Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Shin Bet Documentary 'The Gatekeepers'

Sony Pictures Classics bought all North American rights to the The Gatekeepers, the documentary directed by Dror Moreh (Sharon) in which the title characters–six former heads of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic secret service agency–share insights on their actions and decisions as they set internal security policy for Israel. The film is a co-production between DMP Les Films du Poisson and Cinephil. Moreh produced it with Estelle Fialon and Philippa Kowarsky. The deal comes just after the film premiered at the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

The Shin Bet heads discuss the motivations behind their successes and failures over the years, as they ponder why Israel has been unable to turn its victory in the Six Day War of 1967 into lasting peace and how they controlled all efforts to keep their citizens secure in the wake of continued hostility from their neighbors. The former Shin Bet heads worked closely with every Israeli prime minister, and their assessments and insights had—and continue to have—a profound impact on Israeli policy.

The Sony Pictures Classics partners called the film “an important documentary and a major piece of filmmaking giving fresh and revealing insight into one of the major issues of our time.”

Said Moreh: “I was startled but thrilled when six former heads of the Shin Bet agreed to discuss their careers openly on camera for the very first time. This gave me a unique and intimate opportunity to enter the inner sanctum of Israel’s security decision-makers for almost half a century. Numerous times during the making of this film, I found myself overwhelmed by their stories and testimonies. I kept asking myself how far I would have gone when confronting the same life or death dilemmas. I still do.”

Cinephil Sales’ Philippa Kowarsky repped the film.

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