Netflix documentary Virunga has been nominated for the 87th annual Oscars in the Best Documentary category, as announced on Thursday. Virunga is from Leonardo DiCaprio’s production house Appian Ways and narrates the story of Virunga National Park, which safeguards rare mountain gorillas in Africa. Further, the film also shows the political conflict in the region.
Netflix a good platform for documentaries
Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos said the team is grateful to the Academy for this acknowledgement. Sarandos added that he is stirred by the passion and commitment of Orlando von Einseidel, Joanna and the Netflix team, and their efforts have made an astonishing and unforgettable film of deep emotional quality that is appealing to global audiences and making a difference for the future of Virunga National Park.
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Einsiedel told the Hollywood Reporter, “We’re all over the moon,” after the nominations were announced Thursday morning. Netflix does great things with documentaries such as E Team, and The Square and helps directors reach 53 million homes in 50 countries.
Einsiedel said when Virunga got the BAFTA, DGA and PGA nominations, first five minutes were great, and then nervousness grips. He said it is very overwhelming, but the aim of the show is to stop people from destroying the mountain gorillas.
Second nomination for Netflix
Virunga is directed by first-time feature director Orlando von Einseidel and talks about the conflicting interests of big oil, poachers and an armed militia in the flimsy habitat of the planet’s sole remaining mountain gorillas, according to the official synopsis via Netflix.
This is the second Academy Award nomination for a Netflix documentary. The Square, which was a story about Egyptian revolutionaries, was its first nomination. After last year’s nomination, this year’s recognition indicates that the company’s documentary initiative is effective. Not just documentaries though, Netflix is also grabbing awards and nominations for original TV series such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
The Square was directed by Jehane Noujaim and based on the recent Egyptian political turmoil and protest at Tahrir Square. Though The Square was considered as the favorite documentary, it lost to Twenty Feet from Stardom during the 2014 telecast. However, the streaming video company won an award for The Lady in No. 6: Music Saved My Life in the best documentary short category.