×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sundance: Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ Wins Candescent Award (EXCLUSIVE)

Matthew Heineman’s documentary “City of Ghosts” has won this year’s Candescent award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Candescent award was created by actress-producer Lilly Hartley in partnership with the Sundance Institute documentary film program. The award goes to a powerful social-issue film that has been supported during production by the DFP and premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.

Heineman, whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated “Cartel Land,” followed the journey of a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. “City of Ghosts” centers on a group of citizen journalists — dubbed “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” — as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against ISIS. Raqqa is an ISIS stronghold in Syria.

“City of Ghosts” premieres in the U.S. documentary competition on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.

“City of Ghosts had a profound impact on me,” Hartley said. “Matthew Heineman’s superb thriller of a documentary transformed my views and captured my heart. Raw humanity pulses at the core of ‘City of Ghosts.’ I am excited to support Heineman as he continues to make fantastic, fearless films.”

Hartley is an executive producer of “Trophy,” premiering at Sundance on Friday. She’s also a supporter of “Step,” which premieres on Saturday at the festival.

Candescent Films supports documentaries that illuminate social issues. Upcoming supported films include HBO’s “Solitary,” “The Departure” and Lauren Greenfield’s “Fantasy Island.”

Some of Hartley’s recent projects include “The Queen of Versailles”; “Sons of the Clouds,” starring Javier Bardem, for which she and Bardem won a Goya Award; “Who is Dayani Cristal?,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal; and “Likeness,” a short film starring Elle Fanning.

Past recipients of the Candescent award include: “How to Change The World,” “T(e)rror,” “Private Violence,” “E-Team,” “Gideon’s Army,” “After Tiller” and “Escape Fire.”

More Film

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reaps $83 Million in China by Early Afternoon of Opening Day

    “Avengers: Endgame” is already breaking records in China, raking in $83 million (RMB558 million) as of 2 p.m. on opening day Wednesday – two days ahead of the U.S. – and putting itself firmly on track to become the biggest Hollywood title ever in the Middle Kingdom. The Marvel finale has already set a new [...]

  • Film Review: ‘The Gift: The Journey

    ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’

    Very much in the manner of an “unplugged” acoustic album that showcases the musicianship of a major artist without distracting flash and filigree, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” is a tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled [...]

  • Emily Morgan Cormac Fox Gregoire Debailly

    European Film Promotion Reveals 2019's Producers on the Move

    Twenty of Europe’s up-and-coming producers are going to Cannes with European Film Promotion. The organization unveiled its latest roster of Producers on the Move on Wednesday, a lineup that features France’s Gregoire Debailly, who produced Jean-Bernard Marlin’s “Sheherazade,” which premiered in Critics’ Week in Cannes last year, and Ireland’s Cormac Fox, who produced Sophie Hyde’s [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Netflix Can Chill: Academy Rules No Change in Streaming Oscar Eligibility

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not change eligibility rules for the Oscars, despite speculation that streaming companies might see a crackdown on their release practices when pursuing golden trophies. A board of governors meeting on Tuesday voted to maintain the status quo, that any feature-length film can be considered for the [...]

  • Aniara review

    Film Review: 'Aniara'

    Each year brings an example or three of purported “thinking person’s science-fiction” films, a category that pretty much embraces anything not centered on monsters or lightsaber battles. These efforts are often more admirable in theory than result, but “Aniara” — the first film drawn from Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Harry Martinson’s 1956 cycle of 103 [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    It’s been a long year for Marvel fans since the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the wait is nearly over. The finale to the Infinity Saga is here, and while most diehard fans will know to avoid them for fear of spoilers, early reviews are mostly positive. Last year’s “Infinity War” took home an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content