Daniel Roher Documentary Thriller ‘Navalny’ Is This Year’s Sundance Secret Screening

"Navalny" Sundance Film Festival

This year’s Sundance Film Festival is online, but that doesn’t mean it can’t program a secret screening.

Just added is Daniel Roher’s documentary thriller Navalny, which will make its world premiere 6 p.m. MT on January 25 as the 10th and final title in the U.S. Documentary Competition section

Navalny focuses on Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny. Roher had unparalleled access to Navalny and his inner circle for the documentary.

In August 2020, a plane traveling from Siberia to Moscow made an emergency landing. One of its passengers, Navalny, was deathly ill. After he was taken to a local Siberian hospital and eventually evacuated to Berlin, German authorities confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin immediately cast doubt on the findings and denied any involvement.

Alexei Navalny Documentary Set From CNN Films & HBO Max

While he was recovering, Navalny and his team — already with a large social media following in tow — partnered with the data investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat as well as other international news organizations, including CNN, to investigate his attempted assassination and find proof of the Kremlin’s involvement.

“We are delighted to have Navalny at this year’s Festival,” said Sundance director Tabitha Jackson. “When we saw this film in the early fall, we all immediately knew that we wanted it and would wait for it: riveting cinema in the present tense, incredible access, intrepid investigative journalism, a compelling protagonist speaking truth to power — all beautifully edited, directed and produced into a timely nonfiction thriller that deals with the highest of stakes for freedom of expression.”

Said Roher: “Boldly confronting injustice through cinematic storytelling has been threaded into Sundance’s DNA since its inception. My team and I can’t imagine premiering at any other festival. We are thrilled that Sundance audiences will be the first to see our film and witness the extraordinary courage of Alexei Navalny.”

The pic is produced by Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris and Odessa Rae.

Previous secret screenings, which occurred during live editions of Sundance, have included Get Out, Eddie the Eagle and Tully. 

Roher directed the 2019 docu Once Were Brothers, which follows Robbie Robertson’s young life and the rise of The Band. The movie won Best Canadian Feature Film at TIFF that year.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2022/01/sundance-film-festival-daniel-roher-documentary-navalny-secret-screening-1234918431/