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Sundance: Universal Funding WikiLeaker Julian Assange Docu By Alex Gibney And Ex-Uni Chairman Marc Shmuger

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning documentary director Alex Gibney has found his next hot-button film subject. Universal Pictures has just acquired a documentary that Gibney will direct about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The film will be the first project involving Marc Shmuger since he left the chairman post at Universal. Shmuger and Gibney are producing.

Whether it’s Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, or the Jack Abramoff  documentary Casino Jack and the United States of Money, Gibney usually tells his stories with input from his subjects. Will Assange cooperate? I’m told it’s inconclusive. Universal  confirmed the deal but wouldn’t elaborate. The WikiLeaks docu follows a deal announced yesterday by feature producers who optioned an upcoming book about Assange. There are plenty of those in the works, including a memoir Assange is writing to defray his massive legal fees. The Gibney/Shmuger documentary is the first film to involve a major studio. The studio component came through Shmuger, who is expected to reemerge as a producer at Universal.

Since launching his whistle-blower website in 2006, Assange has revealed some of the most serious secret government documents since The New York Times published The Pentagon Papers. They range from footage of an Apache helicopter’s firing fatally on journalists and civilians in Baghdad to last November’s deluge of diplomatic cables that left the U.S. government red-faced and outraged. Assange … Read More »

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Zodiak To Distribute Wikileaks Documentary

By | Friday December 17, 2010 @ 7:10am PST
Nellie Andreeva

We’re still waiting for Wikileaks: the movie but in the meanwhile, here is Wikileaks: the documentary. Zodiak Rights, the international rights division of Zodiak  Media Group, has  signed a deal with  news agency Premières Lignes to distribute their documentary Wikileaks: War, Lies and Videotape.

Wikileaks: War, Lies and Videotape, directed by investigative reporters Luc Hermann and Paul Moreira, is described as a revealing documentary dissecting the controversial website whose journalists and hackers have gathered and published hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic and military documents. It follows the site’s enigmatic founder and new new enemy No. 1 of the Pentagon Julian Assange, including his recent arrest in London. Among the people interviewed for the documentary is Daniel Domscheit-Berg, former Wikileaks No.2 and spokesperson of the Wikileaks team, who is now a dissident after he quit the company this summer to open his own whistle-blowing website and publish a novel about “his time at the world’s most dangerous website”.  He claims that Wikileaks is too centered on the figure of Julian Assange with an authoritarian style which contrary to the originally planned transparency-focused mission.

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