City of Ghosts (2017 film)

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City of Ghosts
City of Ghosts (2017 film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Matthew Heineman
Produced by Matthew Heineman
Music by Jackson Greenberg
H. Scott Salinas
Cinematography Matthew Heineman
Edited by Matthew Hamachek
Matthew Heineman
Pax Wassermann
Our Time Projects
Distributed by Amazon Studios
Release date
Running time
93 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language Arabic

City of Ghosts is a 2017 American documentary film about the Syrian media activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, directed by Matthew Heineman.


The film premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, it was subsequently acquired by Amazon in a $2 million deal.[2]

It was shown on the film festival circuit at festivals like Tribeca Film Festival.[3]

The film was released theatrically by Amazon Studios, A&E IndieFilms[4] and IFC Films on July 14, 2017.[5]


City of Ghosts received critical acclaim upon release. As of 8 March 2018, the film holds a 99% 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 91 reviews, with an average score of 8.3/10.[6] On Metacritic, it holds a rating of 86/100, based on 31 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[7] Charlie Phillips of The Guardian gave the film five stars and called it "the definitive contemporary documentary about the tragedy of Syria."[8]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
BAFTA Awards February 18, 2018 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association December 10, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Cinema Eye Honors January 11, 2018 Best Documentary, Best Director, Best Production City of Ghosts Nominated
CPH:Dox March 26, 2017 Audience Award City of Ghosts Won
Critics Choice Documentary Awards November 2, 2017 Best Director, Best Documentary Matthew Heineman Nominated
Dallas Fort Worth Film Critics Association December 13, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Won
Dallas International Film Festival April 10, 2017 Silver Heart Award City of Ghosts Won
Director's Guild of America Awards February 4, 2018 Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Matthew Heineman Won
Docville March 30, 2017 Jury Award Best Conscience Documentary City of Ghosts Won
Galway Film Fleadh July 17, 2017 Best Human Rights Feature City of Ghosts Won
Greenwich International Film Festival June 2017 Best Social Impact Film[9] City of Ghosts Won
International Documentary Association September 12, 2017 Courage Under Fire Award Matthew Heineman Won
International Documentary Association Awards December 9, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
International Press Academy Satellite Awards February 10, 2018 Best Motion Picture, Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Iowa Film Critics Association January 9, 2018 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Jerusalem Film Festival June 22, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Won
Melbourne International Film Festival August 20, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Montclair Film Festival May 7, 2017 Special Jury Prize for Direction Matthew Heineman Won
Munich Film Festival June 24, 2017 Fritz-Gerlich Prize Matthew Heineman Won
North Texas Film Critics Association December 6, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards January 20, 2018 Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures Matthew Heineman Nominated
Phoenix Critics Circle December 11, 2017 Best Documentary Film City of Ghosts Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards December 19, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle December 10, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Seattle Film Critics Awards December 18, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Seattle International Film Festival June 11, 2017 Golden Space Needle Award City of Ghosts Nominated
Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards June 2017 Grand Jury Award[10] City of Ghosts Won
St. Louis Film Critics Association December 10, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated
Sundance Film Festival 2017 Candescent Award[11] City of Ghosts Won
Sundance Film Festival January 28, 2017 Grand Jury Prize – US Documentary Matthew Heineman Nominated
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards December 8, 2017 Best Documentary City of Ghosts Nominated


  1. ^ McCarthy, Todd (January 22, 2017). "'City of Ghosts': Film Review | Sundance 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Amazon Acquires ISIS Documentary 'City of Ghosts' – Sundance 2017". January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  3. ^ "City of Ghosts | 2017 Tribeca Film Festival". Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  4. ^ "A&E IndieFilms Documentary "City of Ghosts" To Premiere October 2 On A&E | News - A&E". Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  5. ^ Erbland, Kate. "Film Acquisitions Rundown, Week of March 6 | IndieWire". Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  6. ^ "City of Ghosts (2017)". Fandango. Retrieved March 8, 2018. 
  7. ^ "City of Ghosts (2017) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  8. ^ Phillips, Charlie (January 27, 2017). "City of Ghosts review: could be the definitive Syria documentary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  9. ^ "GIFF Makes an Impact, Especially With Women". 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  10. ^ "Archive » "City of Ghosts," "Unrest" take Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards". Realscreen. Retrieved 2017-11-28. 
  11. ^ Dave McNary (2017-01-19). "Sundance: Documentary 'City of Ghosts' Wins Candescent Award (EXCLUSIVE) – Variety". Retrieved 2017-11-28. 

External links[edit]