Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way Productions shingle have partnered with Netflix on the release of “Virunga,” the documentary about endangered gorillas on the Congo that the digital network acquired exclusive subscription-video rights to in July.
DiCaprio will serve as an executive producer on the film, which is slated for release on November 7 in theaters in New York and Los Angeles and on Netflix in all territories where Netflix is available.
“Films like ‘Virunga’ are powerful stories that are a window into the incredible cultural and natural diversity of our world, the forces that are threatening to destroy it, and the people who are fighting to protect it,” said DiCaprio, himself an environmental activist. “Partnering with Netflix on this film is an exciting opportunity to inform and inspire individuals to engage on this topic.”
The film, from director Orlando von Einsiedel, follows an embattled team of park rangers and the endangered mountain gorillas they protect as they are caught in the crossfire of poachers, militia and industry in Africa’s oldest national park. Variety’s Ronnie Scheib reviewed the film at Tribeca, calling it a “rousing, must-see work, filmed amid flying bullets and racist conspirators, provides a dramatic front-row seat to a struggle whose moral integrity proves no guarantee against the superior firepower of greed and corruption.”
“Leo intuitively understands that there is nothing like the power of film to reach people’s hearts and minds,” said Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos. “With ‘Virunga,’ we’ll work with Leo to introduce viewers around the world to an incredible, gripping story that will have audiences guessing right up until the final act.”