THE KILLING OF A JOURNALIST
by Matt Sarnecki
A young investigative journalist and his fiancée are brutally murdered in their home in Slovakia. Their deaths inspire the biggest protests in Slovakia since the fall of communism. The story takes an unexpected turn when a source leaks the secret murder case file to the murdered journalist’s colleagues. It includes the computers and encrypted communications of the assassination’s alleged mastermind, a businessman closely connected to the country’s ruling party. Trawling these encrypted messages, journalists discover that their country has been captured by corrupt oligarchs, judges and law enforcement officials. A reckoning awaits.
Denmark, Czech Republic, USA
Directed by Matt Sarnecki
Produced by Signe Byrge Sorensen – Final Cut for Real
Executive Producers: Drew Sullivan, Paul Radu
Produced by Final Cut for Real & OCCRP
Co-Produced by Frame Films & GotFat Productions
Editor: Janus Billeskov Jansen
Director of Photography: Anna Smoroňová
Composer: Kristian Eidnes Andersen
Sound Designer: Marek Poledna
In co-production with WDR in association with ARTE
In collaboration with DR, NRK, SVT
Supported by Czech Film Fund, West Danish Film Fund
DIRECTOR - MATT SARNECKI
Matt Sarnecki is a journalist, producer and film director at the Organized Crime and Corruption
Reporting Project. He has directed several documentaries broadcast throughout Europe and beyond. His documentary Killing Pavel, about the murder of investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet, won the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal in 2017 and the DIG Award (Italy) in 2018. Previously, he produced and directed documentary series featured on VICE and Powder.com.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Matt grew up in Los Angeles, California. At 17, he moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, earning a BA in political science and history. He spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania before moving to Prague, Czech Republic, where he held a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts. In 2007 he returned to New York and spent several years working in television and documentary. In 2011 he moved to San Francisco and earned a master’s degree in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2013 he has lived in Bucharest, Romania.
PRODUCER - SIGNE BYRGE SORENSEN
Signe Byrge Sørensen is a three-time Oscar® nominee for producing The Act of Killing (2012), The Look of Silence (2014) and Flee (2021). She was nominated for the Producers Guild Award in 2016 for The Look of Silence and 2021 for Flee, and won or was nominated for Cinema Eye Awards for the production of all these films. She has been a producer since 1998 and founded Final Cut for Real ApS in 2009. Other recent titles include President (2021) by Camilla Nielsson, Our Memory Belongs to Us (2021) by Rami Farah, and Songs of Repression by Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner (2020).
She holds an MA in International Development Studies and Communication Studies from Roskilde University, Denmark and attended EURODOC in 2003, EAVE in 2010 and ACE in 2018. In 2014, Sørensen received the Roos Award, given for an extraordinary contribution to Danish documentary film.
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“A riveting true crime tale”
- Patrick Mullen, POV Magazine
- Matthew Carey, Deadline
"A timely analysis of one case that elucidates the wider stakes involved in protecting media independence and the dire consequences when it is left, complacently, in the firing line."
-Carmen Gray, Modern Times Review