Home > News > Director Cary Fukunaga speaks about Netflix first original film, “Beasts of No Nation”
News Index back
[Event Reports]
Director Cary Fukunaga speaks about Netflix first original film, “Beasts of No Nation”


©2015 TIFF

Netflix’s first original theatrical film, Beasts of No Nation, was screened at TOHO CINEMAS Roppongi Hills on October 24 as part of the 28th Tokyo International Film Festival’s Panorama section. Director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Japan Netflix K.K. president Greg Peters held a press conference about the film, which was released worldwide from October 16.

Fukunaga, known for his 2009 film Sin Nombre, wrote the the screenplay for Beasts of No Nation based on a novel of the same name by Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala. The story follows the journey of a young West African villager who is recruited into a rebel army in the midsts of a horrific war. Earlier this month, Actor Abraham Attah won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his leading role as the child soldier. The film also stars Idris Elba as the charismatic commander of the mercenary group.

Fukunaga majored in history and politics during his school days, and said that his interest in the wars over West Africa’s resources is what led him to making Beasts of No Nation. “I spent three years researching [the wars] after I entered film school, and then I read Iweala’s novel and was deeply moved by it,” Fukunaga said. “It overlapped with the research I had already done, so the film took in total more than 10 years to complete.”

Fukunaga chose Attah in the role of Agu despite the fact that the boy had no acting experience. “As soon as we decided to shoot the film in Ghana, I knew I wanted to cast a local boy for the part,” he explained, saying he scouted Attah while the youth was playing soccer. “Attah is intelligent. He spoke eloquently and really gave a great effort.” Fukunaga said he thinks that effort shines through in the film. “After people watch this movie, I’d like them to think about how Agu must have felt. I hope it doesn’t come off like a story in the newspaper, but like it’s the tale of someone close to them.”

After production was completed, Netflix selected it as the company’s first original feature-length film. Japan Netflix President Greg Peters said, “This is such an excellent human drama. It’s the type of film that is so moving it can change the way you think, and I’d like all 69 million of our Netflix subscribers to be able to have that experience.”

About the decision to release the film simultaneously in theaters and online, Peters said, “We want to provide our subscribers with the opportunity to watch as many shows and movies as possible. There are people who will go to the theater to experience this wonderful film, but for those who can’t make it, we want them to be able to enjoy it over the internet using cutting-edge technology. We want to provide many people with many choices.” Peters said Netflix is pursuing the production of more feature-length films in the future. “We want to explore ways to work with producers from the early stages.”

Beasts of No Nation is currently available on Netflix.

The news provided by eiga.com logo_eigacom

KINOSHITA GROUP Coca-Cola(Japan)Company, Limited Canon Inc./Canon Marketing Japan Inc. WOWOW INC. Audi Japan kk Daiwa Securities Group Sony Corporation FIELDS CORPORATION Sony PCL Inc. d AnimeStore MasterCard Gurunavi, Inc. SEIKO HOLDINGS CORPORATION TSUTAYA Co.,Ltd. Shochiku Co.,Ltd TOHO Co.,Ltd. TOEI COMPANY, LTD. KADOKAWA CORPORATION NIKKATSU CORPORATION MORI BUILDING CO., LTD. TOHO CINEMAS LTD. CINEMA & STAGE CULTURE ASSOCIATION The Yomiuri Shimbun J-WAVE InterFM Co.,Ltd. DWANGO Co.,Ltd. SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation Dow Jones (Japan) K.K TV Asahi LINE Corporation BS日本映画専門チャンネル YAHOO!JAPAN 株式会社GyaO ASAHI BREWERIES,LTD Getty Images, Inc. CLARA ONLINE, Inc. CinemaGene
KEIRIN.JPThe 28th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held with funds provided by Japan Keirin Association.TIFF History
27th Tokyo International Film Festival(2014)