National Geographic Documentary Films has acquired the rights to the Sundance doc “The Territory,” which is directed by Ferras Fayyad and produced by Darren Aronofsky and “The Cave” director Sigrid Dyekjaer.
The film follows — and is partially filmed by — the indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau of the Amazon rainforest, who fight desperately against escalating deforestation by illegal loggers and non-native farmers emboldened by the far-right policies of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. Shot over three years, the film includes footage taken by the native activists themselves as they seek to expose the truth.
“The Territory” is the debut feature documentary for Fritz, with Uru-eu-wau-wau activist Txai Suruí serving as executive producer. Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures co-produced the film with Dyekjaer, Will N. Miller, Lizzie Gillett, Gabriel Uchida and Passion Pictures also producing.
“We are honored to bring the story of the Uru-eu-wau-wau people to the world and help further the conversation and raise awareness around the endangered Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people,” said Carolyn Bernstein, EVP of Global Scripted Content and Documentary Films for National Geographic.
“We are equally excited to be working with our longtime friend Sigrid Dyekjær whose talent for shepherding stories of impact and advocacy is unprecedented and with our frequent collaborator Darren Aronofsky, a visionary storyteller with an unmatched eye for breakthrough talent.”
The producers negotiated the deal with National Geographic, who will release the film theatrically ahead of a streaming launch. National Geographic has also acquired the volcano documentary “Fire of Love,” continuing a hot streak of releasing critically acclaimed documentaries dating back to the 2018 Oscar-winning film “Free Solo” and including the Thai cave film “The Rescue,” which is also favored to earn an Oscar nomination this year.