On the heels of the success of JANE, the BAFTA-nominated film, which was named best documentary of 2017 by 18 national critics groups, the Producers Guild of America, American Cinema Editors, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review and considered “a triumph of filmmaking,” National Geographic Documentary Films announced today the acquisition of festival favorite SCIENCE FAIR. The announcement took place at the National Geographic’s “Further Front” presentation in New York City.
Winner of the audience choice award at both Sundance 2018 and SXSW 2018, SCIENCE FAIR has been described by Deadline as “brilliant and quirky” and by Variety as an “immensely likable documentary that serves as an ode to the teenage science geeks on whom our future depends.” The documentary is an illuminating look at nine students from around the world as they prepare for the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair, a highly competitive showcase of the world’s top young scientific minds.
The film, directed by the DuPont Award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaking team Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster, offers a front seat to the victories, defeats and motivations of an incredible group of young men and women who are on a path to change their lives, and the world, through science. SCIENCE FAIR is produced by FUSION and Muck Media; Costantini, Foster and Jeffrey Plunkett serve as producers and Keith Summa, George Lansbury, Isaac Lee and Daniel Eilemberg as executive producers.
“Science Fair is a brilliant documentary that shines a light on the importance of science education through the endearing escapades of a group of rising innovators,” said Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production for National Geographic. “We’re thrilled to partner with Cristina, Darren and the entire team at FUSION on this project.”
In less than two years, National Geographic Documentary Films has come to be known for excellence in nonfiction storytelling, releasing acclaimed films such as Dupont Award-winning HELL ON EARTH, Emmy award-winning LA 92 and JANE (both LA 92 and JANE were included in the top 15 documentaries considered for an Oscar in 2017). This year’s slate continues to build on the company’s promise to bring audiences the best storytelling, featuring unbelievable stories of modern-day explorers, adventurers and everyday citizens who are challenging the status quo and changing the world.
National Geographic Documentary Films 2018-2019 slate includes:
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY CRISTINA COSTANTINI AND DARREN FOSTER
Winner of the audience award at both Sundance 2018 and SXSW 2018, SCIENCE FAIR has been described by Variety as an “immensely likable documentary that serves as an ode to the teenage science geeks on whom our future depends.” The documentary is an illuminating look at nine students from around the world as they prepare for the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair, a highly competitive showcase of the world’s top young scientific minds. The film, from FUSION’s DuPont Award-winning and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaking team Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster along with Jeffrey Plunkett, offers a front seat to the victories, defeats and motivations of an incredible group of young men and women who are on a path to change their lives, and the world, through science.
INTO THE OKAVANGO
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY NEIL GELINAS
The Okavango River Basin provides a vital source of water to about 1 million people, the world’s largest population of African elephants and significant numbers of lions, cheetahs and hundreds of species of birds. However, this once unspoiled oasis is now under siege due to increasing pressure from human activity. Premiering at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, INTO THE OKAVANGO chronicles a team of modern-day explorers on an epic four-month, 1,500-mile expedition across three countries to save the river system that feeds the Okavango Delta, one of our planet’s last wetland wildernesses. From first-time documentary filmmaker Neil Gelinas and featuring stunning photography and aerial views of rarely seen vistas, this deeply moving film draws the world’s attention not only to the Okavango River Basin, one of the most important areas for biodiversity conservation, but to the little-known and vulnerable wilderness area in the Angolan highlands on which it depends.
FREE SOLO (wt) Previously announced
DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY E. CHAI VASARHELYI AND JIMMY CHIN
FREE SOLO follows the first-ever free solo climb of El Capitan’s most significant and challenging route, ascending the sheer 3,000-foot vertical rock face in Yosemite National Park. Professional rock climber Alex Honnold completed the audacious mission in 3 hours and 56 minutes on June 3, 2017, while documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and National Geographic photographer, critically acclaimed filmmaker and world-class climber in his own right Jimmy Chin (the award-winning directing duo behind 2015 Sundance winner “Meru”) filmed the dramatic journey alongside him. With exclusive access to the event, the documentary from Itinerant Media and Parkes MacDonald Productions promises an intimate, unflinching portrait of the free soloist as he prepares for and then achieves his lifelong dream: to climb the face of the world’s most famous rock … without a rope.
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About National Geographic Documentary Films
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium, feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information, visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
For National Geographic:
Erin Griffin, National Geographic, 202-912-6681, firstname.lastname@example.org