NDR|Naturfilm ‘Lost Kings of Bioko’

Smithsonian Channel ‘Monkeys of Bioko’

A blue chip wildlife documentary featuring the drill monkey for the first time in broadcast history. ‘Lost Kings of Bioko’ broadcasted in Germany on July 2019 and ‘Monkeys of Bioko’ in the USA on July 2020.

The film took three years in the making and was produced by Gulo Film Productions and Drill Films for Doclights / NDR Naturfilm in association with NDR, WDR, ARTE, ORF, SVT and Smithsonian Channel.


Off the coast of Central Africa lies an island called Bioko. Covered by primeval rainforest and surrounded by dark ocean waters. The ruler of this realm is one of the world’s least known primate species, the drill. The film follows the story of a drill family as they live deep within the island’s dense forests and explores the complex society of these incredible primates.  Much of this behavior has never been witnessed in the wild and this film is the first comprehensive look at the drills within their hidden world. 

Making off

Bioko drill monkeys are not habituated to humans, portraying their secretive life took to the team nearly 12 months of filming in remote areas and living deep in the equatorial rain forest, along with rare tropical diseases and drills getting dangerously close. All of it worth it to have a glimpse into the life of these very endanger and unknown primates. The forests of Bioko are also inhabited by a greater variety of animals, the film also portraits the stories of various species of sea turtles and the greatest migration of gobi fish.

Equipment: Arri Amira and Alexa, Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm, Sony A7sII, Sony FS7 – remote control cameras setup and operation.


The film has been 60 times finalist at international film festivals and received 57 awards, special mentions or nominations. Some of them include:

  • Wildscreen Festival Panda Awards 2020, England – Nomination for Production Team Award
  • United Nations / Jackson Wild, 2020 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Biodiversity, USA – Nomination for Best Film in Category Web of Life.
  • Green Screen, Wildlife Film Festival 2019, Germany – Best of Festival and nomination for Audience Award.

Complete list available at : http://www.gulofilm.de/en/awards/auszeichnung-herrscher-einer-vergessenen-welt-biokos-drills-2019/