Netflix, Inc. Boosting Documentary Genre, Acquires Rights For ‘Virunga’

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Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) wants to include a maximum number of cause-related documentaries to the portfolio of movies it offers at present. The latest addition to it is the documentary ‘Virunga,’ says a report from NY Times. Exclusive rights to the documentary ‘Virunga,’ which will debut this year, have been acquired by Netflix.

Netflix has a strong base of more than 50 million global members, and this is what appeals the filmmakers the most as the stories get promoted to all at once.

Netflix adding documentaries to original content

‘Virunga’ story revolves around the national park located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A rebellion breaks out in the country, and the park, a UNESCO world heritage site, becomes a target of armed militia, poachers and others.‘Virunga’ was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature prize at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was also premiered there.

Netflix wants to lure maximum customers to avail its video-streaming services, and hence is adding more and more original shows and movies to its portfolio. A huge investment of $3 billion is made into content by Netflix. The company’s services in the U.S. have reached a state of maturity, and now it aims at spreading it across the globe.

The company has already seen a huge success with the scripted programs like ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black.’ Time Warner’s CNN and Amazon are few outlets that have been offering documentaries and have recently increased their numbers, as well. Following the suit, Netflix too added few to its portfolio and few big names are “Mitt,” about Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations, and “The Square,” about the Egyptian revolution.

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While the specific audience figures haven’t been released by Netflix, but the documentaries have been able to attract sizeable audiences, say the executives from the company. Lisa Nishimura, vice president of original documentary and comedy programming at Netflix, said that the documentaries with a social cause as the subject are able to generate much more interest from the audiences.

Besides ‘Virunga,’ a movie having human rights workers as its subject namely ‘E-Team’ and another movie about an oceanographer Sylvia Earle namely, ‘Mission Blue’ have been picked by Netflix, as well.

“We are really free from the constraints that other platforms have,” Ms. Nishimura said. “How many people in the world really get to go to Sundance?”

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