Against the backdrop of world events, Warner Bros. and Fathom decided to give Navalny – a documentary about Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was targeted in an assassination attempt in August 2020 – the special was released in more than 800 theaters April 11-12.
The documentary, directed by Daniel Roher, had its critically acclaimed debut at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award in the American Documentary Competition and the Beloved Award. Favorite of the Film Festival. It is currently at a rare 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Just before Sundance, CNN Films and HBO Max announced that they are collaborating on Navalny, with CNN set to air the series in North America, with HBO Max and CNN+ holding the streaming rights. Sister studio Warner Bros. later acquired the rights to show it in North America. Dogwoof represents the existing international rights to the film.
The Warners and Fathom screenings will be followed by a special conversation with the filmmakers, moderated by CNN’s international correspondent Clarissa Ward. Ward has reported extensively from Russia and Ukraine, particularly on matters involving Navalny, for several years.
The film chronicles how Navalny – a Putin detractor who fights against authoritarianism – is secretly poisoned with a military-grade chemical nerve agent in an elaborate attempt at his life. Despite denials from the Russian government, the poison was then contacted by the Kremlin through investigations by international news organizations, including Bellingcat and CNN.
“Alexey Navalny was just sentenced last week in Russia and cannot tell the story of what happened to him. Our film shows his immense courage against a dictatorship and its corruption inside Russia,” Roher said in a statement announcing the theatrical plans.
“Especially at this time of global history, we are really excited to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures and Fathom Events to help spread the word for Navalny through these special engagements,” added Amy Entelis, executive director of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.
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