As you may have heard, our film has been under a microscope.
The Los Angeles Business Journal, in an article in their June 8 edition, cited the following headline “Legal: Documentary on lawyer needs fact-check”.
Unfortunately, the LA Business Journal could not have fact checked their own article let alone the film, because they haven’t seen it.
In fact to date, no one from Dole, Dole’s lawyers - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP - or the Los Angeles Business Journal have actually seen the film. Their comments are based on pure speculation.
Judge Chaney responded directly to the lawyers and the court when Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP went to her court on May 8 to stop my film from being shown.
On that day in her court and in regard to the film, Judge Chaney stated to those present: “Just so we are clear, I am not in any way going to make, and I will not consider, any request for prior restraint on free speech. Okay? So, don’t ask me to go try and contact the film company. I don’t have jurisdiction over them. But even if I did, don’t ask me for it.”
As they were unsuccessful with Judge Chaney, Dole’s lawyers started writing letters to us, our US partner ITVS, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the LA Film Festival’s corporate sponsors, demanding that we ‘cease and desist’ plans to screen the film on June 20 at the Festival, and anywhere else in the world.
Dole’s team is now moving on to yet another strategy and have contacted the Swedish Consulate in LA and the Swedish Ambassador to the US in Washington, asking them to help stop the film.
To date they have succeeded in getting the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) to pull out of ‘co-hosting’ the film’s opening night at the Festival. However, a lawyer from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher serves on the board of directors of the LAFLA.
All the partners in our film stand by BANANAS!* 100%.
The filmmaking team behind BANANAS!*has decades of experience in the documentary industry. Additionally, I have served as an international journalist for 25 years for the Swedish media.
It is important for all those interested in documentary - filmmakers and those who love the form – to stay focused on the facts. To that end we’ve added some of the letters referenced above onto our site for your perusal. You can find them in the bottom of this post. Please log on regularly for the latest updates, and we look forward to sharing our opening with those of you at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 20 and 23.
The letters from Dole and our replies (PDF):
- Letter from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Dole), May 8, 2009
- Reply from Lee & Lawless (WG Film), May 15, 2009
- Letter from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Dole), May 14, 2009
- Reply from Lee & Lawless (WG Film), May 28, 2009