Netflix gains rights to documentary of Hong Kong student activist, Joshua Wong
Student leader Joshua Wong arrives at the police headquarters in Hong Kong, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Image via AP.

American entertainment company Netflix has acquired distribution rights for a documentary on Joshua Wong Chi-fun, the poster boy for Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, reported the BBC.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the deal was around the “low seven-figure range”.

The film, titled “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”, will narrate Wong’s political activity, with a focus on his role during the historic protests against China in the island territory, dubbed by some as Hong Kong’s very own ‘Arab Spring’.

FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2014 file photo, a protester holds a placard that reads “Occupy Central” between anti-riot policemen and protesters outside the government headquarters during the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Image via AP.

Between September 28 and December 15, 2014, tens of thousands had participated in peaceful demonstrations against the Chinese central government for its increasing assertion of authority over Hong Kong, including its threat to backtrack on its promise of autonomy to Hong Kong.

The protesters had demanded for genuine universal suffrage for the citizens of Hong Kong as guaranteed by the country’s constitution, the Basic Law.

Wong had emerged as an icon during the protests, leading the 79-day occupation, which was seen as China’s biggest political challenge since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

A portrait of ‘youthful idealism’

Standing on the stage in front of protesters, Hong Kong actress Deanie Yip, left, and singer Anthony Wong, second left, join student leader Joshua Wong, third left, founder of the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement Benny Tai, third right, and students leaders, Alex Chow, second right, and Tommy Cheung, as they raise umbrellas at a rally in the occupied areas outside government headquarters in Hong Kong’s Admiralty Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. Image via AP.

In a press release, Netflix called the documentary “a remarkable portrait of courage, resilience, and youthful idealism”.

“In an era where we are witnessing heightened civic participation and freedom of expression, we are pleased to offer a global platform for audiences to engage on these issues,” says Netflix’s Vice President of Original Documentaries, Lisa Nishimura.

Andrew Duncan, one of the documentary’s producers, was thrilled about the deal, saying Netflix’s platform “will allow us to share Joshua’s message about the importance of due process of law and freedom of speech with a worldwide audience.”

The film had premiered in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to worldwide critical acclaim for its ability to tell the absorbing tale of the passionate student leader’s triumphs and failures.

“Piscatella has woven together the complex and inspirational story of an unlikely activist, whose acts of bravery and conviction need to be seen around the world,” said Nishimura, referring to the documentary’s director, Joe Piscatella.

Produced by June Pictures Production, the film will be simultaneously launched worldwide later this year to Netflix’s over 93 million subscribers in 190 countries.

“The Netflix partnership will also allow us to reach millions of young people who will find inspiration in Joshua’s story,” Piscatella added.

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