Netflix just announced another documentary acquisition, calling this one its first "major" one for its original documentary initiative.
Apparently it's already getting some Oscar buzz.
The film is The Square. It's described as "a riveting, deeply human chronicle of the Egyptian protest movement."
Netflix gives a more detailed description in its announcement:
The film captures the immediacy and intensity of the protests in Tahrir Square from the 2011 overthrow of military leader Hosni Mubarak through the ousting of Mohammed Morsi in 2013, providing a kaleidoscopic, visceral portrait of the events as they unfold before Magdy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khalid Abdalla, an Egyptian actor who played the lead in "The Kite Runner" and the charismatic Ahmed, whose poetic storytelling carries the narrative. Armed with nothing more than cameras, social media, deep consciousness, and a resolute commitment to change, these young revolutionaries give us a front-line perspective of the ongoing struggle fought with new weapons.
It's directed by Jehane Noujaim (Control Room, Startup.com, Rafea: Solar Mama) and produced by Karim Amer (Rafea: Solar Mama).
"We are thrilled to be presenting an amazing film that brings to life in such a deeply human way one of the most important events of our time," said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of Original Documentary Programming. "'The Square' is documentary filmmaking at the highest level – a beautifully constructed chronicle of brave people struggling against insurmountable odds to make their country a much better place. One knows that history is unfolding on the screen before you when watching 'The Square'."
"Our dream for 'The Square' is to inspire the hearts of as many people as possible and by working with Netflix, we can insure the film reaches a wide and diverse audience. Nothing about the making of this film has followed the norms and that's what makes it exciting. It is crucial for us as filmmakers, who have shot a documentary about people risking and losing their lives for their beliefs, to create a spirit of possibility," said Noujaim.
"We see the deep value that Netflix places in this story of a very alive moment in world history and are thrilled they understand the power of this film to move, disrupt and inspire audiences worldwide," said Amer.
An earlier version of the film won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the 2013 New York Film Festival.
Netflix will make The Square available to its entire global membership. It will debut in early 2014.