Denmark, USA

On a cold night in February 2018, police enter a house in a Slovakian village and find a bloody crime scene. The body of Ján Kuciak, a 27-year-old investigative journalist, lies face-down near the front door. He has been shot twice in the chest. In the kitchen is his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, shot once in the head. The killings of the young couple — who had planned to marry soon — inspire the biggest protests in Slovakia since the fall of communism, and spark the fall of the Slovakian government. When a young police investigator pieces together the chain of events, he unearths a bizarre tale. An ex-policeman and an ex-soldier have allegedly been hired by a local pizzeria owner to carry out the murder, while the pizzeria owner, in turn, has allegedly been hired by a woman known for honey-trapping politicians to obtain compromising material. This woman is a confidant of Marián Kočner, a controversial Slovak businessman closely connected to the country’s ruling party. In March 2019, Mr. Kočner is charged with ordering Kuciak’s murder. The story takes a further twist when a source leaks the secret murder case file to Pavla Holcová, an investigative journalist who worked with Kuciak at the time of his death. The case file includes Kočner’s phones, and nearly a decade of his encrypted communications.

Best Human Rights Documentary Bergen Truth Award Dokufest Special Mention Zurich

Matt Sarnecki (Chicago, Illinois) is a journalist, producer and film director. He attended Columbia University, earning a BA in political science and history. He has directed several documentaries broadcast throughout Europe and beyond. In 2007 he returned to New York and spent several years working in television and documentary. In 2011 he earned a master’s degree in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.