Disney has announced that National Geographic Documentary Films has acquired the worldwide rights to “Sugarcane”, which is a tribute to the resilience of Native people and their way of life, “Sugarcane” is an epic, nuanced and sensitive cinematic portrait of a community during a moment of international reckoning. Amidst the groundbreaking investigation into abuse and murder at an Indian residential school in Canada, the film’s courageous participants break cycles of intergenerational trauma by bearing witness to painful, long-ignored truths and nurturing the love that endures within their families despite the revelation of genocide.

The film — from first-time director and TIME100 Next honoree Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emmy and Peabody-nominated investigative journalist and filmmaker Emily Kassie — won the U.S. Documentary Competition Directing Award at Sundance. The Kassie Films and Hedgehog Films production, in association with Impact Partners and Fit Via Vi, was produced by Kassie and Oscar nominee Kellen Quinn.

Carolyn Bernstein, Executive Vice President of National Geographic Documentary Films, said in a statement:

“”Sugarcane” is a cinematic tour de force and a deeply affecting, fearless call to action. The courage and compassion of the film participants and filmmakers shines through as together they unearth the traumas of the past and carve out a path to justice and healing in the present. It was an honor to witness and experience the profound effect this exquisite film had on the audience at its Sundance Film Festival world premiere. We are thrilled to now give SUGARCANE the global platform it deserves.”

NoiseCat and Kassie added:

“The truth of what happened at Indian residential and boarding schools across North America was so awful that it was hidden and suppressed by perpetrators and victims alike. But then, brave communities, like the Williams Lake First Nation, started asking questions and looking for answers.

We feel incredibly grateful to have been there to witness and tell the story of their history-making investigation. It changed the lives of so many community members, and it changed ours. National Geographic Documentary Films has a long track record of championing epic and important stories that awaken audiences and transcend their moment. There couldn’t be a better home for “Sugercane”.”

The director of photography for “Sugarcane” is Christopher LaMarca, and the cinematographer is Emily Kassie. The film was edited by Nathan Punwar and Maya Daisy Hawke, with music by Mali Obomsawin. Executive producers for the film are Bill Way, Elliott Whitton, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Tegan Acton, Emma Pompetti, Grace Lay, Sumalee Montano, Sabrina Merage Naim, Douglas Choi, Adam and Melony Lewis, Meadow Fund, JanaLee Cherneski and Ian Desai, David and Linda Cornfield, Maida Lynn, and Robina Riccitiello. The co-executive producers are Kelsey Koenig, Lauren Haber, Meryl Metni and Jennifer Pelling.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month. National Geographic Documentary Films will roll out “Sugarcane” at global festivals throughout the rest of the year and release it in theatres before its streaming debut on Disney+.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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