×

Netflix Wins First Feature Documentary Oscar With ‘Icarus’

Russian doping documentary “Icarus” has won the best documentary Academy Award for director Bryan Fogel and producer Dan Cogan — marking the first feature film documentary Oscar for Netflix.

Icarus” topped “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” “Last Men in Aleppo,” and “Strong Island.”

The film chronicles Fogel happening upon a major international doping scandal through Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory. He was one of the whistleblowers who came forward about Russian athletes using performance-enhancing drugs to compete in the Olympic Games. Fogel’s documentary helped lead to the ban of Russia from competing in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Olympic officials allowed Russian athletes to participate under a neutral flag as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Fogel said in his acceptance, “We dedicate this award to Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, our fearless whistleblower who now lives in great danger. We hope ‘Icarus’ is a wake-up call — yes, about Russia, but more than that, about the importance of telling the truth, now more than ever.”

Fogel blasted the International Olympic Committee backstage for giving Russia what he called a slap on the wrist. “What a fraud and what a corrupt organization,” he added.

Cogan also noted that Rodchenkov has been in protective custody in the U.S. as a result of his disclosures and pointed out that the head of the Russian Olympic said Rodchenkov should be shot.

Fogel and Cogan also praised Netflix, noting that the streaming service releases in 190 countries.

“Netflix has single-handedly changed the documentary world,” Fogel said. “It was a no-brainer decision. I’m honored that this is their film.”

“Icarus” premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Netflix for $5 million, one of the biggest ever deals for a non-fiction film.

POPULAR VIDEO:

More Film

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content