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Netflix and Amazon are refusing to buy and distribute a film about Khashoggi directed by an Oscar winner

Oscar-winning American director Ryan Vogel has found it difficult to find a distribution company to buy his latest documentary, “The Dessident,” about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a report by The New York Times.

The newspaper said that an Oscar-winning filmmaker’s film usually gets a lot of attention from broadcasting and distribution companies that use documentaries and niche films to attract more subscribers and win awards.

However, “The Defector” could not contract with a distribution company until 8 months after its release, and it was an independent company with limited access.

Vogel says – who won the Oscar with a network Netflix about his movie “Icarus” in 2018 – Commenting on what happened, “Global media companies no longer think only about how broadcasting the movie will affect the American audience, they also ask: What if they distributed this film in Egypt or in China or Russia, Pakistan or India? All these factors play a role, and they stand in the way of films and stories like this. “

The official launch of the film was carried out in about 200 galleries across America on Christmas Eve, and will be available for purchase on video-on-demand channels beginning January 8, while the original plan was to show it in 800 galleries, but the number was reduced due to considerations. Linked to the epidemic.

On the international level, the film will be shown in Britain, Australia, Italy, Turkey and other European countries through a group of distribution networks.

Vogel with Hatice Genghis, the fiancée of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi (Getty Images)

The newspaper believes that the size of the potential audience is much less than it would have been possible if the launch and distribution were done through networks such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, noting that this matter demonstrates – according to the director of the film – the keenness of these companies that have greatly increased their role in the field of documentary films only On expanding its subscriber base and not highlighting “mighty excesses”.

In his film “Dissident,” Vogel interviewed Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz, with Fred Ryan, CEO of the Washington Post newspaper for which Khashoggi worked as a columnist, and with members of the Turkish police service.

He also obtained a 37-page transcript of a record of what happened in the room in which Khashoggi was strangled and his bodies were dismembered, and he spent considerable time with Omar Abdulaziz, a young Saudi dissident in Montreal who worked with Khashoggi to confront the way the Saudi government used Twitter to smear opponents and critics. to her.

The director stated that he informed Netflix about his film during its production, and then again months later when it was accepted into the annual Sundance Film Festival, where he told the network that he would be very happy if they wanted to see the movie, but he “did not hear.” No response after that. “

Amazon also refused to make an offer about the film, although it includes footage of Jeff Bezos, its chief executive who also owns the Washington Post, and declined any comment on what the newspaper reported.

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