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National Geographic Buys Sundance Documentary ‘The Territory’

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National Geographic Documentary Films has acquired “The Territory,” a timely look at indigenous-led land defense in the Amazon rainforest, following its premiere at the virtual Sundance Film Festival.

The company plans to release “The Territory” theatrically later this year before the film heads to its streaming platforms.

Alex Pritz directed “The Territory” in his feature film debut. Using verité-style footage captured over three years, the documentary tells the fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against rapidly approaching deforestation brought by illegal loggers and nonnative farmers in the Brazilian Amazon.

In Variety’s review of “The Territory,” which screened in the world cinema documentary competition, film critic Guy Lodge described the doc as “riveting and despairing in equal measure.”

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“Dual forces of climate change and cultural genocide overlap to devastating effect in “The Territory,” threatening not just a native community but a wider ecosystem — and cheered on by the actively hostile powers that be,” Lodge wrote.

Darren Aronofsky, the Oscar-winning director of “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler” and “Requiem for a Dream,” served as a producer on “The Territory.” The film has been co-produced by the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau community, with activist Txai Suruí on board as an executive producer. Additional producers include “The Cave” filmmaker Sigrid Dyekjaer, Passion Pictures (“The Rescue”), along with Will N. Miller, Lizzie Gillett and Gabriel Uchida.

“‘The Territory” is an urgent story of courage and resilience, beautifully told by first-time feature director Alex Pritz. We are honored to bring the story of the Uru-eu-wau-wau people to the world and help further the conversation and raise awareness around the endangered Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive VP of global scripted content and documentary films for National Geographic. “We are equally excited to be working with our longtime friend Sigrid Dyekjær whose talent for shepherding stories of impact and advocacy is unprecedented and with our frequent collaborator Darren Aronofsky, a visionary storyteller with an unmatched eye for breakthrough talent.”

“The Territory” producers brokered the deal with the National Geographic Documentary Films team.

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