By Sahil Patel
As you are well aware of by now, Netflix is in the midst of expanding its original programming strategy to include stand-up comedy specials, documentaries, and maybe soon, “big” feature-length films.
This morning, the company has announced its first “major” documentary acquisition — “The Square” from director-producer Jehane Noujaim (“Control Room”) and producer Karim Amer (“Rafea: Solar Mama”). The film, which won the Documentary People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival this year, provides an on-the-ground account of the Egyptian Revolution. The film captures everything from the protests in Tahrir Square in 2011 and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak to the ousting of Mohammed Morsi earlier this year. The story will be told through the perspective of three individuals: Magdy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; Khalid Abdalla, an Egyptian actor who played the lead in “The Kite Runner”; and Ahmed.
An earlier version of “The Square” won the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film was also an Official Selection at the 2013 New York Film Festival.
“The Square” will be available to all Netflix streaming subscribers in early 2014.
The film isn’t technically the first “Netflix original documentary”; in September the company acquired a film about the global financial crisis from Bloomberg Businessweek. That film, “Hank: Five Years from the Brink,” debuted on September 16. It was followed by “Bridegroom,” a film about the fight for marriage equality, which debuted on Netflix on October 27.