Founded by Shaun Monson in 1999, Nation Earth produces some of the most acclaimed independently financed and produced documentary films in the world.
NATION EARTH began more than a decade ago by Shaun Monson, a California native who wanted to be a filmmaker. The title of the company signified the intention of his content — projects that bring the world together. Because he had an affinity for animals, his flagship film would be a documentary about all the ways humans use animals for economic purposes. He titled it EARTHLINGS, financed it himself, managed to attach Joaquin Phoenix and Moby to the film, and spent about 5 years assembling it all together. When it was complete, he submitted EARTHLINGS to 25 film festivals around the world, but it was rejected by all except three, (where it won awards). Due to the film’s subject mater, despite the star-power involved, he was also unable to attract a distributor. NATION EARTH, you might say, was off to a pretty rough start. But in the years that followed, word of mouth spread and EARTHLINGS would be translated into over 40 languages worldwide, going on to become the single-most influential documentary ever made on the subject of animal rights. With millions of downloads online, EARTHLINGS is listed in the top 100 most important documentaries of all time, and some lists have included it in their top 10.
Encouraged by this, Shaun wrote a follow-up, entitled UNITY, which would be a new film on the subject of duality, (i.e., why humans can’t get along with each other, the animals, or their environment). Taking a slightly different approach, UNITY wouldn’t be nearly as graphic as EARTHLINGS, but no less powerful or thought-provoking. The idea was to use multiple narrators instead of a single voice, and over time the project would attract an astounding 100 celebrity powerhouse voices, including Jennifer Aniston, Deepak Chopra, Ellen DeGeneres, Common, Jessica Chastain, Ben Kinsley, Helen Mirren, Dr. Dre, Selena Gomez, Adam Levine, Marion Cotillard, Martin Sheen, Zoe Saldana, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Rodriguez, Aaron Paul, Susan Sarandon and many, many more, including 10 Academy Award winners.
The entire process, from writing, to financing, shooting, recording and editing would take about 7 years. The last voice to record was Selena Gomez in late July, 2014, and the picture was locked by August. Distribution would take another year. The worldwide premiere was held on June 24, 2015 at the Director’s Guild of America (the DGA) in Hollywood, and the film was given a limited theatrical release around the globe beginning on August 12, 2015. The film also secured a strong online distribution deal through iTunes, which debuted UNITY in over 100 countries and a dozen languages on October 27, 2015. Many of the cast members also believed in the message of the film, and gave it positive recommendations on all their social media.
If viewership for UNITY can be compared at all to the previous viewership of EARTHLINGS, (which is a far harder film to stomach, quite literally) then we project UNITY will promote change, raise consciousness, and generate revenue for many years to come. The goal with NATION EARTH remains the same: to produce conscious, insightful, thought-provoking media that endures.
Release date: 24 September 2005