The Killing of a Journalist

When a young investigative journalist and his fiancée are brutally murdered at their home in Slovakia, their deaths inspire the biggest protests in the country since the fall of communism. The story takes an unexpected turn when a source leaks the secret murder case file to the slain 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. The mafia is the government, and a reckoning awaits.

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

Edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen

With WDR/Arte

Co-Produced by Frame Films & GotFat Productions

With DR, NRK, SVT & Czech FF, Den Vestdanske Filmpulie

100’ ǀ Slovak, English ǀ Denmark, Czech Republic, USA 202

About the director

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.

About the producer

Born 1970. Signe Byrge Sørensen is a two-time Oscar® nominee for producing The Act of Killing in 2014 and The Look of Silence in 2016. She was nominated for the Producer’s Guild Award in 2016 for The Look of Silence and won Cinema Eye Awards for the production of both these films. Signe Byrge Sørensen has been a producer since 1998 and founded Final Cut for Real ApS in 2009. Recent titles include Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (202) Songs of Repression by Marianne Hougen-Moraga and Estephan Wagner (2020), Dreaming Murakami (2018) by Nitesh Anjaan, Land of the Free (2017) by Camilla Magid, Les Sauteurs (2017) by Espehan Wagner and Life is Sacred (2014) by Andreas Dalsgaard. While at SPOR Media, she was the Danish co-producer for Steps for the Future. She holds an MA in International Development Studies and Communication Studies from Roskilde University, Denmark, 1998 and attended EURODOC in 2003, EAVE in 2010 and ACE in 2018. In 2014, Signe Byrge Sørensen received the Roos Award, given for an extraordinary contribution to Danish documentary film. She has co-produced 4 documentary films with Joslyn Barnes of Louverture Films: Angels Are Made of Light by James Longley, That Summer by Göran Olsson, Strong Island by Yance Ford (Oscar® nominated 2018) and Shadow World by Johan Grimonprez.