‘Navalny’ Doc Gets Theatrical Release After Russian Opposition Leader Jailed

Acclaimed film about Alexey Navalny will be presented in special screenings on April 11 and 12

Navalny Documentary Alexey Navalny

“Navalny,” the documentary about Russian dissident and political opposition leader Alexey Navalny who was just imprisoned by Vladimir Putin’s government, will now get a theatrical release from Warner Bros. Pictures and Fathom Events.

“Navalny” premiered to acclaim at Sundance earlier this year and was meant to debut through CNN Films and HBO Max. But that was before Russia invaded Ukraine, and with the Russian war still raging, the film will now make its debut next month in special screenings before it hits streaming, and it will still eventually debut through CNN+ and HBO Max and on broadcast via CNN Films.

Daniel Roher’s film “Navalny” will screen in more than 800 theaters in North America on April 11 and 12 in partnership with Fathom Events and Warner Bros. The screenings will be followed by a special conversation with the filmmakers and moderated by CNN chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward. Ward has reported extensively from Russia and Ukraine and specifically on matters related to Alexey Navalny for several years.

“Alexey Navalny was just last week convicted and sentenced in Russia and cannot tell the story of what happened to him. Our film shows his tremendous courage fighting an authoritarian regime and its corruption inside Russia. I’m looking forward to the Fathom Events engagements and speaking to CNN’s Clarissa Ward. I appreciate Warner Bros. Pictures creating these experiences for theatrical audiences,” Roher said.

“Navalny” takes viewers inside the careful investigation into the shocking and brazen assassination attempt from 2020 against Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny and who was behind it.  Through his years-long campaign against corruption among Russia’s elites, Navalny has developed powerful enemies. His publicized revelations, and calls for democratic reforms, have enraged Vladimir Putin, who refuses to even say his name in public. 

In August 2020, Navalny was secretly poisoned with a military-grade chemical nerve agent in an elaborate attempt on his life.  Despite denials from the Russian government, the poison was later linked to the Kremlin through investigations by international news organizations, including Bellingcat and CNN. 

Directed by Daniel Roher, “Navalny” is produced by Odessa Rae of RaeFilm Studios, Diane Becker and Melanie Miller of Fishbowl Films, and Shane Boris of Cottage M. Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films and Maria Pevchikh are executive producers of the documentary.  

“With NAVALNY, we had an exceptionally rare opportunity to drop audiences into the center of a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat thriller that is not only true, but urgently unfolding, in real time, at this critical moment in history,” said Jeff Goldstein, president, domestic distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.  “Daniel Roher and his team have seamlessly combined daredevil reporting with masterful filmmaking to deliver a compelling motion picture that demands to be seen by a broad movie-going audience, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to work with our partners at CNN Films, HBO Max, and Fathom Events to make that happen.”

“Fathom Events is beyond proud to bring this must-see documentary to theaters at a time when Navalny’s story should be in front of everyone,” said Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events.  “We’re honored to partner with CNN Films, Warner Bros. Pictures, and exhibition to also present the exclusive discussion with Clarissa Ward and the filmmakers about this incredible story.”

“Particularly at this historic global moment, we are really pleased to partner with Warner Bros. Pictures and Fathom Events to make ‘Navalny’ widely available to through these special engagements,” said Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.  “The conversation with Clarissa will add thoughtful perspective to this concurrent history for the audience,” said Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films. Both Entelis and Sexton spoke on behalf of CNN Films and CNN+.  

“Navalny” is presented by CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Fishbowl Films, RaeFilm Studios, and Cottage M. 

The film won both the Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary competition and the Festival Favorite Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The international premiere took place in Copenhagen at the CPH:DOX Film Festival last weekend. 

Dogwoof represents available international rights for the film.

Tickets for NAVALNY may be purchased at FathomEvents.com, or through participating theater box offices.