Virunga is a film produced by Leonardo DiCaprio & his own production house Appian Way Productions. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April this year and is seen as one of the top contenders for an Academy Award nomination. It had a theatre-wide release in NYC & LA only, and here is what Leo had to say on the subject:
Films like ‘Virunga’ are powerful stories that are a window into the incredible cultural and natural diversity of our world, the forces that are threatening to destroy it, and the people who are fighting to protect it,”
“Partnering with Netflix on this film is an exciting opportunity to inform and inspire individuals to engage on this topic.”
The film is set in Congo, which was a surprising subject to cover given that most of biodiversity that is presently threatened lies elsewhere. But, other than that I have to say that the work being done to cover the story on how mountain gorillas need to be protected is a good choice.
Its important to bring awareness to save animals from extinction. Before you mobilise for a cause, whether its financial mobilisation or campaign mobilisation, you have to help people understand the importance of biodiversity to the environment, beyond the obvious which is caring for animals. I wasn’t particularly interested in this film because its in Congo, not Madagascar or South Africa, or the Amazon rainforest, which interests me mostly. I think if you want constructive change for the environment you should target the countries contributing to climate change the most, like Brazil, China, India or Russia. But the UNESCO world heritage site & Leo’s passion for the film sold me the concept – sometimes its good to expand your horizons!