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Actor Robert Redford is worried about the affect that a recent US court ruling may have on peoples’ freedom to express opinion in civil society – when journalistic privilege disappears, few will be willing to talk to filmmakers on social and human rights issues.

“On May 6, 2010,” Redford wrote in the Huffington Post, “Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ordered filmmaker Joe Berlinger to turn over to Chevron Corporation all raw footage from the making of his documentary, Crude: The Real Price of Oil. Chevron has sued to use this footage to bolster its legal proceedings in the very same case that is the central subject of Berlinger’s film. The potential ramifications of this for the journalist community, film world and society in general are both shocking and profound.”

An ardent believer in artistic expression, Redford founded the Sundance Institute – a non-profit organization that supports independent film and theatre artists – almost 30 years ago in order to give artists a platform to express their views. He sees the recent court decision as a serious threat not only to investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking, but to freedom in general, and is hoping for a higher court to overturn the decision.

“The judges must recognize this is first and foremost a first amendment issue.”

For more information on the CRUDE Fight for the First Amendment, click here.

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