Navalny, a political documentary about Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, will make its world premiere at Sundance this year as the mystery 10th film selected to the festival’s U.S. Documentary Competition section.
The Sundance Institute made the announcement on Monday (Jan. 24), four days after the festival began. Navalny will make its debut online for Sundance tonight (Jan. 25) at 6 p.m.
The film, directed by Daniel Roher, covers a period in which Navalny survived a 2020 assassination attempt by poisoning with a lethal nerve agent, which resulted in a months-long recovery process in a German hospital. During this time, Navalny and his team partnered with the investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat, as well as other international news outlets including CNN, to investigate the attempted assassination.
“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 non-fiction thriller that deals with the highest of stakes for freedom of expression,” said Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson.
Navalny is produced by Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris and Odessa Rae. CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Fishbowl Films, Raefilm Studios and Cottage M partnered to produce the film.