National Geographic Documentary Films and Picturehouse will release “DEVENIR COUSTEAU” by Liz Garbus on Friday, October 22, 2021
WASHINGTON–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – National Geographic Documentary Films, Story Syndicate and Picturehouse today announced the release TO BECOME COUSTEAU, the last film of the double Oscar® nominated and twice Emmy® winning director Liz Garbus (“The Farm: Angola, USA”, “What Happened, Miss Simone?”) In theaters only Friday, October 22. Garbus also produced the film – which will premiere at the Telluride Film 2021 Festival – with Mridu Chandra (“Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin”) and Academy Award® winners Dan Cogan (“Icarus”) and Evan Hayes (“Free Solo”), under his ACE Content banner.
For this extraordinary and immersive documentary, Garbus has gone through 550 hours of archival material and never-before-seen footage to let Cousteau’s films, words and memories tell its own story. BECOME COUSTEAU shines the spotlight on the man many of us grew up adoring but knew very little about. After researching oil companies to support his globetrotting adventures, he woke up late and became the first major advocate for ocean conservation. Cousteau led a somewhat fractured family life marked by great loss, but he remained true to his one great love – the sea.
Over 100 hours of audio diary entries, interviews and observations from collaborators and crew members add to this inner look at Cousteau. The documentary also chronicles his first wife and collaborator Simone Melchior (known aboard the Calypso as “La bergère”), her family experiences, his second wife Francine Triplet, the creation of the Cousteau Society and the crucial work that they accomplish, and its evolution into one of the most important environmental voices of the 20e century, whose words and images are more essential than ever today.
Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau was one of the 20e Great Explorers of the Century, a beloved filmmaker and adventurer who documented the exotic wonders under the ocean with pioneering gear that resulted in a Cannes Film Festival award-winning film, two Oscars and a pair of iconic TV shows and long duration, “The Undersea World by Jacques Cousteau” and “L’Odyssée Cousteau.” His work has become synonymous with life at sea and on his famous ship, the Calypso.
He has authored over 50 books on his aquatic life and invented Aqua-Lung, making what has come to be known as SCUBA possible and accessible to everyone. Yet it was as an environmentalist that Cousteau would have his most lasting impacts, alerting the world to ocean warming decades before the climate crisis hit the headlines. Instrumental in protecting Antarctica and participating in the first Earth Summit, Cousteau’s vision of what needs to be done for the planet continues to inspire generations.
Garbus says, “It took great wit, extraordinary bravery and pioneering spirit to do what Cousteau did in his lifetime, and today we are surrounded by images and technologies that exist because of him. It was a heroic journey – from pride and adventure to consciousness and global citizenship. Ultimately, the future of our species and the survival of vast swathes of biodiversity on the planet will depend on innovation in Cousteau’s mind.
Bernstein adds: “We cannot imagine a more perfect couple than Garbus and Cousteau, two pioneering filmmakers who explore their subjects with depth, complexity and empathy. We are excited to bring this beautiful and powerful film to audiences this fall. ”
Becoming Cousteau is produced by Story Syndicate, in association with The Cousteau Society and Ace Content for National Geographic Documentary Films. Liz Garbus, Dan Cogan, Mridu Chandra and Evan Hayes are the producers. Julie Gaither, Carolyn Bernstein and Ryan Harrington are the executive producers.
National Geographic Documentary Films has previously released the film Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award Free solo and the Oscar nominated film The cave. Other critically acclaimed films under the banner include Ron Howard Rebuild paradise; Sundance Audience Award Winners Science fair and Sea of Shadows; Emmy Winners LA 92 and Jeanne, who were both included in the 15 best documentaries considered for an Oscar in 2017; and winner of the Dupont Prize Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.
About National Geographic Documentaries
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to delivering world-class documentary feature films that cover topical, provocative and globally relevant stories from the world’s best documentary makers. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society. Advancing knowledge and understanding of our world has been National Geographic’s primary focus for 133 years, and now we’re committed to doing more, pushing boundaries, going deeper for our consumers … and reaching millions. of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do. NGP donates 27% of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com Where nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Picturehouse is a Los Angeles-based film marketing and distribution company led by CEO Bob Berney and COO Jeanne R. Berney. The company acquires, markets and distributes global content across all platforms. Originally established in 2005 as a joint venture between Time Warner’s HBO Films and New Line Cinema, the Picturehouse brand has a long history of excellence. For more information visit photohouse.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.
About Story Syndicate
Story Syndicate is a New York-based film and television production company dedicated to premium documentary and scripted content, founded by award-winning filmmakers Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan. Recent projects include ALL IN, an Amazon Studios feature documentary starring Stacey Abrams on voter suppression and the fight for equal rights in America; I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, an HBO event series about Michelle McNamara and the pursuit of the Golden State Killer; and THE INNOCENCE PROJECT, a Netflix series that follows The Innocence Project as it attempts to free nine wrongfully convicted prisoners from incarceration. Upcoming, previously announced projects include FAUCI, a feature-length documentary from National Geographic offering a rare glimpse into the life of the ultimate public servant, Dr Anthony Fauci, directed by John Hoffman and Janet Tobias; NUCLEAR FAMILY, an HBO documentary series directed by Ry Russo-Young; and MAYOR PETE, A Journey Into The Life And Recent Presidential Campaign Of Pete Buttigieg With Unprecedented Access To The Truth, directed by Jesse Moss.