Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chevron takes 'Crude' filmmaker to court

Joe Berlinger's film Crude is supposed to be a hard hitting but even handed look at the oil industry, but it seems one company isn't content with the documentary's message. Chevron has a lawsuit in a New York district court dealing specifically with accusations Texaco, now owned by Chevron, polluted the Amazon rain forest in Ecuador.

The company won a major victory earlier this week as the judge in the case ordered Berlinger to turn over hundreds of hours of unused footage. Chevron's lawyers argued the footage would show misconduct by Berlinger and his team. For their part, Berlinger’s lawyers argued his work should be protected under reporter’s privilege, and though the judge agrees with this point, he ruled it could be outweighed if the material was “likely relevant” to the case and not confidential.

This case is certainly interesting and it will definitely have an impact on future filmmakers looking to create investigative pieces. Stay tuned!