Netflix just scored the most Oscar nominations of any studio with films in contention this year, but they’re not finished for the week: Sergio arrives on the streaming platform and in select theaters April 17, and EW can exclusively reveal the first trailer.
Narcos star Wagner Moura plays the diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello in director Greg Barker’s biopic, which will have its world premiere at Sundance later this month. The film takes place in 2003, when the charismatic, accomplished Vieira de Mello, who’d recently been appointed as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was sent on special assignment to Iraq amid escalating global tensions.
“It has been my goal to produce films about Latinos that don’t reinforce stereotypes. I couldn’t be prouder as a Brazilian to bring attention to the life of one of my personal heroes and compatriots, Sergio Vieira de Mello,” said Moura, who also served as a producer on the film, in a statement to EW. “A film about Sergio is a film about empathy, Sergio’s most powerful quality, and one he inspired in all who worked with him.”
As he navigates the challenges of both his dangerous post and his personal life — Knives Out star Ana de Armas plays his partner Carolina Larriera — Vieira de Mello must come to terms with the choices that have shaped his path. Inspired by Barker’s own documentary of the same name (which also premiered at Sundance, in 2009), Sergio presents an imaginative tribute to the late diplomat.
“Sergio is a film about a world leader who saw people for who they were, and not as numbers or statistics, and had he survived the 2003 attack in Baghdad, he would have likely become the next United Nations Secretary-General, after Kofi Annan,” Moura continues. “I’ve been asking myself if the recent events in Iraq would have been the same if Sergio was alive today. I don’t know. Maybe it’s naive to believe a UN official would make such a big difference, but I’m sure that human rights and world peace would be more common words in today’s lexicon had he survived.”
The film will debut as part of Sundance’s stacked lineup, which features a handful of Netflix titles, including Dee Rees’ The Last Thing He Wanted, Amy Ryan starrer Lost Girls, and Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana. Check out the trailer above.
Sergio will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, Jan. 28, and arrive in select theaters and on Netflix April 17.