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Sundance: Amazon Buys ISIS Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Sundance
Courtesy of Sundance

Amazon continues to rack up major acquisitions out of the Sundance Film Festival. The streaming giant is in final negotiations to land worldwide rights to “City of Ghosts,” a critically acclaimed documentary for north of $2 million, Variety has learned.

As part of the deal, A&E, which produced the film, will have the ability to show the film on its television network.

The film chronicles the rise of ISIS, while documenting the courage of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” a group of citizen journalists who risk their lives to bring footage of terrorist atrocities in Syria to the wider world. It is seen as being a possible Oscar contender in the documentary category.

“City of Ghosts” is the follow-up to Matthew Heineman’s “Cartel Land,” a daring look at the Mexican drug wars that earned him an Academy Award nomination.

The film has been well received by critics. In a largely positive notice, Variety’s Peter Debruge wrote, “What ‘City of Ghosts’ does best is to humanize those who’ve suffered most from the conflict in Syria, educating us through both outrage and compassion.”

Cinetic is negotiating the deal.

Amazon has had a busy festival. The company also bought “The Big Sick,” a comedy from “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani, for $12 million, and also purchased “Landline” with Jenny Slate.