amazon ifc ae Brand Name
Title Treatment
Gallery
The Film

Directed, produced, and filmed by Academy Award–nominated and Emmy–winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman, City of Ghosts is a singularly powerful cinematic experience that is sure to shake audiences to their core as it elevates the canon of one of the most talented documentary filmmakers working today. Captivating in its immediacy, City of Ghosts follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” – a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With astonishing, deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today.

To learn more about Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), click here:www.raqqa-sl.com/en/


The Team
  • Matthew Heineman

    Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor


    Matthew Heineman is an Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker based in New York. His film CARTEL LAND was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and won three Primetime Emmy Awards, including Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Best Cinematography. The film premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where Heineman won the Best Director Award and Special Jury Prize for Cinematography.

    The film was released theatrically nationwide by The Orchard in July 2015 and had its broadcast premiere on A&E in January 2016. Heineman won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Award from the Director’s Guild of America for the film, as well as the Courage Under Fire Award from the International Documentary Association “in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth.” He was also named one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. In addition, CARTEL LAND was nominated for a Gotham Award, Critics’ Choice Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Documentary, and was recently presented with the 2015 Documentary Award by the prestigious George Polk Awards in Investigative Journalism.

    Previously, he directed and produced a feature-length documentary ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. It premiered at Sundance 2012, won numerous awards at festivals across the country, and was released by Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate to critical praise in October 2012. The film premiered on CNN in March 2013, and was subsequently nominated for an Emmy.

    Heineman collaborated for two years with a team at HBO on the groundbreaking, Emmy-nominated HBO series, The Alzheimer's Project, which aired in May 2009. He also directed and produced OUR TIME – a feature length documentary about what it's like to be young in today's America. Heineman has directed several short films and commercials and is in development on a few different projects.

  • Matthew Hamachek

    Editor


    Matthew Hamachek began his career working on the Oscar-nominated documentary STREET FIGHT with Marshall Curry and went on to collaborate with Curry on three films including IF A TREE FALLS which won the Documentary Editing Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012. Hamachek also won the Documentary Editing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for GIDEON’S ARMY. He followed that with MEET THE PATELS. In 2015 he co-produced and edited CARTEL LAND which went on to be nominated for an Academy Award and win three Emmy awards. His most recent film, AMANDA KNOX, premiered in the fall of 2016 to critical acclaim.

  • Pax Wassermann

    Editor


    Pax Wassermann is a film editor and producer with twenty years in documentary and fiction features. CITY OF GHOSTS is his second film with director Matthew Heineman, following 2015’s Sundance prize-winner CARTEL LAND (also nominated for a 2015 Academy Award). His other work includes DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER, KNUCKLEBALL! And WHICH WAY HOME, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009.

  • H. Scott Salinas

    Composer


    Award-winning composer, H. Scott Salinas has contributed towards an impressive variety of notable projects including Bruce Lee action fable BIRTH OF THE DRAGON, Aaron Sorkin's smash hit The Newsroom, TNT's dark thriller Murder in the First, and the Oscar-nominated documentary film CARTEL LAND. Along with accolades such as the prestigious Cannes Lion, Clio, BMI, and Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composer awards, Scott's accomplishments have earned him esteem and recognition as a highly versatile yet specialized talent.

  • Jackson Greenberg

    Composer


    Jackson Greenberg is a composer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer originally based in Los Angeles, CA. Jackson’s recent film and TV work includes the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning documentary CARTEL LAND (soundtrack, Lakeshore Records), and two projects premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival: CITY OF GHOSTS (Dir. Matthew Heineman), and HOT GIRLS WANTED: TURNED ON (Netflix, April 2017). Jackson received an undergraduate degree in music from Princeton University and a graduate degree in composition/scoring from Motion Pictures and TV from The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

  • Alex Gibney

    Executive Producer


    Alex Gibney is an American documentary film director and producer. Gibney has been called “the most important documentarian of our time” by Esquire Magazine and “one of America’s most successful and prolific documentary filmmakers” by The New York Times. His previous work includes Taxi to the Dark Side, winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the Emmy-award winning Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015), and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), among others.

  • Molly Thompson

    Executive Producer


    Molly Thompson is founder of A+E Networks’ documentary feature production arm, A&E IndieFilms. Thompson has built a library of critically acclaimed, award winning titles including four Academy Award® nominated films, LIFE, ANIMATED (2016), CARTEL LAND (2015), JESUS CAMP (2006) and MURDERBALL (2005). She also serves as executive producer for documentaries produced under the History Films banner, such as the Emmy®-nominated BEING EVEL (2016), and for narrative features from Lifetime Films, including Eleanor Coppola’s PARIS CAN WAIT (2016), starring Diane Lane and Alec Baldwin.

Screenings
Screenings
  • 7/7/17 – NEW YORK, NY

    7/14/17 – Berkeley, CA

    7/14/17 – Hollywood, CA

    7/14/17 – LOS ANGELES, CA

    7/14/17 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

    7/14/17 – WASHINGTON, DC

    7/21/17 – CHICAGO, IL

    7/21/17 – DENVER, CO

    7/21/17 – Encino, CA

    7/21/17 – Evanston, IL

    7/21/17 – Irvine, CA

    7/21/17 – LOS ANGELES, CA

    7/21/17 – ORANGE COUNTY, CA

    7/21/17 – Pasadena, CA

    7/21/17 – PHILADELPHA, PA

    7/21/17 – SEATTLE, WA

    7/28/17 – ALBANY, NY

    7/28/17 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    7/28/17 – AUSTIN, TX

    7/28/17 – CLEVELAND, OH

    7/28/17 – DALLAS, TX

    7/28/17 – Edina, MN

    7/28/17 – INDIANAPOLIS, IN

    7/28/17 – Kansas City, MO

    7/28/17 – LONG BEACH, CA

    7/28/17 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN

    7/28/17 – NASHVILLE, TN

    7/28/17 – PHOENIX, AZ

    7/28/17 – Portland, OR

    7/28/17 – Salt Lake City, UT

    7/28/17 – Santa Rosa, CA

    7/28/17 – Scottsdale, AZ

    7/28/17 – Waterville, ME

    8/4/17 – Charlotte, NC

    8/4/17 – Knoxville, TN

    8/4/17 – Louisville, KY

    8/18/17 – BURLINGTON, VT

    8/18/17 – St. Johnsbury, VT

    8/25/17 – Lincoln, NE

Past Screenings
  • Sundance Film Festival 2017

    CPH:DOX 2017

    DOCVILLE International Documentary Film Festival 2017

    Dallas Film Festival 2017

    Sarasota Film Festival 2017

    Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2017

    San Francisco International Film Festival 2017

    Tribeca Film Festival 2017

    Hot Docs 2017

    Independent Film Festival Boston 2017

    Montclair Film Festival 2017

    Seattle International Film Festival 2017

    Telluride Mountainfilm 2017

    Berkshire International Film Festival 2017

    Greenwich Film Festival 2017

    Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

    Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2017

    AFIDOCS 2017

    Nantucket Film Festival 2017

    Frontline Club 2017

Press
    • Message From the Other Side

      July 2017 Issue

      Documentary legends D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus discuss City of Ghosts with Director Matthew Heineman.

      Full Story: Filmmaker Magazine

    • Syrian Truth-Tellers Strike Back at ISIS with an Unusual Weapon

      June 20, 2017

      Interview with Director Matthew Heineman by Tasbeeh Herwees. “Propaganda is one of the evilest tools that human beings have used throughout history. In this world of extremely polarized media, there’s no more important story to tell than the story of people fighting for truth.”

      Full Story: GOOD

    • “City of Ghosts,” “Unrest” take Sheffield Doc / Fest Awards

      June 13, 2017

      City of Ghosts wins the Grand Jury Prize win at Sheffield Docs Film Festival. A jury statement read, “City of Ghosts is a passionate portrayal of people who took their lives in their hands to fight an evil that looms over the world…A compelling and vital film.”

      Full Story: Realscreen

    • Behind the Scenes of City of Ghosts

      June 8, 2017

      Director Matthew Heineman talks about telling the story of a small group of moderate Muslims as they fight ISIS in their home town. “A battle-group of modern Muslim men fighting for the truth. Exposing the horrors of what’s happening in their city of Raqqa and their country of Syria. These men and women are risking their lives to expose what ISIS is doing. One of my goals is to put a human face to the struggle.”

      Full Story: KCTS9

    • 2017 Alt-Summer Movie Preview: Haunted Dolls, Docs and Tupac

      May 26, 2017

      “Where do you look for your next subject after you've just embedded yourself on the edge of the Mexican border's drug war? If you're Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman, the answer, apparently, is Syria….It's harrowing stuff, and a grounds-eye look at what Syrians are doing to counteract what often seems like a no-win situation to those of us viewing the conflict from a safe distance.”

      Full Story: Rolling Stone

    • SIFF 2017: Highlights of the film festival’s second week

      May 25, 2017

      “★★★★ Timely, pressing, important.”

      Full Story: Seattle Times

    • 'Show the truth': Citizen journalists report on life under ISIS in new film

      May 2, 2017

      Anna Maria Tremonti interviews Abdel-Aziz Al-Hamza and Matthew Heineman from Hot Docs Film Festival.

      Full Story: CBC Radio

    • The Best and Worst Documentaries of the Tribeca Film Festival

      May 1, 2017

      “Ghosts becomes a portrait of true, and terrifying, heroism – but with a devastating personal and emotional price.”

      Full Story: Flavorwire

    • Review: City of Ghosts

      April 27, 2017

      “Mathew Heineman follows up his Oscar-nominated Cartel Land with this piercing, effective look at these brave truth tellers… With intimacy and a deft touch, Heineman’s portrayal is stellar, always focusing on the subjects rather than the subjectivity of the filmmaker…there are few films of such heart and intelligence that will be seen.”

      Full Story: POV Magazine

    • 5 Ways Documentaries Can Save the World

      April 21, 2017

      “Much of Syria suffers from the debilitating effects of ISIS strongholds; fortunately, a few citizen journalists have sought grassroots strategies to fight back. Some of those efforts are chronicled in “City of Ghosts,” Matthew Heineman’s Sundance-acclaimed documentary about the journalists in Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, a collective that uses a variety of innovative methods to leak stories about ISIS oppression to the rest of the world.”

      Full Story: IndieWire

    • Interview with Matthew Heineman

      April 20, 2017

      Interview with Matthew Heineman about City of Ghosts by Gabrielle Canal

      Full Story: Global Citizen

    • 17 Movies to See at the Tribeca Film Festival

      April 20, 2017

      “Matthew Heineman’s ravaging, essential doc profiles citizen journalists’ attempt to blow the whistle on Islamic State atrocities in Syria.”

      Full Story: New York Magazine | Vulture

    • 40 Films to See Summer 2017

      April 18, 2017

      “Cut together with gut-wrenching intensity and packed with footage that feels equal parts remarkable and horrifying, Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman returns to Sundance with City of Ghosts…”

      Full Story: The Film Stage

    • One-Person Crew: The Pros and Cons of Making a Documentary by Yourself

      March 27, 2017

      “Heineman would constantly move, trying to switch up coverage and find ways to cinematically capture the raw emotions and tension inherent to his stories of men risking everything to inform the world of the slaughter happening to their neighbors. Internally, it’s quite dynamic; externally, we see them leaning over a laptop or talking on cell phones.”

      Full Story: IndieWire

    • City of Ghosts (and resilient grit) – Interview with Matthew Heineman, H. Scott Salinas, and Jackson Greenberg

      March 21, 2017

      “From its first ethereal tones, Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman’s … CITY OF GHOSTS music score and sound design achieves a hauntingly simultaneous balance of nearly-imperceptible presence and atmospheric poignancy.”

      Full Story: Film Music Magazine

    • Conversation with Matthew Heineman and Shaul Schwartz

      February 7, 2017

      Watch Matthew Heineman and Shaul Schwartz “discuss their 2017 Sundance Film Festival docs, how they go into filmmaking in the first place, and the films their mothers would like them to tackle next.”

      Full Story: Sundance Film Festival

    • The 20 Best Films of Sundance 2017

      February 1, 2017

      “Stunning” –– Paste Magazine names City of Ghosts the #4 film at Sundance this year!

      Full Story: Paste Magazine

    • Sundance 2017: “Nobody Speak, “City of Ghosts”

      January 31, 2017

      “Harrowing…a comprehensive look at the rise of ISIS.”

      Full Story: Roger Ebert

    • Critics Pick the Best Movies and Performances From the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

      January 31, 2017

      City of Ghosts voted the #1 documentary by the Sundance Critics Poll!

      Full Story: IndieWire

    • City of Ghosts: Sundance 2017 Review

      January 30, 2017

      “Heineman has put together a crucial piece of work here…Rarely do documentaries feel so of-the-moment, so tragic, and so hopeful...There is life and death in every single frame of City of Ghosts, not to be easily forgotten.”

      Full Story: The Film Stage

    • Sundance Interview: CITY OF GHOSTS Director Matthew Heineman

      January 30, 2017

      Heineman tells Jason Gorber how “the importance of first-hand accounts, especially as journalism, is under attack. I think this [film] is an homage, to some degree, to the importance of truth seeking and truth telling.”

      Full Story: Birth.Movies.Death

    • Sundance 2017 Breakouts: Here’s The Movies You Can Expect To See In Next Year’s Oscar Race

      January 30, 2017

      “Heineman reveals delicacy and sensitivity while filming his subjects up close. This timely movie is heartbreaking.”

      Full Story: IndieWire

    • ‘City of Ghosts’ Director Matthew Heineman Says His Documentary Subjects From Syria Are Affected By Trump Muslim Ban

      January 28, 2017

      ““City of Ghosts” director Matthew Heineman is speaking out against the executive order President Donald Trump signed Friday restricting visits and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.”

      Full Story: IndieWire

    • ★★★★★
      City of Ghosts review: could be the definitive Syria documentary

      January 27, 2017

      Matthew Heineman’s return to Sundance after his Oscar-nominated Cartel Land is a triumphant one. Where his previous film was a journalistic masterclass in taking access to the extreme, City of Ghosts instead turns the camera on heroic journalists themselves. In doing so, Heineman may have made the definitive contemporary documentary about the tragedy of Syria, as well as an epoch-defining piece on modern media tactics.

      Full Story: The Guardian

    • Sudden Impact: How Sundance Documentaries Have Gained (or Lost) Relevance in the Trump Age

      January 26, 2017

      From Ferguson to Syria, the citizen journalists profiled in “Cartel Land” director Matthew Heineman’s latest engrossing high-stakes doc-thriller “City of Ghosts” also present a stirring and disturbing vision of protest against all odds.

      Full Story: IndieWire

    • Sundance ’17: Heineman’s “City of Ghosts” Tells Harrowing Human Tale

      January 25, 2017

      This year, [Matthew Heineman] is back at Sundance with City of Ghosts, a powerful cinematic experience that follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (RBSS) – a handful of anonymous activists and unwitting journalists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014 on a mission to get their stories out to the world undercover, on the run and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the great evils in the world today.

      Full Story: Realscreen

    • Matthew Heineman: “I Don’t Dream About Projects – Projects Hit Me in the Face” | Sundance 2017

      January 23, 2017

      “I don’t script what’s going to happen in the future.”

      Full Story: The Hollywood Reporter

    • Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ Is A Wide-Eyed, Jaw Dropping Look At The Battle Against ISIS [Sundance Review]

      January 21, 2017

      “City of Ghosts” is documentarian Matthew Heineman’s third film to bow at Sundance, after 2012’s health care doc “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” (co-directed with Susan Froemke), and 2015’s searing “Cartel Land,” an immersive, bone-rattling film embedded on the front lines of the drug cartel war in Mexico. This year, he brings “City of Ghosts,” to Park City, which could be described as “ ‘Cartel Land’ but with ISIS,” however Heineman’s too sophisticated a filmmaker for that facile comparison.

      Full Story: The Playlist

    • Sundance: Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ Wins Candescent Award

      January 19, 2017

      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.

      Full Story: Variety

    • 17 Sundance Movies We’re Eager To See

      January 19, 2017

      As evidenced by the jaw-dropping footage in “Cartel Land,” Matthew Heineman is one of today’s most daring documentarians. With “City of Ghosts,” he dares to embed himself with a band of Syrian activists working to combat ISIS.

      Full Story: The Huffington Post

    • Sundance: 13 Must-See Films That Have The Indie World Talking

      January 18, 2017

      “City of Ghosts” is ultimately a story of heroism, documenting the courage of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” a group of citizen journalists who risk their lives to bring footage of ISIS’s atrocities in Syria to the wider world. It’s powerful stuff and should factor into the best documentary Oscar race. It could even win the golden guy.

      Full Story: Variety

    • Sundance 2017: The 10 Movies You Need To See

      January 17, 2017

      This year’s documentary slate looks especially promising, with an emphasis on filmmakers responding to current events and no fewer than three ripped-from-the-headlines accounts about the civil war in Syria, including Last Men in Aleppo, Cries From Syria, and this doc about citizen journalists taking on ISIS from Cartel Land director Matthew Heineman.

      Full Story: EW

    • Sundance 2017: The 10 Most Anticipated Films We Can’t Wait to See

      January 16, 2017

      One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen at Sundance is Cartel Land, an intimate and remarkable look at the tensions along the US-Mexico border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman established connections with both sides to tell two stories, embedding himself directly into the conflict, and he deservingly won the Best Cinematography award at Sundance 2015.

      Full Story: FirstShowing

    • Our 20 Most-Anticipated Films at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

      January 16, 2017

      Coming off the Oscar-nominated Cartel Land, director Matthew Heineman is returning to Sundance and has once again embedded himself into a vital part of global conflict. City of Ghosts finds the director capturing a group of journalists who were in exile after ISIS took over their homeland in 2014. With the makings of one of the most essential documentaries of the year, hopefully Heineman once again proves himself as an superb visual journalist.

      Full Story: The Film Stage

Gallery
Arrow Left
Arrow Left
  • Still1
  • Still2
  • Still3
  • Still4
  • Still5
Contact

General Inquiries: info@ourtimeprojects.com
NY Press Inquiries: ryan@cineticmedia.com
LA Press Inquires: nancywillen@acmepr.com