Filmmaker Michael Oswald told Geo Fact Check that he has not yet made an official announcement on the release platform
Updated Tuesday Oct 18 2022
Politicians and multiple social media users claim that an upcoming documentary, about the alleged corruption of Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family, will be released on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
No such announcement has been made by the filmmaker.
The trailer of a new documentary, titled Behind Closed Doors, was released on social media on Monday.
It was shared by several social media accounts, including politicians and lawmakers, who insisted that the documentary, about Pakistan Muslim League-N’s leader Nawaz Sharif and his family’s purported “corruption”, will be released on the US-based streaming service, Netflix.
The trailer was shared across social media platforms and has raked up over 258,000 views so far.
The trailer features, amongst others, Imran Khan, the former prime minister, as well as several investigative journalists, namely Tom Stocks and John-Allan Namu.
A provincial minister in Punjab, Muhammad Basharat Raja, who is also a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), tweeted the trailer with the caption: “A proud moment for the House of Sharifs!”
In the same tweet he shared an image with the text: “Netflix to release a documentary ‘Behind Close Door’ also featuring Sharif Family’s Corruption Scandals”. (sic)
While another provincial minister from the PTI tweeted that the “film about corruption was coming soon to Netflix and Amazon Prime”.
The film has been produced by Independent POV, an independent production company, which as per its own website produces “documentaries that explore the themes of secrecy and abuse of power.”
It has to date produced five documentaries, some of which have been self-funded.
Its latest project, Behind Closed Doors, is a “film about corruption in high places and those who enable it”, states the website, adding that “Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are people who hold a public function and as a result present higher risks of being involved in bribery or corruption…London is the place where they buy property, where they take legal action against their critics and where they live when they fall from grace.”
The film is produced and directed by Michael Oswald and Murtaza Mehdi. The IMDb website states that Oswald is a UK-based director, writer and editor. But Geo Fact Check could not find any information about past projects produced by Murtaza Mehdi.
The web page of Behind Closed Doors does not provide any information about the distributor of the documentary. Neither is there any mention of Netflix or other streaming services picking up the documentary.
In an email Michael Oswald told Geo Fact Check that the filmmakers have “not yet made an official announcement on the release platform nor release date,” when asked if the documentary would be aired on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Asked again if there are any plans to release it on Netflix in the future, Oswald replied that it “will depend on our ongoing discussions with agents, so I cannot comment on that either way.”
Geo Fact Check also reached out to Netflix. A customer service representative at Netflix told Geo Fact Check that all their new releases – shows, movies, documentaries – are announced on the website.
The webpage names all of Netflix’s upcoming releases till January 2023. Behind Closed Doors has not been listed.
The website of Prime Video by Amazon Studios also does not name the documentary as an upcoming release.
The filmmaker Oswald further told Geo Fact Check that the Behind Closed Doors is self-funded and crowd-funded through Patreon and GoFundme.
On GoFundme, Oswald has set a goal of £5,000 and has collected £137 till October 18.