Wildcard Distribution has acquired the rights for Academy Award-winning writer/director, Alex Gibney’s documentary, CITIZEN K, from Kew Media.
Wildcard, which handled the theatrical release of Gibney’s No Stone Unturned last year, will release the critically acclaimed film in Irish and UK cinemas in December.
CITIZEN K, which premiered at the recent Venice Film Festival, is an intimate yet sweeping look at post-Soviet Russia from the perspective of the enigmatic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned political dissident.
Benefitting from the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., Khodorkovsky was able to amass a fortune in financing and oil production, and became the richest man in Russia. But when he accused the new Putin regime of corruption, Khodorkovsky was arrested, his assets were seized, and following a series of show trials, he was sentenced to more than ten-years in prison. Today, as an exile living in London, he continues to speak out against Putin’s two-decade stranglehold on power.
Expertly researched and photographed, Gibney uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a way to explore the complex interplay between oligarchy and government, and its destructive effect on democracy in Russia and beyond.
Alex Gibney is no stranger to controversy. Through such memorable documentaries as Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side, Going Clear: Scientology & The Prison of Belief, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, and No Stone Unturned, he has travelled into the heart of darkness and unmasked corruption, deception, and perfidy.
Speaking about the acquisition, Patrick O’Neill MD of Wildcard said:
“We are thrilled to have the privilege of working with Alex Gibney again having previously been distributor for No Stone Unturned. Alex is one of the most important and incredibly brave documentary filmmaker voices of our time. CITIZEN K is a gripping, engrossing and fascinating thriller that could rival any fiction film and we are excited to be bringing it to UK and Irish audiences.”
Jonathan Ford, Executive Vice President of Sales for Kew Media Distribution, added:
“We at KMD are thrilled that Alex’s stunning and prescient documentary on the machinations of an ever intriguing country’s government is in Patrick and his team’s capable hands. He understands the gravitas and nuances of Alex’s films and we look forward to how this film will be embraced in this and all countries as it opens around the globe.”
The revelatory CITIZEN K was produced by Alex Gibney, John Battsek, P.J. Van Sandwijk, George Chignell and Erin Edeiken. Amazon financed the film, which received rapturous critical and audience response calling it “wildly entertaining” and “a scalding portrait of Putin’s Russia” following its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival. The film also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Camden Film Festival, and will screen next at the London Film Festival, AFI Film Festival, The Double Exposure Festival in DC, and IDFA in Amsterdam.
Wildcard Distribution will release CITIZEN K in UK and Ireland this December.