Last year, Netflix Original documentary The Square was getting a lot of Oscar buzz, and it ultimately got a nomination, though it didn’t win the award. It did acquire The Lady in Number 6, which won the documentary short category.
Now, another Netflix Original doc, Virunga, is getting Oscar buzz. The film is about endangered gorillas at Virunga National Park in the eastern Congo.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that it has been chosen by the Academy as one of the 15 films to compete for a nomination in the best documentary feature category. They asked director Orlando von Einsiedel how he feels about the Oscar buzz, to which he replied:
That’s out of my hands! All I can say is that we’re just humbled that people seem to like the film and seem to resonate with the issues at its heart. I think part of that is because there’s a few things at play – protecting this park isn’t just about protecting the last mountain gorilla, it’s also not just about protecting a part of eastern Congo that really is key to driving forward stability in the region, it’s an issue that everyone should care about, because Virunga is a world heritage site. Only a very small percentage of our planet is protected by these areas. These are parts of the world that humanity has come together and said that they’re so special that we can’t be exploring for oil or gas or coal, that we have to protect them. So if somewhere like Virunga, African’s oldest national park, falls in the face of business interests, what is left on out planet that is safe? And I think that resonates with people because they realize that this is really a line in the sand.
The film, which counts Leonardo DiCaprio as an executive producer, is currently available to stream. Netflix acquired the rights to it back in July.
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