festival program / Documentary Achievement Award

Welcome to Chechnya


WINNER - Sundance Film Festival 2020 U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing

Oscar-nominated filmmaker David France (How to Survive a Plague) delivers a suspenseful real-life thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Inspired by The New Yorker reporting of Masha Gessen, the film follows a courageous team of Russian activists who operate an underground railroad to help LGBTQ Chechens escape face death sentences. To protect the identity of escapees, the film employs a ground-breaking technology of face-masking with AI similar to that used in The Irishman. The film delivers "an emotional gut-punch and a technical wonder all at once" (Indiewire).

This screening is sponsored by HBO.

Event Dates

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SilverSpot Cinema 11

Director Bio

David France is an investigative journalist who has written for Newsweek, the New York Times and New York magazine. He directed the award-winning 2017 documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (17) and the Academy Award nominated 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague (12), which received a Peabody Award, an IFP Gotham Award for Best Documentary and numerous festival honors. His subsequent book, How to Survive a Plague, won the Baillie Gifford Prize.

Cast & Credits

  • Director(s)
    David France
  • Producer(s)
    Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov, David France
  • Screenwriter(s)
    David France, Tyler H. Walk
  • Cinematographer(s)
    Askold Kurov, Dereck Wiesehahn
  • Composer
    Evgueni Galperine, Sacha Galperine

Film Info