National Geographic Channel has acquired worldwide rights to the untitled climate change feature documentary produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Oscar-winning actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio. Martin Scorsese is executive producer.
The film looks at how society can prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the globe. It presents visual evidence of a worsening environmental crisis that is inflicting irreversible damage on pristine landscapes from Greenland to Indonesia, disturbing the balance of our planet’s climate and hastening the extinction of animals, according to Nat Geo.
National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe, appearing at TCA where the channel announced the news, said Nat Geo was given the opportunity to look at the DiCaprio docu first “and immediately took it off the market.” It will be released theatrically in October and globally on Nat Geo prior to the presidential election, she said.
One TV critic wondered whether this docu means the network is endorsing Hillary Clinton. “We do not endorse any candidates at all, but climate change issues, and the environment, are essential parts of our DNA,” Monroe answered diplomatically.
In the docu, DiCaprio interviews individuals in both developing and developed nations who provide views on what must be done today – and in the future – to transition our economic and political systems into environmentally friendly institutions.
Subjects include President Barack Obama, Former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis, as well as top NASA researchers, forest conservationists, respected scientists, community leaders and activists.
“National Geographic has a long history of inspiring others to care about the planet,” said Monroe. “Now, in the midst of the undeniable crisis that is climate change, we have a responsibility to inspire others to act. I have no doubt that the global reach of our brand, combined with DiCaprio’s passion for this issue and Fisher’s compelling storytelling will bring this critical issue to the forefront like never before.”
“Climate change is the most fundamental threat facing our planet,” said DiCaprio in a statement. “We must work together as a collective voice to demand major action now. Our very survival depends on it. This documentary translates the symptoms and solutions of climate change before information is distorted, as it often is, by those with a financial interest in fossil fuel production.”
“If you could know the truth about how much damage we’ve done to our planet and how much time we have to find solutions before this whole ecosystem collapses — would you want to know? We can no longer turn a blind eye to this issue and hope that it resolves itself,” added Stevens. “My hope is that this film provides a wakeup call about our inevitable fate should we fail to act. And on the eve of what could be the most important election of our time, I hope this film not only educates the public on the serious threat we face, but also forces voters to really think about how important their vote is this fall.”
The film is a RatPac Documentary Films, Appian Way and Insurgent Media production. It is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brett Ratner, Fisher Stevens, James Packer, Jennifer Davisson and Trevor Davidoski and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
The deal was negotiated by John Sloss of Cinetic Media with Tim Pastore, President of Original Programming and Production for National Geographic Channel.