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Adventure Junkies, You’ll Want To See This Abu Dhabi-Produced Oscar-Winning Documentary

The Academy Awards 2019 held on February 24 in Los Angeles was a huge success for diversity with people of color winning their well-deserved awards all night. Among them was Free Solo, a documentary co-produced by Abu Dhabi‘s Image Nation and National Geographic that bagged the Best Documentary Feature award. Other nominees in the category were Hale County This Morning, This EveningMinding the Gap, Of Fathers and Sons, and RBG.

Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the documentary follows the journey of the professional rock climber, Alex Honnold as he makes his solo ascension to the El Capitan’s 3,200 feet-high vertical rock face in Yosemite National Park without any ropes or safety gear which was a life-long ambition of the free soloist. Thrilling in every aspect, the Abu Dhabi-backed film has grossed a total of $19.3 million at the box office worldwide and won a BAFTA for Best Documentary, three Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards and three Cinema Eye Honors.

Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin at the Oscars. Photo: Instagram/@chaivasarhelyi

For the directors Chin and Vasarhelyi, this was not only the first Oscar nomination and but also the first win. Accepting the Oscar Vasarhelyi said, “Thank you National Geographic for believing in us, and for hiring women and people of color, because we only help make the films better. Thank you to all the amazing people who worked on this film. This film is for everyone who believes in the impossible.”

Catch this award-winning documentary on April on the NatGeo channel in English and for the Arabic-dubbed version, tune into National Geographic Abu Dhabi which will be airing the documentary on rotation from April 7.

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