The Territory | Sundance

The Territory Trailer: Expect Sundance Winner to Make an Impact

Doc opens in theatres this August.

3 mins read

Get your first look at the acclaimed Sundance award winner The Territory. National Geographic dropped the first trailer for the riveting drama on World Rainforest Day ahead of its release. The Territory is an immersive doc that goes into the heart of the Amazon in Brazil to observe the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe’s fight to protect their land. Director Alex Pritz engages the tribe in a collaborative and participatory production. The film makes them active participants in the telling of their own story and empowers them to protect their land through a feat of filmmaking by putting the cameras in their hands.

The film won two prizes at Sundance including the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary and a special jury prize for documentary craft. It screened at several festivals following its launch including a Canadian debut at DOXA and earned a handful of awards including honours at CPH:DOX and the Seattle International Film Festival.

The Territory’s release will coincide with a long-term impact campaign in support of Indigenous land defenders across the Amazon. Part of the endeavor will include boosting the next generation of Indigenous creators. (Several members of the Uru-eu-wau-wau tribe are credited as executive producers and Tangãi Uru-eu-wau-wau as cinematographer.)

“As Pritz’s team joins Bitate, Ari, and Neidinha through the Amazon, The Territory soaks in the beautiful landscape. Exquisite cinematography captures a vast expanse of greenery. Aerial shots show the thick canopy of the forest, while close-ups on the ground observe the beautiful and colourful animals that share the Amazon with the Uru-eu-wau-wau,” I wrote while reviewing the film during Sundance. “The immersive approach underscores how this complex ecosystem houses far more than human activity. However, when the film bridges scenes between Indigenous and settler characters with transitions showing the Amazon ravaged like moth-eaten cloth, or observe animals migrating to new habitats because of human activity, it stresses that this problem is man-made. So too should be the solution.”


Watch the trailer for The Territory below ahead of its release in theatres this August.

Synopsis: The Territory provides an immersive on-the-ground look at the tireless fight of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers in the Brazilian Amazon. With awe-inspiring cinematography showcasing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-eu-wau-wau community and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Partially shot by the Uru-eu-wau-wau people, the film relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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