‘Descendant’ Documentary Picked Up By Netflix, Will Present With Obamas – Deadline

Netflix has taken worldwide rights to Participant’s feature documentary Descendant, which just won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision at the Sundance Film Festival.

Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will present the film alongside Netflix.

Descendant, from director Margaret Brown, follows members of Africatown, a small community in Alabama, as they share their personal stories and community history as descendants of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to illegally transport human beings as cargo from Africa to America. The ship’s existence, a centuries-old open secret, is confirmed by a team of marine archeologists. The film explores implications of the Clotilda’s discovery for the descendants, who grapple with their heritage while claiming the power to shape their own destinies.

Producers are Kyle Martin, Essie Chambers and Brown.

EPs are Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann; Kate Hurwitz; Two One Five Entertainment’s Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zohlman.

Brown said, “I have been humbled and honored to spend four years with the residents of Africatown as they seek justice and reconciliation for what happened in 1860, and what is still happening today.”

“I am excited that through Netflix and Higher Ground’s global reach, audiences around the world will learn this powerful history,” Brown added.

This is the tenth film or series that Netflix and Participant have collaborated on including American Factory with Higher Ground.

Participant will be incorporating Descendant into its ongoing impact work dedicated to advancing both social and racial justice.

Descendant is dedicated to Weyermann, the former Chief Content Officer at Participant, who died of cancer in October at age 66.

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