“Crude” Director Ordered to Testify

After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador.

In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s claims that it is a victim of government corruption and judicial misconduct.

But on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who had originally ruled that Berlinger had to turn over all 600 hours of outtakes from his project before the scope was narrowed by the appellate court, said that the director now has to testify because, as it turns out, some 85% of the footage is relevant. He wrote that it is “exceptionally likely that Berlinger and his associates have information that is highly relevant and that does not appear either in ‘Crude’ or in the outtakes. Chevron’s quest for discovery is no fishing expedition.”

He also scolded Berlinger and his attorney, writing that they “made representations about the contents of the outtakes that proved inaccurate.”

Reps for Berlinger could not immediately be reached.

Kaplan also attempted to resolve disputes between Chevron and Berlinger on the extent to which he has complied with the appellate court’s order to turn over tapes. Although some issues remain, Chevron acknowledges that Berlinger has “substantially complied,” Kaplan wrote.

More Voices

  • Janet Mock Pose

    'Pose' Writer Janet Mock on Making History With Trans Storytelling (Guest Column)

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

  • Tony Awards Sightlines Column

    How to Produce the Tony Awards: 5 Unsolicited Tips

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Cannes 2018's Hidden Thrill: The Opportunity to Find New Voices

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

  • Kathryn Bigelow Kathryn Bigelow poses backstage

    It's Time for Action, Not Promises, to Get More Women in Filmmaking (Guest Column)

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

  • Netflix Cannes

    Cannes vs. Netflix Defines Fight for Cinema’s Future

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

  • Love Never Dies - Utica, NY

    Could 'Love Never Dies' Live Again on Broadway?

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

  • Every Act of Life

    Tribeca Film Festival: 5 Titles to Watch for Theater Fans

    After being ordered to turn over some footage from his documentary “Crude,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger now is being ordered to testify in Chevron’s case involving an environmental class action suit in Ecuador. In July, a federal appellate court ruled that Berlinger had to turn over footage from the documentary that might be relevant to the oil giant’s […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content