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Netflix Buys Oscar-Nominated Documentary ‘To Kill a Tiger’

Courtesy of NFB

Netflix has secured the rights to the Oscar-nominated documentary “To Kill a Tiger.” The movie, which follows a father’s quest for justice in rural India, debuted at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and won the best documentary award at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival. It was previously the sole nominee for the best feature documentary Oscar without distribution this year.

Directed and scripted by Nisha Pahuja, a filmmaker born in New Delhi known for “The World Before Her,” the 127-minute movie follows the emotional journey of Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, who sparks a societal reckoning after his 13-year-old daughter falls victim to a gang rape.

In his review of “To Kill a Tiger,” Variety’s film critic Siddhant Adlakha lauds it as a potent and daring example of contemporary nonfiction filmmaking in South Asia. He compares it to recent films like “All That Breathes,” “Against the Tide,” “While We Watched,” and “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” highlighting their role in addressing narrative gaps often overlooked by mainstream Indian fiction while revitalizing traditional dramatic visuals.

This acquisition represents Netflix’s latest move in obtaining independent documentaries. Following a two-year lull, Netflix has actively pursued independently produced documentaries not centered on crime or celebrity, particularly evident during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. At the festival, Netflix acquired “Skywalker’s,” a non-fiction film chronicling the story of Angela Nikolau and Ivan Beerkus, drawn together by their passion for climbing tall buildings. Additionally, Netflix acquired “Ibelin,” a documentary profiling Mats Steen, a Norwegian gamer who succumbed to a degenerative muscle disease at age 25, and “Daughters,” which explores a program enabling young girls to engage in a special dance with their incarcerated fathers.

Over the past six months, “To Kill a Tiger” executive producers Mindy Kaling and Dev Patel have been actively promoting the film. Recently, Priyanka Chopra Jonas also joined the project as an executive producer.

Director Pahuja, who dedicated eight years to making “To Kill a Tiger,” explained to Variety in January that the decision to involve celebrities in the project was intentional. She believed the film had the potential to bring about significant and measurable change in attitudes and legal outcomes. However, recognizing the challenging subject matter and subtitles, she felt the need to enlist support to amplify its impact and reach. The involvement of celebrities was a careful and deliberate choice to ensure the film’s message could resonate effectively.

“To Kill a Tiger” was co-produced by Notice Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada. In addition to Patel and Kaling, the documentary’s executive producers included AC Films Inc’s Andy Cohen, NFB’s Anita Lee, Atul Gawande, Andrew Dragoumis, Minor Realm’s Samarth Sahni, Deepa Mehta, and ShivHans Pictures’ Shivani Rawat.

Other executive producers encompassed Chopra Jonas, Rupi Kaur, Mona Sinha (Equality Now), Mala Gaonkar (Surgo Foundation), Regina Scully, Anita Bhatia, Niraj Bhatia, and Deepa Mehta.

Dev Patel’s company, Minor Realm, established in 2021, aims to foster and cultivate voices and talents often overlooked in the commercial storytelling landscape.


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