Netflix Scores Egypt Documentary in a Move Rob Black Says Should Scare Cable Industry

NEW YORK — Netflix has acquired the first-run rights to a documentary on the Egyptian protests in Tahrir Square, signaling a new push by the subscription company to program movie premieres.

Netflix announced Monday that “The Square” will debut exclusively on Netflix early next year. Jehane Noujaim’s documentary depicts the tumult of the Egyptian Revolution beginning in 2011.

KRON 4’s Rob Black says Netflix’s move into documentaries should scare cable industry

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“The Square” currently is playing in New York and Los Angeles theaters. The short theatrical run will qualify the film, an award-winner at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, for Oscar consideration.

Netflix earlier tried to get into the first-run film distribution business with its indie label, Red Envelope. Several notable documentaries and independent films were co-produced by Netflix when it was just a DVD-by-mail business. But the company shuttered Red Envelope in 2008.

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