The Talented Mr Rosenberg Trailer: Another Con Artist Does Con Artist Things

Is anyone else suddenly considering a life of crime? It seems like a pretty sweet deal: swindle some 1 percenters, live a brief life of luxury, enter a few morally questionable relationships, eventually get busted and — give or take a few years on trial — immediately become a bonafide celebrity and get a TV series made in your honor! It's starting to sound pretty decent — or maybe I've just been absorbing recent TV trends the wrong way. In my defense, if half of the spring 2022 TV lineup is going to trace the life of yet another scam artist, I can't be held accountable for taking some very detailed notes.

This life change is brought to you in honor of "The Talented Mr. Rosenberg," a new documentary set to make its world premiere as part of the ​​just-revealed lineup for the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto. The film revolves around Albert Rosenberg who — brace yourselves for this — was a con artist! And he did, you guessed it, con artist things! And now the time has come to reflect on his crimes and see what we might glean from yet another twisted swindler who scammed the masses. In case you haven't heard of Rosenberg, aka The Yorkville Swindler, he's best described as a cross between Bernie Madoff and the "Tinder Swindler," Simon Leviev.

The Talented Mr. Rosenberg trailer

The trailer for "The Talented Mr. Rosenberg" is available over on Deadline and makes for a fascinating watch. As repetitive as these scammer stories have become, there's always a little something-something thrown in to turn heads and pique interest. In this case, the film's description truly wasn't joking when they poked fun at the Tinder Swindler similarities, because if you're familiar with the Netflix saga then this scheme will sound very familiar. And what truly makes this doc stand out is the involvement of Rosenberg himself, who appears on camera and tells his story. He's clearly angling for some sympathy when he talks about the way the media has portrayed him, even mentioning how his own daughters charge him with ruining their lives. Rosenberg even tells the audience, "When I think about it most of the time wishing that I didn't do the things that I did and wondering why I did them, basically, I wish I could start over again."

And then the doc swerves on us, countering his words with testimony from those he scammed — particularly, his ex-girlfriends, ex-wife, and his two daughters (who speak in the shadows to assure some anonymity). Compared to some of its fictionalized counterparts, which take extra special care to rehabilitate and sympathize with their scammers, "The Talented Mr. Rosenberg" is refreshing in its honesty: The Yorkville Swindler may see himself as the hero, but everyone else has marked him the villain. He's described by his victims as "a criminal" and "a psychopath," with his daughter noting he is "extremely abusive."

Rosenbergs' scheme was exposed by Journalist Courtney Shea back in 2015: purporting to be a titled Swiss billionaire, Rosenberg took to dating sites to meet women whose savings he could seize control of, whilst allegedly conducting a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors. The film is produced and directed by Barry Avrich, founder of Melbar Entertainment Group, who told Deadline:

"We are living in a world of schemers, scammers, and con artists, and most of us think we are too clever to fall victim to a Ponzi, Madoff, or Rosenberg. Think again."

Shea, the journalist, produced the documentary, alongside Avrich, Caitlin Cheddie, and Mark Selby. "The Talented Mr. Rosenberg" will have its Canadian broadcast premiere in Fall 2022, though no specific date has been revealed.