Netflix buys Orlowski’s Sundance feature

Netflix has acquired Chasing Coral, the upcoming enviro-doc from Jeff Orlowski, which screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Chasing Coral is Orlowski’s second film after 2012’s Chasing Ice, and follows a group of experts’ efforts to record coral bleaching as it happens.

Chasing Coral is a stunning cinematic achievement,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s vice president of original documentaries. “Jeff has captured a beautiful view under the ocean seldom seen, giving viewers a first-hand tour through a dynamic and urgent issue.

“We are proud to have the film join our growing roster of films and series that aim to speak to a wide global audience and engage people simultaneously across borders.”

The film was made by Argent Pictures, The Kendeda Fund, The Ocean Agency and View Into the Blue. New York-based distributor Submarine brokered the deal with Netflix.

Shot over three years and with underwater footage from 30 countries, Chasing Coral launches theatrically later this year, after being screened at Sundance.

Orlowski said: “We wanted to make sure that our film found the right home, especially given the global scale of this story. In partnering with Netflix, we’re excited about working together to make a huge impact around the world.”

Netflix regularly attends Sundance and looks to snag the buzziest docs being screened at the festival. Last year it acquired online bullying film Audrie & Daisy.

Global OTT players such as Netflix and Amazon are increasingly present at film festivals, either in buying mode or screening their own projects. Amazon said this weekend it will screen its upcoming drama series Patriot at next month’s Berlin Film Festival, Berlinale.

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