National Geographic Wins Academy Award for “Free Solo”

“Free Solo” won for Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards, making it the first Oscar win for the 2-year-old National Geographic Documentary Films banner.

Hailed by The New York Times as “an extraordinary gift to everyone who believes that the limit of human achievement is far from being reached,” the film is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to climb El Capitan without a rope.

“Thank you, Alex Honnold, for giving us courage and teaching us how to believe in the impossible and inspiring us,” said Chai Vasarhelyi, one of the film’s producers and directors who accepted the award. “This film is for everyone who believes in the impossible.”

“Free Solo” will make its global broadcast debut on March 3 at 9/8c, premiering commercial free on the National Geographic channel in the United States, followed by a global rollout in 172 countries and 43 languages.

Earlier this month, “Free Solo” won a British Academy Film award for Best Documentary, the first-ever BAFTA Film award for National Geographic. In the U.S., “Free Solo” has earned more than million at the box office, making it the top grossing Academy Award documentary nominee and the second-highest grossing documentary of 2018.