Leonardo DiCaprio, Mikhail Gorbachev, Woody Allen, Michael Moore and Others Support Freedom of Speech and Independent Journalism
BERLIN, July 14 /PRNewswire/ — The Cinema for Peace Foundation (CFPF), along with a list of prominent participants, supports filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s attempt to overturn a court order requiring him to turn over to Chevron more than 600 hours of raw film footage from his award-winning film CRUDE.
The subpoena is an attack on documentary filmmaking and investigative journalism, First Amendment rights, and threatens the ability of journalists and filmmakers to guarantee confidentiality of their sources.
CRUDE depicts a case of devastating environmental pollution in Ecuador and the ongoing lawsuit between the indigenous people of Ecuador and the oil company, Chevron. Some 30,000 indigenous residents of the region are seeking 27 billion dollars in damages and reparation from Chevron for contamination. CRUDE received this year’s International Green Film Award; an award that was presented to Mr. Berlinger by the actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, and former Russian President, Mikhail Gorbachev.
CRUDE is the subject of a legal battle with Chevron: On May 6th, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan approved a subpoena requiring the CRUDE filmmakers to officially present the nearly 600 hours of raw footage accumulated during the production and turn it over to the oil company.
This ruling represents a direct threat to U.S. First Amendment rights, as well the ability of journalists and filmmakers to guarantee confidentiality of their sources. As a consequence, independent documentary filmmaking and the work of investigative journalists everywhere are endangered.
In an effort to protect the footage, his sources, and his process, CRUDE director Joe Berlinger immediately appealed the decision, and on June 8th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Berlinger will receive a full appellate hearing on July 14th. Maura Wogan of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz will argue Mr. Berlinger’s appeal.
We urge the higher courts to overturn this ruling to help ensure the safety and protection of journalists and filmmakers and their subjects and to ensure freedom of opinion in the U.S. and around the world. We ask for: Respect for the First Amendment right of freedom of speech, protection of free journalists/filmmakers and their sources, continuance of basic democratic rights and culture and that all oil corporations take full responsibility for verified pollution, damage and costs, in the Gulf of Mexico as well as in the Amazon and other parts of the world.
CINEMA FOR PEACE and we, the undersigned, strongly support the award-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger in his efforts to resist Chevron Corporation’s subpoena for all of the unused footage from CRUDE and express our sincerest hope that the appeals court will overturn this decision:
MIKHAIL GORBACHEV (NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATE), LEONARDO DICAPRIO (GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER, ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE), WOODY ALLEN (THREE TIME ACADEMY AWARD WINNER), OLIVER HIRSCHBIEGEL (ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE), NASTASSJA KINSKI (GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER), SUSAN SARANDON (ACADEMY AWARD WINNER), MARC WIESE (CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD), MOHAMMED REZA KAZEMI (CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD), SANDRA SCHULBERG (INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD), RALF SCHMERBERG (UNESCO AWARD NOMINEE, CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD), BILL NIGHY (GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER), AND FROM OPEN LETTER IDA (EXCERPT) D.A. PENNEBAKER (ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE), BARBARA KOPPLE (TWO TIME ACADEMY AWARD WINNER), DAVIS GUGGENHEIM (ACADEMY AWARD WINNER), NICK BROOMFIELD (SUNDANCE AND EUROPEAN FILM AWARD NOMINEE), LUCY WALKER (SUNDANCE- AND BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD), STEVEN REICH (EMMY NOMINEE), ROB EPSTEIN (TWO TIME ACADEMY AWARD WINNER), KEN BURNS (ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE) JAMES LONGLEY (ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE), ROBERT GREENWALD (EMMY NOMINEE), PAMELA YATES (SUNDANCE NOMINEE), MICHAEL MOORE (ACADEMY AWARD WINNER)
About Cinema for Peace: For the past nine years, Cinema for Peace has invited members of the international film community as well as other prominent international public figures to the annual “Cinema for Peace” gala night in Berlin in order to highlight a selection of cinematic work to create a platform for peace and tolerance, publicly recognizing the artists whose work has served to cast a new focus on the human condition and values, while also raising significant funds for charity. The Cinema for Peace Foundation was created in 2008 to organically develop the gala’s goals and activities throughout the year, expanding its role in raising public consciousness of social inequality and injustice. Together with Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Cinema for Peace Foundation invented in 2009 the Cinema for Peace Award for Justice. Ever since, the Cinema for Peace Foundation feels closely linked to the ICC, having staged a “Special Evening on Justice” event on the occasion of the Review Conference of the ICCs Rome Statute in Kampala this May. Since 2009 Cinema for Peace also annually awards its International Green Film Award, jointly presented in 2010 by President Mikhail Gorbachev and Leonardo DiCaprio. The Foundation also works on a comprehensive film catalogue to be distributed in schools as a means of media based quality education. The initiative is broadly supported by artists such as Sir Bob Geldof, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio and Nobel Peace Prize laureates such as Mikhail Gorbachev. More: www.cinemaforpeace-foundation.com
SOURCE Cinema for Peace Foundation