Director says film about Khashoggi shunned by all major global distributors

Award-winning director Bryan Fogel told Hill.TV that his documentary about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was shunned by all major global distributors.

“The Dissident” focuses on the 2018 killing of Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and critic of the royal family who wrote for The Washington Post.

Fogel said he believes the film was too critical for bigger companies that have financial ties to Saudi Arabia.

“[This challenge] speaks to the environment of fear among these big companies,” he told Hill.TV. “There was such a hostile environment coming from the Trump administration for any company that might not align with those administration’s policies.”

A Saudi court last year sentenced eight people to between seven and 20 years in the 2018 killing. Khashoggi’s family members have said they forgive the perpetrators and the death penalty was taken off the table.

In 2019, two top aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were acquitted of involvement in the killing. The crown prince was widely suspected of having ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi royal family.