JOHANNESBURG: 21 November 2022: Today, National Geographic Documentary Films announced the official premiere date for THE TERRITORY, the award-winning feature documentary debut from director Alex Pritz. The critically acclaimed film will premiere on Disney+ in South Africa on 2 December 2022.
THE TERRITORY provides an immersive look at the tireless fight of the Amazon’s Indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers. With awe-inspiring cinematography showcasing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau community and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land.
The film is produced by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Oscar-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning Sigrid Dyekjær (“The Cave”), Will N. Miller, Gabriel Uchida, Lizzie Gillett and Pritz. It is executive produced by Indigenous activist Txai Suruí, edited by Carlos Rojas Felice, with an original score by Katya Mihailova, sound design by Peter Albrechtsen and Rune Klausen, and sound mixing by Tim Nielsen at Skywalker Ranch. THE TERRITORY is a co-production with the Indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau community.
With unprecedented access to both sides of the conflict, THE TERRITORY is an intimate, multilayered thriller that catapults viewers into the life-or-death battle for the Amazon rainforest.
“As an independently made documentary, it has been a dream of ours to share the story of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau with a global audience since we first embarked on this project back in 2018,” said Pritz. “Our planet sits at a critical crossroads, and we cannot imagine a better partner than Disney+ to help bring this urgent message about environmental protection to households around the world with the hope of meaningful change.”
Partially shot by the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, the film relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth.
“THE TERRITORY is the epitome of a Nat Geo Documentary Films release, combining stunning cinematography, gripping storytelling and ethical collaboration with the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau participants throughout its production and impact campaign. We’re so delighted that we bring further awareness to the project on the global platform of Disney+,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of Scripted and Documentary Films for National Geographic.
THE TERRITORY was released theatrically in select countries after premiering at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition, where it won the Special Jury Award for Documentary Craft as well as the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award. Director Alex Pritz was recently named a 2022 BAFTA Breakthrough recipient — named among the very few who display the best work in film, games and television. The film was most recently nominated for seven categories of prestigious Cinema Eye Awards, including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Cinematography, Outstanding Original Score, Outstanding Sound Design, and Outstanding Debut and has been chosen as an Audience Choice Prize finalist.
To date, the film has screened at over 115 festivals globally and has won over 20 awards, including:
- Jackson Wild Media Award – Grand Teton Award
- True/False True Life Fund Recipient 2022
- Provincetown International Film Festival John Schlesinger Documentary Award
- DocsBarcelona Amnesty International of Catalonia Award
- Monaco Better World Fund Award – Best Documentary Film
- MountainFilm – Minds Moving Mountains Award
- Movies that Matter – Activist Documentary Award
Alongside the film’s theatrical release, a multiyear impact campaign was launched in support of Indigenous land defenders across the Amazon. The campaign focuses on amplifying the voices of Indigenous media creators, strengthening legal protections for Indigenous territories, and advancing international legislation and resourcing to combat illegal deforestation. In 2023, the campaign will host a series of screenings in Indigenous communities across the Amazon in an effort to ensure the film reaches as many people as possible who are facing similar threats and empower them to continue taking action. The impact campaign is led by Documist alongside Think-Film Impact Production and a broad network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners.
THE TERRITORY was made by Documist, Associação Jupaú do Povo Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, Real Lava, three-time Oscar-winning Passion Pictures and Protozoa Pictures, in association with TIME Studios and XTR with backing from Luminate and Doc Society.
National Geographic Documentary Films previously released the Academy Award®, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film “Free Solo” and the Academy Award-nominated film “The Cave.” In 2022, it released Sundance Award-winners “Fire of Love” and “The Territory,” as well as the short film “The Flagmakers.” Other critically acclaimed films under the banner include BAFTA nominees “The Rescue” and “Becoming Cousteau,” three-time Emmy Award winner “The First Wave,” and Emmy winners “LA 92” and “Jane.”
“There is no more urgent film that demands your attention this year.”
The Wrap, Katie Walsh
“…a gripping portrait of an endangered community.”
Los Angeles Times, Robert Abele
“Riveting and despairing in equal measure … Sharply crafted. Makes an impact.”
Variety, Guy Lodge
**IDA Awards – Best Documentary Feature Shortlist Selection**
**DOC NYC Shortlist Selection**
**Gotham Awards – Best Documentary Nominee**
**Seven-Time Cinema Eye Awards Nominee**
- Outstanding Nonfiction Feature
- Outstanding Production
- Outstanding Cinematography
- Outstanding Original Score
- Outstanding Sound Design
- Outstanding Debut
- Audience Choice Prize Finalist
**Three-Time Critic’s Choice Documentary Awards Nominee**
- Best First Documentary Feature
- Best Cinematography
- Best Science/Nature Documentary