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Netflix in buying mode at Sundance

Netflix2Netflix has had a busy Sundance, acquiring new docs and features from the ongoing film festival in Utah.

It has bought Icarus, a feature doc in which endurance cyclist Bryan Fogel taking performance enhancing medication to find out the effects of doping in cycling.

In the course of his programme, however, Fogel uncovers a Russian doping programme that was allegedly state sanctioned, and which resulted in an international scandal and Russian athletes being banned from competing.

Icarus is made by Impact Partners with Chicago Media Project, Diamond Docs and Alex Productions.

“Fogel’s incredible risk-taking has delivered an absorbing real-life thriller that continues to have global reverberations,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix vice president of Original Documentaries. “By ripping the cover off of an international doping-industrial complex, ICARUS is an incredible story that shows how far some people will go to uphold national pride.”

Fogel added: “To be able to work with Netflix, a company that is able to launch this story globally in such a big way, with such potential for social and political impact, is a spectacular honour.”

The film will go out on Netflix’s international streaming service and is the third Sundance pick-up of the year. The US-based streaming service has also snagged enviro-doc Chasing Coral.

Netflix’s third Sundance deal is for The Incredible Jessica James. It will be branded as a Netflix Original and launch on the SVOD service later this year. The film, the closing night feature at this year’s Sundance, follows a young couple in social media obsessed New York.