Netflix has acquired global rights to Participant’s feature documentary “Descendant”, which just won the US Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is dedicated to Diane Weyermann, the former Chief Content Officer at Participant, who died of cancer in October at the age of 66. Higher Ground the production company of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, will present the film alongside Netflix. Directed by Margaret Brown, “Descendant” follows members of Africatown, a small community in Alabama, as they share their personal stories and community history as descendants of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to illegally transport human beings as cargo from Africa to America. The ship’s existence, a centuries-old open secret, is confirmed by a team of marine archaeologists. The film explores implications of Clotilda’s discovery for the descendants, who grapple with their heritage while claiming the power to shape their own destinies. The movie is produced by Kyle Martin, Essie Chambers and Margaret Brown. Brown has said, “I have been humbled and honoured to spend four years with the residents of Africatown as they seek justice and reconciliation for what happened in 1860, and what is still happening today. “I am excited that through Netflix and Higher Ground’s global reach, audiences around the world will learn this powerful history.” This is the 10th film or series that Netflix and Participant have collaborated on including American Factory with Higher Ground. The participant will be incorporating Descendant into its ongoing impact work dedicated to advancing both social and racial justice. The film, a Night Tide production, in association with Two One Five Entertainment and directed by Brown, premiered in the US Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival was received rave reviews. On Friday, the feature won the US documentary special jury award for creative vision. Filmmaker Peter Nicks presented the special jury award on behalf of his fellow US documentary competition jury that includes Garrett Bradley and Joan Churchill. “We would like to recognize a film which evokes, un-surfaces and reveals, in a profound direction forward, a character-driven film in pursuit of historical reconciliation,” Nicks said.
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