Global launch for Monster Films produced real-life version of Raiders of the Lost Ark 

Orange Smarty, the independent distributor and financing house that specialises in multiplatform factual content, has brought together international partners to finance a new series from multi-award-winning Welsh independent Monster Films 

The new premium history/mystery documentary series Cursed Treasures (10 x 45 mins), billed as a real-life take on Raiders Of The Lost Ark, attempts to untangle the myths from the facts behind famously ill-fated treasures, including Tutankhamun’s tomb, the Hope Diamond and the Terracotta Army. Co-funded and distributed by Orange Smarty, international partners include A+E Networks UK, Foxtel Australia and Viasat World.

Each episode of Cursed Treasuresfocuses on four iconic locations or artifacts that have exerted a strange and malevolent power over those who have become embroiled their story. Brought to life by cutting-edge CGI, cinematic drama reconstructions and never-before-seen archive footage, the series examines the dark history of each treasure with the help of archaeologists and scientists. The experts’ aim is to separate fact from fable in a bid to explain why these doomed artefacts have become associated with the ultimate price tag: human life itself.

The series is a product of Orange Smarty’s ongoing investment strategy that helps see content come to market through building relationships with production partners where sharing international intelligence and expertise helps bring projects to life. With Cursed Treasures, the distributor directly invested in a treatment and its development and brought in early finance partners to take it from idea to screen. 

Karen Young, CEO of Orange Smarty, said: “Much like the experts searching for the truth behind these doomed treasures, Orange Smarty’s job is to search out returning IP that rings true with global audiences and broadcasters. Bringing together history, archaeology, science, cultural mythology and mesmerising storytelling, Cursed Treasures is a rare example of a show that delivers on every front. We knew it had the makings of a hit the moment we saw it — and the quality of our pre-sales partners indicates that the market agrees with us.” 

Executive Producer Rik Hall for Monster Films said ‘We are excited to partner with Orange Smarty on Cursed Treasures. From the outset the team there embraced the originality of the concept and its inherent appeal to the International Market. It feels like it has all the hallmarks of a series which could run and run’.

Dan Korn, executive producer for A+E Networks UK, said: ‘Cursed Treasuresis a typically imaginative and compelling storytelling approach from Monster Films, to some of the most enduring archaeological and artefactual mysteries of our time. From the fascination with Egyptian tombs and the famous artwork which depicts the tormented souls of some of the world’s greatest artists, to the ill-gotten gems and rubies which even today decorate the Crowned Heads of Europe, this series is a journey into the sinister world of archaeological adventurism and opportunism.’

Cursed Treasures is the second collaboration between Monster Films and Orange Smarty. In 2019, the two companies joined forced on The Real Prime Suspect, which has subsequently sold into the US, Australia, Finland and CEE. Fronted by Met police officer Jackie Malton, who inspired Helen Mirren’s character in Lynda La Plante’s iconic drama Prime Suspect, the16-part true-crime series re-examines notorious UK and US murder cases, from the discovery of the crime to conviction.