National Geographic’s “Free Solo” has been awarded an Oscar for Best Documentary (Feature) at the prestigious Academy Awards held last night in Los Angeles. This is the latest accolade for the extraordinary documentary. It has already been honored with the BAFTA for Best Documentary, three Cinema Eye Honors and three Critics Choice documentary awards, Cinema Audio Society award, ACE editor’s guild awards as well as PGA and DGA nominations.
“Free Solo” which was co-produced with Abu Dhabi-based Image Nation, will be shown on National Geographic channels in the Middle East starting from April. Local screenings are also planned in the UAE. The documentary was produced by Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation alongside Little Monster Films and National Geographic.
What an amazing and unforgettable moment for all of us at Image Nation: FREE SOLO, produced by Parkes MacDonald/Image Nation, just won the Documentary Feature #Oscar and officially became the first documentary partly funded and supported by the #UAE to ever win an Oscar! #Oscars pic.twitter.com/r6tIBVoE2J— ImageNation AbuDhabi (@ImageNationAD) February 25, 2019
From award-winning documentary filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, ‘Free Solo’ is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the world’s most famous rock, the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope.
“We are very excited to be bringing National Geographic’s award-winning ‘Free Solo’ to Arab audiences, fully dubbed in Arabic, and airing it across the Middle East on National Geographic Abu Dhabi alongside the English version on National Geographic,” said Sanjay Raina, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Fox Networks Group.
“We are also proud to have partnered with Image Nation, an Abu Dhabi based, global company to produce a visual masterpiece that has delighted and inspired so many people around the world,” Raina added.
Already setting box office records in its theatrical release in the US, “Free Solo” is both a nail-biting thriller and a deeply human story of an athlete who pushes his body and mind beyond the limits of the possible. To date the film has grossed a record-breaking $17.2 million at the box office. It has received 43 nominations and 16 awards, including Best Documentary at the prestigious British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs).
The film was named one of the top 10 films of the year by Entertainment Weekly and was praised by critics across the globe as “one of the most arresting documentaries of the year,” “extraordinary,” “amazing” and “visually staggering.” It was equally praised for its stunning cinematography, chronicling Alex Honnold’s death-defying ascent of the vertical rock.