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01 October 2023

National Geographic’s Oscar-winning 'Free Solo' premiere held in UAE

Photo: WAM


A special UAE premiere screening event for National Geographic’s Oscar-winning "Free Solo" was held last night in Dubai to announce the documentary’s TV network debut in the MENA region.

Over 100 members of the UAE community were treated to a private screening to witness the world’s first-ever climb without ropes of the famed El Capitan's 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park in the US.

Presented by National Geographic, directed by award-winning directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, and co-produced by Abu Dhabi-based Image Nation, Free Solo is a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of climber Alex Honnold as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream.

"We are proud to bring to the UAE community this Free Solo big screen experience. Viewers immersed themselves fully in this extraordinary documentary, which captures the essence of National Geographic’s visual storytelling as well as its mission to celebrate the human spirit of adventure. We are here to encourage the explorer in everyone," said Sanjay Raina, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Fox Networks Group.

Free Solo received a standing ovation by guests who included FOX Networks Group executives, Image Nation executives, senior business and officials, as well as members of the UAE climbing community.

"From the incredible reviews to the Academy Award and BAFTA wins, we are so proud that Image Nation Abu Dhabi and the UAE can say it helped to support this incredible film," said Ben Ross, Chief Content Office of Image Nation Abu Dhabi. "It has been an honour to work with the National Geographic team and we are happy that local audiences have had a chance to see this extraordinary film on the big screen."

"We’re super excited to partner with National Geographic to be able to screen this amazing documentary at Warehouse Four," said Ian Carless, Partner at Warehouse Four. "In today’s climate there’s a huge appetite for factual entertainment. Many documentary films now compete with their Hollywood counterparts and ‘Free Solo’ are exemplary pieces of film making."

Free Solo continues to win accolades, the latest being the Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Academy Awards. This follows the BAFTA for Best Documentary, three Cinema Eye Honours, and three Critics Choice documentary awards, Cinema Audio Society award, ACE Editors Guild Awards as well as PGA and DGA nominations.