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Netflix, Leonardo DiCaprio Team Up for “Virunga” Documentary

ByEmmanuel Barrios
Oct 18, 2014 07:42 PM EDT

Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions is teaming up with Netflix to release "Virunga", a documentary film directed by Orlando von Einsiedel about a team of park rangers up in arms to protect endangered mountain gorillas in Africa, reports Deadline.

The documentary will be released simultaneously on November 7 in Los Angeles and New York theaters, as well as all Netflix-available territories.

Mike Fleming Jr. of Deadline.com writes, "The film is part investigative journalism and part nature documentary, and follows the rangers as they are caught in the crossfire of poachers, militia and industry in Africa's oldest national park."

Fleming adds that Netflix's move to partner with Appian Way Productions "becomes the latest example of Netflix availing itself of feature talent as it continues to ramp up its output of features."

Regarding his partnership with Netflix to release the documentary, DiCaprio says, "Films like Virunga are powerful stories that are a window into the incredible cultural and natural diversity of our world, the forces that are threatening to destroy it, and the people who are fighting to protect it."

"Partnering with Netflix on this film is an exciting opportunity to inform and inspire individuals to engage on this topic," he adds. DiCaprio will serve as the film's executive producer.

"Leo intuitively understands that there is nothing like the power of film to reach people's hearts and minds," said Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos. "With 'Virunga,' we'll work with Leo to introduce viewers around the world to an incredible, gripping story that will have audiences guessing right up until the final act."

"With enough action, pathos, suspense, venal villains, stalwart heroes and endangered gorillas for a dozen fiction films, Orlando von Einsiedel's extraordinary documentary "Virunga" lays out the complex of deadly forces threatening the titular national park," Variety's Ronnie Scheib wrote of the film:

"This rousing, must-see work, filmed amid flying bullets and racist conspirators, provides a dramatic front-row seat to a struggle whose moral integrity proves no guarantee against the superior firepower of greed and corruption," he adds.

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