NEW YORK, NY (March 9, 2021) – IFC Films announced today that they are acquiring North American rights to Sonia Kennebeck’s documentary thriller ENEMIES OF THE STATE, which investigates the complicated and bizarre case of alleged Wikileaks courier and Anonymous hacker Matt DeHart. IFC Films will release the film this summer.
Directed by Sonia Kennebeck, who previously explored government whistleblower intimidation in her Emmy-nominated documentary NATIONAL BIRD, the film is the product of years of extensive investigation, featuring in-depth interviews with the DeHart family as well as their attorneys, supporters, and detractors. The film is produced by Kennebeck and Ines Hofmann Kanna of Codebreaker Films and executive produced by Errol Morris.
ENEMIES OF THE STATE blurs the line between reality and paranoia in its exploration of the stranger-than-fiction case of Matt DeHart, a member of hacktivist group Anonymous and alleged whistleblower who believes he was the target of a U.S. government conspiracy. This multifaceted documentary is alternately a compelling legal case study, an espionage thriller, and a thought-provoking work of investigative journalism – a tangled web of secrets and lies with an American family willing to go to any lengths to protect their son at its center. With extraordinary access to the lead characters and key sources, the film presents many contradicting viewpoints as it attempts to solve a mystery that has kept attorneys, activists, and journalists occupied for over a decade.
The documentary made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it caught the attention of critics for its timely subject matter and labyrinthine structure. In a review for Indiewire, Eric Kohn called the film “a fascinating and provocative study of today’s misinformation age”, adding that the film “works best when it investigates the nature of truth at a moment when it’s all too easy to obscure it”. Robert Daniels of RogerEbert.com praised the film’s ability to keep the audience guessing, writing, “the viewer is sucked into connecting dots that may not exist…[Kennebeck] uses our natural addiction to turn ambiguous clues into larger narratives for a shocking documentary that’s amazing at every turn”. Reviewing for Variety, Tomris Laffly noted that, “while ENEMIES OF THE STATE does not necessarily provide all the answers, it sneakily sharpens your analytical radar by its haunting end. And in today’s conspiracy theory fueled world, that just might be everything.”
Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, said, “Sonia maintains a deft balance in telling the fascinating story of the DeHart family, with all the twists and turns of a true crime mystery. We’re thrilled to come on board for the release of this astounding and multi-layered documentary.”
Director Sonia Kennebeck added, “In a time of secrets, lies, and head-spinning conspiracy theories, this film will take you on a journey to uncover the truth, as puzzling as it may be. The turns our investigation took are real, and we are excited to share this incredible story in partnership with IFC who have brought some of the most thought-provoking independent films to American audiences.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films President Arianna Bocco, with Matt Burke of Submarine Entertainment acting on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) and digital platforms.
Upcoming releases include the critically-acclaimed MOFFIE directed by Oliver Hermanus and Christian Petzold’s UNDINE. Current releases include Sam Pollard’s acclaimed documentary MLK/FBI and Chad Hartigan’s LITTLE FISH. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.