Netflix is launching four documentary films at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, including one about Amanda Knox, the American woman who spent nearly four years in an Italian prison for the murder of a roommate before she was acquitted.
The titles are: “Amanda Knox,” from directors Rod Blackhurst (“Here Alone”) and Brian McGinn (“Chef’s Table”) and producers Mette Heide and Stephen Robert Morse; Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s “Into the Inferno,” about the relationship between humans and volcanoes; “The Ivory Game,” a film about the illegal ivory trade in Africa from directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson and executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio; and “The White Helmets,” about three volunteer rescue workers helping civilians in the Syrian conflict in early 2016, from director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara, the filmmaking team behind “Virunga” (which Netflix acquired in 2014). This year’s TIFF runs Sept. 8-18.
The four documentaries are set to hit Netflix’s streaming service worldwide this fall with “The White Helmets” launching Sept. 16, followed by “Amanda Knox” (Sept. 30), “Into the Inferno” (Oct. 28) and “The Ivory Game” (Nov. 4).
“The breadth of our slate at the Toronto International Film Festival speaks to Netflix’s continued celebration of diverse voices and styles in the world of nonfiction,” Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of original documentary programming, said in a statement. “We are committed to pushing the boundaries of the documentary form, and our films screening at Toronto represent both emerging talent and iconic filmmakers during a thrilling time for documentaries.”
Netflix previously announced that Ava DuVernay’s “The 13th,” about the history of racial injustice in the U.S., will be the first nonfiction film to premiere opening night of the New York Film Festival; it’s slated to debut on Netflix on Oct. 7. Among other documentary titles in Netflix’s queue are two Sundance acquisitions, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s “Audrie & Daisy,” which examines two teen assault cases tried in the new public square of shame on social media, and Kevin Macdonald’s “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang,” a documentary of the titular fireworks artist. Those are slated for 2016 release along with winner of the Tribeca Best Documentary Short, “Extremis,” exploring the decisions faced in urgent end-of-life cases.
Two Netflix documentaries — “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “Winter on Fire” — were nominated for 2016 Academy Awards, and the streamer’s first original documentary acquisition, “The Square,” earned an Oscar nom in 2013.
Pictured above: Amanda Knox