Abu Dhabi-backed film ‘Free Solo’ wins best documentary award at the Oscars

The 2018 documentary follows free soloist climber Alex Honnold’s ascent of El Capitan



Free Solo’, a film backed by Abu Dhabi’s Image Nation bagged the award for ‘Best Documentary Feature’ at the Academy Awards (Oscars) 2019.

Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the 2018 documentary follows free soloist climber Alex Honnold’s ascent of El Capitan – a 3,200-foot high vertical rock in Yosemite National Park – with no ropes or safety gear.

To date the film has grossed $17.2m at the box office and has received 43 nominations and 16 awards, including Best Documentary at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), three Cinema Eye Honors and three Critics Choice documentary awards.

The documentary was co-produced by National Geographic and Little Monster Films.

Accepting the award, Vasarhelyi thanked National Geographic for hiring “women and people of colour — they only help make the films better”.

She added: “This film is for everyone who believes in the impossible.”

It will be shown on National Geographic channels in the Middle East starting from April with local screenings also planned in the UAE.

“We are very excited to be bringing National Geographic’s award-winning ‘Free Solo’ to Arab audiences, fully dubbed in Arabic, and airing it across the Middle East on National Geographic Abu Dhabi alongside the English version on National Geographic,” said Sanjay Raina, GM and SVP at Fox Networks Group.

Also nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars were RBG, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Minding the Gap, and Of Fathers and Sons.