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Documentary Filmmaker Arrested: IDA & EDN Call for Signing Open Letter


Documentary filmmaker and journalist Deia Schlosberg was arrested in North Dakota, USA, while reporting on a climate-change protest last week. After authorities confiscated the footage, Schlosberg now faces several charges and a possible prison sentence of up to 45 years. EDN - European Documentary Network and IDA (International Documentary Association) are now calling filmmakers to sign an open letter to support Deia Schlosberg.

Documentary filmmaker and journalist Deia Schlosberg
(Photo source: Democracy Now!)

The recent arrest of documentarian Deia Schlosberg (producer of How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change) has been criticized by various media outlets in the US. Deia Schlosberg was exercising her First Amendment right as a journalist and reported on the ongoing Indigenous protests against fossil fuel infrastructure in North Dakota.

The State of North Dakota’s criminal complaint filed against her on October 13, 2016 should be dropped immediately. Journalism, especially documentary filmmaking, is not a crime it's a responsibility. The freedom of the press is a fundamental right in free societies. The charges filed against her are an injustice that must be dropped immediately.

Calling all documentarians to support Schlosberg by signing an open letter

Simon Kilmurry, Executive Director at IDA, said in a statement: "We need to make a loud noise. As you may have heard, filmmaker Deia Schlosberg was arrested last week while filming a protest action in North Dakota. She was charged with three felonies and is now facing a potential 45-year prison sentence. This is a serious affront to our 1st Amendment rights, and it should scare us."

"Deia's case has received some media attention, but the response from the documentary community in support of our colleague has been far too quiet. I encourage you to sign Josh Fox's OPEN LETTER, share it widely with your networks, and do what you can to demonstrate your solidarity", said Kilmurry in an email to the documentary community.

IDA and EDN urge the documentary community to show their dissent regarding the inappropriate and unjust allegations by signing the open letter drafted by director Josh Fox (How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change).


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