Fresh off of the success of their first collaboration, "Virunga", which received a Oscar nomination for Best Documentary, Leonardo DiCaprio and Netflix are looking long term with a new deal that aims to transform how cause-focused filmmakers get their projects in front of audiences.
“Working with Netflix on Virunga has sparked a shared vision about projects that we want to develop and bring to viewers," DiCaprio said in a statement. "There’s never been a more critical time for our planet or more of a need for gifted storytellers to help us all make sense of the issues we face."
Under the terms of agreement, DiCaprio's Appian Way production company will enter into a multi-year, first-look deal with Netflix for exclusive access to nonfiction films. The two will work together to identify and develop potential fact-based projects with with "a particular focus on environmental and conservation themes." DiCaprio will serve as producer or executive producer for all projects launched through the partnership.
"I hope to give documentary filmmakers doing urgent and important work the chance to have their films seen immediately by audiences all around the world," DiCaprio added.
With some 57 million subscribers in more than 50 countries, Netflix is now poised to make good on a push last year to expand its selection of cause-focused documentaries.
"We are really free from the constraints that other platforms have,” Lisa Nishimura, vice president of original documentary and comedy programming at Netflix, told the NY Times last year. “How many people in the world really get to go to Sundance?"
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