HBO Documentary Films has acquired the North American television and streaming rights to Academy Award nominated director David France’s feature-length documentary Welcome to Chechnya.
The film will provide unfiltered access to a group of Chechen activists risking their lives to expose the underreported atrocities of anti-LGBTQ persecution – part of a deadly “cleansing” campaign – in the repressive Russian republic.
The investigative documentary will chronicle the anonymous band of LGBTQ activists as they work to rescue the victims of state aggression. Through a succession of safe houses and a global underground network, the advocates hope to secure safe passage from Russian-held control to each targeted person.
Welcome to Chechnya is slated to debut on HBO in June 2020 and will host its world premiere in the U.S. Documentary Competition section of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
Produced by Public Square Films, Welcome to Chechnya is produced by Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov and France (How to Survive a Plague, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson). Igor Myakotin and Tyler H. Walk are co-producers. HBO’s Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller are executive producers.
Josh Braun for Submarine negotiated the HBO deal for Welcome to Chechnya on behalf of the filmmakers.
“I am thrilled to have partnered with HBO to help shed light on this ongoing humanitarian crisis,” says France. “Welcome to Chechnya needed a distributor that is fearless and believes in the power of social justice filmmaking.”