44 Blue Productions has partnered with Kevin Costner to develop new anthology docuseries Onward, about traditions and rituals in Indigenous communities around the world.
Each episode of Onward will focus on a specific Indigenous community and how their people, land and culture have endured existential threats such as climate change, commercial development and the pandemic.
The concept for Onward is based on creator Cale Glendening’s documentary short of the same name, which chronicled his time embedded with Kazakh-Mongolia eagle hunters in the remote Altai Mountains of Mongolia. Onward is executive produced by Glendening, Costner, Monitor & Merrimack Pictures’ Glenn Kleczkowski and Mark Gillard, and 44 Blue’s Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch. Smriti Mundhra, founder of Meralta Films and creator of Indian Matchmaking, serves as showrunner.
“We hope Onward will be an intimate portrait of family and community life that celebrates the diversity of cultures — many of them at risk of extinction — across the world,” said Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch, co-founder and co-CEO of 44 Blue.
“I’m excited by the opportunity to explore the themes of family, sustainability, culture and community through a global Indigenous lens,” said Mundhra. “Especially in partnership with storytellers who are most closely connected to those worlds.”
“Onward is not only a preservation project, but also a celebration of culture,” added Glendening. “My goal is to create the largest visual anthology of Indigenous people in the world so that we can help keep these traditions alive.”
“As the world around us continues to shrink, it is our responsibility to not only celebrate Indigenous people around the globe, but to help document and preserve their customs and ways of life,” said Kleczkowski and Gillard. “To do so in partnership with Kevin Costner and 44 Blue as well as the amazingly talented Smriti Mundhra and Cale Glendening is a dream come true.”