Hi, I’m Kym Staton, founder of Films For Change. We are very excited to update everyone that we have finished the production stage and are now beginning on the post-production - the editing - for this film! Since may 2021, our team and I have been working on a documentary about and in support of Julian Assange, called ‘Free The Truth: Free Assange’. The main aim of this film is to gather more support for the campaign for Julian’s freedom. At its core, this is a political case and a mass public outcry is needed in order to pressure US, UK and Australian politicians to do the right thing and release him.
The uniqueness of this film is that rather than focussing on the “what” and “when” of this story, it will instead mainly focus on the big “why” of the situation.
The goal is to help people understand the meaning of what has occurred and the value of Julian and Wikileaks work. To help people to interpret the intentions of the ruling class, make sense of their actions and their treatment of this journalist and what all of this means for our own rights and freedoms. To become aware of the erosion of press freedom, and the increasing limitations on our ability to access truthful information.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
* As well as the noble act of suporting this campaign to free assange, and educating and spreading awareness to the wider community on his plight and the associated issue of journalistic freedom, those who support the film in this stage will be part of the journey of the production of this film, and receive regular updates as the project commences.
* We'll provide all contributers with a link to watch the film online for free once we do the digital release. This like will be provided via an email notification via gofundme once the film is launched digitally.
TIME FRAME FOR COMPLETION?
We expect that it will take between 6-9 months to complete the post-production stage and produce a rough of the film. This will then be passed to the composer to have the soundtrack created. During this time we'll be making the all-important trailer, before finally releasing the film to the world.
WHO WILL FEATURE IN THE FILM?
There are so many incredibly insightful thinkers, authors, lawyers and luminaries currently involved in and supporting Assange’s campaign and the free media issue! We have interviewed the following people for this film so far:
* Stella Assange - Julian’s wife and mother of his two children, and is very involved with the campaign for his freedom, and as a passionate advocate of free speech.
* Jennifer Robinson - Australian human rights lawyer and barrister with Doughty Street Chambers in London. Before coming to the Bar, she founded the Bertha Justice Initiative and is Director of Legal Advocacy for the Bertha Foundation in London.
* Tariq Ali - A British political activist, writer, journalist, historian, filmmaker, and intellectual. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books.
* John Pilger - An Australian journalist, writer, and documentary filmmaker. He is a strong critic of American, Australian, and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist and colonialist agenda.
* Daniel Ellsberg - Legendary peace-activist and whistleblower. First person to be charged under the Espionage Act 1917. Largely credited for helping end the Vietnam War through his release of the Pentagon Papers.
* John Shipton - Julian Assange’s biological father
* Gabriel Shipton - Julian's brother
* Jill Stein - Doctors For Assange
* Dr. Pau Perez-Salés - Psychiatrist who visited Julian Assange in prison with Nils Melzer
* Kristinn Hrafnsson - Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief
* Chris Hedges - Journalist
* Stefania Maurizi - Journalist
* Niraj Lal - Scientist and author. Julian's friend since University.
* Dr. Suelette Dreyfus - Julian's friend before Wikileaks, Co-Author of the book 'Underground' which they wrote together.
* Stefania Maurizi - Investigative Journalist
The following budget is an estimate, based on quotes received and a projected time frame for the work.
* Labour - editor - 610hrs = $36,500
* Labour - 1 year full time post-production - Director = $31,000
* Labour - sound mixing $3,000
* Labour - colour grading $3,000
* Labour - Completion of 2nd animation $3,000
* Archive researcher $1,000
* Licensing of archive & stock footage $30,000
* Festival submission entry fees $1,500
Total = $105,000
GENERAL SYNOPSIS & GOALS
This film will be a powerful educational tool to give viewers an in-depth understanding of his plight as well as the wider implications of this case that effect all of us - the grave threats to free speech, press freedom and freedom of information that this case and these events represent. Many people have been manipulated by an elaborate propaganda and smear campaign against Julian. This film will help unravel the false narratives, and clarify the true importance of the work of Julian and Wikileaks, and bring the focus back onto what we can and should learn from the disclosures that they have brought to light.
Over the past eighteen months, through the production stage of the film, we have: - interviewed twenty of the most prominent and articulate advocates - filmed outside the courthouse at every court hearing of the extradition trial. - filmed outside Belmarsh Prison - filmed the spectacular human chain event in London - And created two fascinating animations, to illustrate key points of the message. The documentary has been filmed on three continents and in nine cities of the world.
The revealing interviews that we will present in this film include: Stella Assange (Julian’s wife), John Shipton (Julian’s father), Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers whistleblower), John Pilger (veteran journalist), Kristinn Hrafnsson (Wikileaks Editor-in-Chief), Tariq Ali (author and historian), Jill Stein (Doctors For Assange representative and ex-US-presidential candidate), Jennifer Robinson (human rights lawyer and long-standing member of Julian’s legal team), Pau Perez-Sales (Psychiatrist) and many more.
Our first animation in the film is a depiction of the conditions of the extradition hearing, where Julian was kept in a glass dock, making it almost impossible to hear what was being said, and to communicate with his lawyers.
Our second animation is a brief history of free speech and press freedom, which illustrates with artistic flair the four thousand year battle for our right to speak our mind and broadcast, print and disseminate our ideas. It also reveals the historical significance of Wikileaks as a technological innovation, as well as the magnitude of this situation of a journalist being prosecuted under the Espionage Act.
Before WikiLeaks, we knew a lot less about the world's powerful institutions and leaders than now know. We knew only what they wanted us to know. WikiLeaks has enabled us to glimpse the rampant and the callousness of modern wars and has exposed countless injustices perpetrated by governments and corporations. Wikileaks was founded on the powerful moral principle that governments and other vested interests should not operate behind walls of secrecy. WikiLeaks has released more than ten million documents of public interest since it was established in 2006, and continues to do so. No one can forget or unsee the brutality that we witnessed, for example, in the collateral murder video, as part of the Iraq War Logs disclosures.
Julian Assange has won more than twenty International awards for his journalism work, yet one of the false narratives is that he is not a journalist. The fact is that Julian re-invented journalism, giving it a previously unimagined level of accuracy.
Through a carefully orchestrated and planned campaign by the US its allies, which has been going on for more than twelve years, he has suffered immense physical and psychological torture, smears, lawfare, spying, assassination plots and many other transgressions of his human rights. His young children have grown up visiting their father in a jail. His wife battles on on his behalf. If extradited to the U.S. he faces a 175 year prison sentence.
He has been scapegoated and made an example of - in order to ward off other future would-be whistleblowers and publishers who consider exposing the crimes of the powerful. Every major human rights group, including Amnesty, International Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders are on the same page about this issue - that it is a breach of human rights, an erosion of free speech and it sets an alarming precedent.
The persecution of Julian Assange is a grave threat to us all because it grossly impinges on freedom of speech and press freedom. The current proceedings and the issue and situation as a whole are a litmus test for the shared values of democracy, truth and justice. Free The Truth: Free Assange documentary is an urgent clarion call to humanity to join this important campaign.
We hope to have your help to make it possible for us to do the crucial and final stage of this film which is the post-production editing. If enough people contribute, we can finish the film and it will become an educational and awareness building tool.
Let’s work together to help inform and inspire more people to support this cause and take action. If public support reaches a critical mass, it is very possible that the governments will do what the people ask - and free Julian Assange.
We are very grateful to the more than fourteen hundred people who have so far contributed financially to help us successfully complete the previous stage (the production stage) of the film.
Now we are on to the final stage - the post production - and the finish line is in sight. We hope you'll support the final stage of our project and help us assemble, edit and polish the film so that’s it’s ready to be shown in cinemas and online.
Thanks for reading, and for your interest in supporting the pre-production of our documentary.
Let truth reign!
I'll see you in the next update!
Founder and Director, Films For Change
Films For Change
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
- George Orwell
p.s. For those who would like to make a contribution via another platform - e.g. bank transfer or paypal, please contact us via [email redacted]. Many thanks
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