Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club

The film is based on the real-life story of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who is one of the more than 1,800 journalists killed so far this century.

By: Mar. 23, 2024
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The National Press Club’s special pre-release screening of the new political drama from Rolling Pictures and Good Films Collective, ANNA (MOTHER RUSSIA), took place on March 20, 2024, and included such luminaries as actor Sean Penn, journalist Bob Woodward, U.S. Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former CIA director John Brennan. 

Check out photos from the event below!

The film features an award-winning ensemble cast lead by Maxine Peake, Ciarán Hinds and Jason Isaacs, and is further bolstered by Ian Hart, Naomi Battrick, Harry Lawtey, Ellie Bamber, Agni Scott, Alec Newman, and Ben Miles. The cast alone has combined box office earnings that surpass the $9 billion mark worldwide. ANNA (MOTHER RUSSIA) was written by Eric Poppen and is directed by James Strong.

The film is based on the real-life story of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who is one of the more than 1,800 journalists killed so far this century. Politkovskaya survived poisoning, detention and beatings as she reported on atrocities happening in Chechnya during the Second Chechen War, before ultimately being murdered in the Moscow apartment building she called home.

“Before making this film, I was unaware this was even an issue,” said producer Mark Maxey, reflecting on the shocking number of journalists who have been killed in recent years. Executive producer Sean Penn stated journalists are as “essential to all our freedoms as air.” Maxey added “Every journalist should have the right to report what is happening in the world without fear of death or reprisal.”

 A lively panel discussion lead by National Press Club president Emily Wilkins followed the screening and explored the issues raised in the film with panelists Swalwell, Woodward and Brennan. 

“It’s not only a powerful movie but is an absolute truth that authoritarian regimes, like in this case, assassinate reporters” observed Woodward. 

“The story of Anna Politkovskaya embodies what it means to be a courageous journalist” noted Brennan, adding “if we don’t have a vibrant and independent free press to expose what is happening in the world today, we are going to be beset by all the problems that we saw in this very powerful film.”

Congressman Swalwell, who last year introduced the Journalism Protection Act legislation, encouraged journalists everywhere “If you are as resilient in your reporting and finding the truth, and speaking truth to power as Anna was, we’re going to be okay.”

 ANNA (MOTHER RUSSIA) is produced by Mark Maxey and Miriam Segal. Sean Penn is the executive producer, along with Stefanie Scott, Rick Crumly, Simon Fawcett, Andrew Wing, David and Alexandra Bell and co-executive producers Brett Nemeroff and John Pettit.

 Maxine Peake is repped by Maison 2, Ciarán Hinds is repped by CAA, Jason Isaacs is repped by Gersh, Ian Hart is repped by ARG, Naomi Battrick is repped by Curtis Brown Group, Harry Lawtey is repped by UTA, Ellie Bamber is repped by UTA, Agni Scott is repped by The Artists Partnership, Alec Newman is repped by The Artists Partnership, Ben Miles is repped by Another Tongue, James Strong is repped by CAA, Eric Poppen is repped by Bayshore Films & Management. Rolling Pictures is repped by Lon Haber & Co | IPPR.

About Rolling Pictures

Rolling Pictures is a boutique motion picture company delivering development, packaging, production and editorial for feature films and television. Based in Burbank, California, Rolling Pictures produces prestige stories with top talent, such as Mayim Bialik’s directorial debut, As They Made Us with two-time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman and Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award-winner Candice Bergen. The company was founded by producer Mark Maxey and musician/composer W.G. Snuffy Walden. Other projects include Space Oddity directed by Kyra Sedgwick and starring Alexandra Shipp, Kyle Allen, Kevin Bacon and Madeline Brewer, Rare Objects directed by and starring Katie Holmes with Alan Cumming, Derek Luke and Julia Mayorga, and Up to Snuff, a documentary featuring Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen, Tom Arnold, Fred Savage and Marshall Herskovitz. For more information, visit www.rollingpictures.com 

About Good Films Collective

Founded by Producer Miriam Segal, Good Films Collective is an independent, female-owned studio committed to producing high-quality, thought-provoking impactful films that entertain, resonate and empower. 

To date, Segal has produced a number of films including ‘Good’, starring Viggo Mortensen, 'The Infiltrator’, starring Bryan Cranston, 'City of Lies’, featuring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker, and 'The Postcard Killings’, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Famke Janssen. ’The Postcard Killings’ recently gained momentum on Netflix reaching number 1 on the US charts in December 2023. 

Good Films has several films on its slate including a film adaption of John Webster’s Jacobean play, The Duchess of Malfi, The Man Who Stole the Sky, a comedic biopic based on the mysterious disappearance of legendary thief and hijacker, D.B. Cooper.

Photo Credit: Peter T. West

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
Bob Woodward

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
Eric Swalwell

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
Sean Penn

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
Mark Maxey

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
John Brennan

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
Sean Penn, John Brennan, and Eric Swalwell

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
Dennis Kucinich, John Brennan, Eric Swalwell, Sean Penn, Mark Maxey, Emily Wilkins,

Photos: Sean Penn, Bob Woodward, and More Attend ANNA Screening at National Press Club
John Brennan, Eric Swalwell, Sean Penn, and Emily Wilkins



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