YouTube has acquired exclusive streaming rights to “Kedi,” a heartwarming and critically acclaimed documentary film about the stray cats in Istanbul, to be available next month on its YouTube Red subscription service.
“Kedi” will debut on YouTube Red on May 10, while it will continue its theatrical run in select locations throughout the year. YouTube reached the distribution deal with Oscilloscope Laboratories. The film has grossed $2.4 million to date in the U.S., per Box Office Mojo, making it the third-highest-grossing foreign-language documentary ever (behind 2010’s “Babies” and Wim Wenders’ dance documentary “Pina”).
The film, which premiered at the 2016 Istanbul Independent Film Festival, was produced by Termite Films’ Ceyda Torun and Charlie Wuppermann. Torun also serves as the film’s director and Wuppermann as the cinematographer. The film was executive produced by Thomas Podstawski and Gregor Kewel.
“Kedi” (which means “cat” in Turkish) takes viewers on a cat’s-eye journey through the winding streets of Istanbul, inviting the audience to experience the communal approach of the residents who care for the cats while allowing them to retain their independence. The seven cats featured in the film are: Sari (“The Hustler”), Duman (“The Gentleman”), Bengü (“The Lover”), Aslan Parçasi (“The Hunter”), Gamsiz (“The Player”), Psikopat (“The Psycho”), and Deniz (“The Social Butterfly”).
“We know the YouTube audience has a never-ending fascination with all things cats,” said Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s global head of original content. “Ceyda Torun and Charlie Wuppermann’s visually stunning documentary featuring seven charismatic felines navigating the streets of Istanbul has resonated with theatergoers around the world, and it has all the right elements to be incredibly popular on YouTube Red.”
YouTube Red, which costs $9.99 per month, provides ad-free access to YouTube, YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming and YouTube Kids as well as access to original series and movies. The service is currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea.
Watch the trailer for “Kedi”: