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29 09 2020 - Media release

Screen Australia and Screen Queensland Dive in for Netflix Original Documentary Microworlds: Reef


Pete West, Nick Robinson

Netflix has announced it has commissioned its first Australian Netflix Original documentary, Microworlds: Reef, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland.

Filmed in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef, the sophisticated supermacro techniques specifically developed for the film will immerse viewers, for the very first time, in the exquisite world of the reef’s tiny, weird and wonderful inhabitants.

Directed by Nick Robinson, the producers are Electra Manikakis, Nick Robinson and Peta Ayers for Wild Pacific Media (Australia’s Ocean Odyssey, Australia: The Wild Top End, Out of Bounds Mountain Adventure); and Pete West, Louise Polain, Daniel Stoupin for BioQuest Studios.

From a rarely seen perspective, a coral reef comes to life with the slow, the fast and the almost-alien world of the creatures that underpin its ecosystems. This naturally contained world is home to dramas that play out every day unnoticed by the human eye.

Head of Documentary at Screen Australia, Bernadine Lim said, “Wild Pacific Media and BioQuest Studios have joined forces to create an incredibly innovative project, one which we are proud to support. The techniques that have been developed specifically for this project are ground-breaking and demonstrate the creativity and ingenuity of Australian filmmaking teams. Microworlds: Reef will allow viewers to explore hidden worlds often too small to be seen by the human eye, and we are excited Netflix will bring this documentary to both Australian and international audiences.”

Screen Queensland Chief Creative Officer, Jo Dillon said, Screen Queensland is pleased to support Microworlds: Reef through our Finance Program as Netflix’s first original Australian documentary. The documentary will take global audiences on an immersive journey through one of Queensland’s most iconic natural treasures and celebrated tourist attractions. BioQuest Studios is an innovative Far North Queensland screen business and, by supporting this production, we are successfully delivering on the Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan to create opportunities for the screen industry and generate economic impact in the region. Microworlds: Reef is able to continue production safely in accordance with an approved COVID-safe industry plan, which speaks to the overall resilience of the Queensland screen sector despite current challenges.”

Producer/director Nick Robinson said, “We are thrilled to have been commissioned by Netflix to co-produce their first original Australian documentary with the support of Screen Australia and Screen Queensland. Some of the smallest creatures on our planet play the greatest roles. This film aims to take us into the most beautiful of micro worlds - a world as epic as the African plains and as alien as the frontiers of space. It’s a hugely ambitious project but a vital story to tell in the face of our changing planet.”

Producer/DOP Pete West said, “We are very proud to be co-producing this groundbreaking film for Netflix. As scientists and filmmakers, we are highly motivated to discover and communicate stories that have never been told, using images that have never been seen.  Our specialised optics, lighting and precision control techniques will expose a fascinating microworld that underpins our precious reef ecosystems.”

Production credit: Microworlds Reef is a BioQuest Studios and Wild Pacific Media production for Netflix. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Screen Queensland.

Splice of the headshots of Peta Ayers, Louisa Polain and Electra ManikakisPeta Ayers, Louisa Polain, Electra Manikakis


Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


Wild Pacific Media is a production company specialised in creating high end, blue-chip documentary films that engage audiences in our natural world and encourage stewardship of our planet. One of Australia’s premiere producers of natural history television and giant screen films, their recent productions include Australia’s Ocean Odyssey (3 x 1hr ABC TV/ARTE), Out of Bounds: Mountain Adventure 3D (Giant Screen), Ocean Currents 3D (Giant Screen), and Australia: The Wild Top End 3D (Giant Screen).


BioQuest Studios is a world renowned  production company located on the doorstep to the Great Barrier Reef—Port Douglas, Australia. BioQuest was founded by a team of highly skilled people with a unique blend of extensive production experience, high quality image standards, and in-depth scientific knowledge of subjects and phenomena. They use the most advanced technologies and explore the most challenging topics in underwater filmmaking and photography.


Nathan Burman

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Tracey Mair

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