“The Territory” wins at Sundance

A settler drives a motorcycle through a burning section of rainforest.
A settler named Martins drives through a newly opened portion of the rainforest. “The Territory” filmmakers witnessed a high-stakes land conflict from both sides.

“The Territory,” a documentary about a Brazilian land conflict with global ramifications, won the Audience Award for World Documentary Cinema at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Festival judges also gave the film a special jury award for documentary craft.

Homelands Productions served as fiscal sponsor for the project, helping the filmmakers raise funds through grants and donations at a time when they were relying on volunteer labor and credit card debt. National Geographic announced that it had acquired worldwide rights to the film shortly after its premiere at the festival.

“The Territory” is the first feature documentary directed by Alex Pritz, who co-founded the production company Documist with producer Will N. Miller. Pritz and Miller worked closely with members of the Uru-eu-wau-wau Indigenous group in Rondônia state in Brazil, letting them and their allies tell their story. Crucial portions of the film are shot by Tangae Uru-eu-wau-wau, who gets cinematography credits.

An international team of producers, editors, composers, and sound designers came on board to help finish the film.

“The Territory” has received glowing reviews in the entertainment press. For a helpful synopsis, see this piece in the Hollywood Reporter. For more about the collaborative filmmaking process, listen to this interview on the Pure Nonfiction podcast.