Sundance: HBO Documentary Films Nabs Russian LGBTQ Doc 'Welcome to Chechnya'

Welcome to Chechyna - Publicity Still - H 2019
HBO Films

The feature from Oscar-nominated director David France ('How to Survive a Plague') is set to debut on the pay cabler in June following its world premiere in Park City next month.

Ahead of its Sundance debut, HBO Documentary Films has picked up North American television and streaming rights to the feature documentary Welcome to Chechnya.

Oscar-nominated director David France (How to Survive a Plague) is behind the feature that shadows a group of brave activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya. 

In the present-day Russian republic of Chechnya, gay and transgender citizens are targeted as part of a deadly “cleansing” campaign. This revealing film chronicles a group of LGBTQ activists as they work undercover and at great personal danger to rescue the victims of this aggression. Through a succession of safe houses and a global underground network of collaborators, the LGBTQ advocates provide victims temporary safety and urgent visa assistance, because fleeing Russia is their only chance for survival.  

Welcome to Chechnya will have its world premiere in the U.S. Documentary Competition section at Sundance, after which it will debut in June on HBO.

Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov and David France produced the movie. The deal was negotiated by Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.