(New York) – The ambitious distribution agreement for the new documentary E-TEAM, profiling four Human Rights Watch researchers, will bring critical human rights issues to a broad new audience, Human Rights Watch said today.
The Associated Press reported on May 8 that Netflix Inc. had purchased E-TEAM as a high-profile “Netflix original,” and would distribute the film via its vast online platform as well as through a limited theatrical release in the United States.
“We’re thrilled that E-TEAM will reach such a huge audience through Netflix,” said Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations. “We hope this film will educate viewers about human rights and inspire a new generation of activists.”
The film focuses on four researchers in the Human Rights Watch emergencies division, or E-Team, as they interview witnesses and gather other evidence of rights abuses and war crimes in Syria, Libya, and Kosovo. It highlights the personal commitment required to stop human rights violations over the long term.
The filmmakers, Ross Kauffman and Katy Chevigny, operated with full creative control and had free rein from Human Rights Watch to produce a “warts and all” portrait of human rights activists in the field. It is the first time filmmakers have documented Human Rights Watch’s work so extensively.
The Human Rights Watch emergencies division operates mostly in situations of armed conflict and has expertise in conducting research during wartime. The members are a small part of the Human Rights Watch professional research staff, which works in more than 90 countries around the world, on issues such as political repression, torture, the denial of free speech, women’s rights, children’s rights, the rights of LGBT people, international justice, and health.
E-TEAM will screen in New York City for one night on June 12 at the gala opening of the annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The film has won numerous awards on the festival circuit, including for best cinematography at Sundance. Variety called it “a documentary that’s devastating, entertaining and inspiring in equal measure.”