Netflix has acquired the exclusive rights to three new documentaries, including two that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball” chronicles actor Bing Russell and the creation of the Portland Mavericks, the only independent baseball team in America at the time. Russell’s grandchildren Chapman Way and Maclain Way directed the film, which includes an interview with another famous actor — Kurt Russell, Bing’s son. It will premiere on Netflix July 11.
“E-Team,” directed by Oscar winner Ross Kauffman and Katy Cheivgny, follows human rights workers as they investigate abuses in countries across the globe. The documentary, pictured above, will appear on Netflix in the fall.
Both movies drew strong reviews out of Sundance in what was another strong year for documentaries at the festival. Netflix also acquired “Mission Blue,” a film about the environmentalism of legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle. It will premiere in August.
Documentaries are central to Netflix’s original strategy, alongside dramatic series and comedy specials. Though “House of Cards” remains the streaming service’s most talked-about show, Netflix has picked up a number of stellar documentaries. It acquired Oscar nominee “The Square,” about protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and “Mitt,” about the former Utah governor. Netflix acquired the latter before it premiered at Sundance.
“Netflix is making a big move into programming original documentary films and it’s really exciting for audiences and documentary filmmakers alike,” Chapman Way and Maclain Way said in a statement.