documentaries, including Jabbed - love, fear and vaccines; Immortal; and Catching Cancer. The shows have screened on networks and at festivals around the world, and have won multiple accolades, including Jackson Hole Science Media Awards, Eureka Awards for Science Journalism, AACTAs, ATOMs and an Emmy.
ABOUT DR. DEREK MULLER:
Dr. Muller is a scientist and filmmaker, the creator of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science with five million subscribers and half a billion views. He is best known for addressing counter-intuitive concepts in science, and for his extraordinary ability for making the most complex stories relatable and entertaining. Derek is also a correspondent on Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World.
ABOUT SCREEN AUSTRALIA:
Screen Australia is the Australian Federal Government agency charged with supporting Australian screen content through development, production and promotion across television, film, documentary and digital originals. The agency administers Australia’s official co-production program, in addition to the Producer Offset tax rebate which assists eligible television, film and online works to be made. Screen Australia provides a range of resources and opportunities to the industry including access to research, market intelligence plus special initiatives such as its highly successful Gender Matters program. For more information visit screenaustralia.gov.au