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by Alina Simone


When the residents of a remote Siberian city discover an old Soviet mine has caught fire beneath their neighborhood, they turn to Natalia Zubkova, a local homemaker-turned-journalist, for help. But after her news videos go viral, she suddenly finds herself the target of a massive government disinformation campaign.


90 mins


Denmark, USA



Director: Alina Simone

Producer: Kirstine Barfod

Director of Photography: Alina Simone

Editor: Aleks Gezentsvey

Supported by: Catalyst Film Fund, Doc Society, Justice for Journalists Foundation, Andrews Berends Fellowship, Sara’s Wish Foundation, IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund, Fork Films, Redford Center, Bloomberg Philanthropies, NYC Women in Film Fund, Mountainfilm Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship, NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Film, Gotham Documentary Feature Lab, Film Independent Documentary Lab



Alina Simone is an author, journalist and documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, NPR, The Guardian Long Read, Slate, The Village Voice, California Sunday, and Amazon Originals, among many others. She is the author of three books, a novel and and an essay collection both published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Madonnaland (University of Texas Press) a collection of music criticism that Rolling Stone named one of the top ten music books of the year. Her 2017 Village Voice article about America’s first K-pop cram school, “So You Want to be a K-pop Star,” has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox. For 7 years, Alina was a regular contributor to the nightly news radio show PRI’s “The World” (a co-production of the BBC). She has appeared on the Today Show and PBS NewsHour to discuss her work, and has taught the art of non-fiction essay writing at Yale University.

Simone’s first documentary feature, Black Snow, will debut in 2024, with grant support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Catapult Film Fund, Doc Society, Justice for Journalists Foundation, IDA Enterprise Fund, Redford Center, Fork Films, NYC Women in Film Fund and Sara’s Wish Foundation. She is the recipient of a Logan Non-Fiction Fellowship, the Andrew Berends Film Fellowship, an NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship and the Mountainfilm Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship.

Born in Soviet Ukraine and raised in Massachusetts, Alina currently lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. A long time ago, she used to be an indie rock singer.


CPH:DOX 2024

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