At Netflix, an Emphasis on Real-Life Offerings ; Company Is Focusing on Documentary Films with Global Messages

By Steel, Emily | International New York Times, July 29, 2014 | Go to article overview

At Netflix, an Emphasis on Real-Life Offerings ; Company Is Focusing on Documentary Films with Global Messages


Steel, Emily, International New York Times


The company says it is focusing on cause-related films with global messages.

Netflix is picking up exclusive rights to the documentary "Virunga" as part of a broader push by the company to include more cause-related documentaries in its growing lineup of original programming.

The film, about the battle to protect a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will make its debut on Netflix this year. It follows a team of park rangers at Virunga National Park that includes a former child soldier, a caretaker for orphan gorillas and a Belgian conservationist. The group fights to save the Unesco world heritage site from armed militias, poachers and others as a rebellion breaks out across the country.

"Virunga" had its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, where it was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature prize.

Netflix is pouring $3 billion into content this year and is steadily expanding its roster of original programing to lure subscribers. At the same time, Netflix is charting an international expansion as its streaming business in the United States matures.

While the company has received much attention for its scripted programs, including "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black," it has also picked up a series of documentaries. …

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