Raising Money for “Crude” Defense

Filmmakers are gathering in Manhattan on Tuesday for a fund-raiser to raise money for Joe Berlinger, the director of “Crude,” who is fighting back against a court order to turn over outtakes of the film over to Chevron.

The event will include a screening of the 2009 documentary, followed by a panel discussion featuring Berlinger, his lead attorney Maura Wogan, Floyd Abrams, Morgan Spurlock and Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East.

The WGAE and the Intl. Documentary Assn. are sponsoring the event, which will take place at IFC.

While Chevron has been aggressive in pursuing the outtakes as part of litigation with a class action of Ecuadoran residents (the subject of the film), it has taken a lesser profile on the air.

In light of the BP spill, Chevron and other oil industry have taken a lesser profile as the underwriters of certain PBS shows. PBS’ ombudsman, Michael Getler, writes, “This means the normally longer and more descriptive visual and spoken messages are replaced simply by a logo, for example, keeping the company’s head down but allowing PBS to make sure it continues to identify its underwriters.”

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