PRESS RELEASE 07 - 06 Feb 2013



Manchester based UK independent production company Urban Canyons has moved into post production for their latest history co-pro Samurai Headhunters; part of the UNTOLD HISTORY strand of ancient warrior drama docs.

During 2012, Urban Canyons Managing Director Sebastian Peiter raised the finance from Smithsonian Channel, ZDF / Arte, UKTV and ZDF Enterprises; with additional support from the European MEDIA fund.

Sebastian Peiter: "Financing classic drama docs like Samurai Headhunters is increasingly challenging. I am glad Urban Canyons can welcome a UK broadcaster and ZDF Enterprises to the table; joining our established partners Smithsonian Channel and ZDF / Arte, who were both crucial in financing last years’ Ninja Shadow Warriors production. I am delighted to say that drama docs are still selling; we are already negotiating Samurai pre-sales to VIASAT, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia, Belgium, and Ireland. Also in development are exciting new programmes for our UNTOLD HISTORY strand; for the next warrior film we are working to secure Homeland star David Harewood."

Former AETN UK Channel Director for History, Bio, Crime & Investigation, and Military History Richard Melman Exec produced SAMURAI, after guiding Urban Canyons’ first successful history production to an on time and on budget delivery. Ninja Shadow Warriors was first shown by Smithsonian Channel and Arte with additional programme sales via distributor NGC (formerly NGTI). Ninja Shadow Warriors will premier in the UK on Yesterday in March 2013.

SAMURAI Video blog:

NINJA Trailer:

ZDF, Arte Commissioner, Peter Allenbacher: "I am glad to move into production with Urban Canyons for a second time. Ninja Shadow Warriors is an outstanding documentary in terms of shooting style, narration as well as the music soundtrack."

Smithsonian Channel, Vice President Production, Charles Poe: "I have gone through the SAMURAI HEAD-HUNTERS script and I am pleased to see many of the same approaches that worked so well in NINJA. I have no doubt it will be a beautiful and compelling film, as NINJA was".

Samurai Headhunters - Synopsis

For over a thousand years, the Samurai have been celebrated as an aristocratic warrior class. Exceptionally skilled and loyal until death, their very name has become a byword for honour and dignity. Now, for the first time on television, we reveal the unknown dark side of the Samurai - a fascinating tale of greed, treachery, extreme cruelty and violent death.

The film reconstructs the life of a young peasant farmer who is press-ganged into a warlord’s army. Driven by his love for a girl of noble birth, young Masa quickly rises through the ranks from simple foot soldier to venerated commander. But his reward is to be one of betrayal, lies and forced suicide by his fellow Samurai. The drama doc also features a living Samurai master, British and Japanese historians as well as CG battle animation, stunning reenactments, original costumes and historic locations in Japan.


Urban Canyons is a PACT registered production and distribution company based in Manchester specialising in arts, youth and history documentaries, founded by ExBBC Director Sebastian Peiter. Its bestseller is the URBANATION travel and music series, which sold to over 20 broadcasters worldwide, and GUERILLA ART a one hour arts doc on the world’s most influential street artists (including Banksy), which was published as a book by Laurence King Publishing.


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