(on 2013-11-01)

Press Release: German Release of Mediastan - WikiLeaks’ Fifth Estate Challenger

Friday 1 November 2013, 19:40 CET

Mediastan The Fifth Estate
IMDB rating: 8.8/10 IMDB rating: 5.9/10
“Bill Keller [New York Times editor] essentially discloses in #MEDIASTAN that the CIA … had editorial input on his NY Times stories”
“Bogus … Craven … Fogeyish. … All the Elegance of an Elephant Being Sneaked Through Passport Control … it’s boring snoring.”
The New Statesman
“Pushing buttons and boundaries. … The best £3 I’ve ever spent”
Now Toronto
“Brilliant Punchlines”
“Frustrating … Assange-shaped hole”
The Economist
“You can skip the #FifthEstate but not #MEDIASTAN”
“A Hollywood Cartoon of Julian Assange … the film equivalent of celebrity journalism.”
“[an] intimate feeling of rugged authenticity.”
The New York Times Examiner
“Simply a dreary, tedious slog through a by-the-numbers, episodic morass … ultimately vaguely insulting”
The Atlantic Wire

TODAY (Friday 1 November) WikiLeaks and Sixteen Films are proud to announce the Germany/Austria/Switzerland preview release of MEDIASTAN – the WikiLeaks road movie.

The release of MEDIASTAN is timed to challenge the German opening this weekend of THE FIFTH ESTATE – the multi-million dollar Hollywood WikiLeaks film – produced by Dreamworks in collaboration with Disney.

German, Swiss and Austrian audiences will be able to watch MEDIASTAN online for free during an exclusive promotion period beginning on Friday evening and continuing over the weekend. Viewers can also rent or buy the download of the film at any other time.

WATCH MEDIASTAN HERE: http://wikileaks.org/Mediastan

MEDIASTAN is a vivid, captivating and disconcerting portrayal of the constraints – external and self-imposed – that journalists face, all over the world: from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to Fifth Avenue, New York City.

MEDIASTAN asks a distressing question: What do the crisp-shirted, expensively-tanned media big guns of Manhattan have in common with the beaten-down, dissident hacks of Dushanbe, Tajikistan? Who is braver? Who is freer? And who is closer to the truth?

And what should YOU watch this weekend?

Well over 50,000 people saw nano-budget, indie-flick MEDIASTAN during its first weekend of release in the UK.

Meanwhile, THE FIFTH ESTATE – the spawn of Dreamworks’ huge-bucks publicity machine – has been soundly panned by audiences worldwide, grossing a paltry sum during its opening weekend: equivalent to less than 50,000 viewers.

In the words of WikiLeaks founder and MEDIASTAN Producer Julian Assange:

‘Why is everybody watching David? Because Goliath is an insufferable bore.’

WATCH MEDIASTAN HERE: http://wikileaks.org/Mediastan


MEDIASTAN audiences are treated to a behind-the-scenes insight into the world’s first truly global media event: "Operation Cablerun": the 2011 operation during which WikiLeaks ran hundreds of thousands of secret US government cables to media outlets around the world.

In MEDIASTAN, an undercover team of journalists drives across the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and into US-occupied Afghanistan, before continuing its journey into the west; regrouping in Julian Assange’s kitchen, ambushing the editor of the Guardian, and obtaining candid footage of the New York Times editor and its publisher Arthur Sulzberger wisecracking about Obama and WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange, explaining why he produced the film, stated, “Central Asia is the most fascinating geopolitical region in the world. It is the cream in the geopolitical layer cake. On the top, Russia, on the bottom, China; in the middle, a fight for US influence" But, Mr. Assange explained, "what started out as a geopolitical road movie transformed into a tale of comparative censorship as our adventure continued into the unexpected heart of MEDIASTAN."

The trail of censorship and media collusion with power eventually leads back to London and New York: to the offices of the New York Times and The Guardian.

Especially striking – and shocking – is footage of a smug New York Times editor Bill Keller boasting about the Times’ daily telephone conversations with the US government, his knowing decision to conceal the NSA’s mass surveillance program; and about what Keller refers to proprietor Sulzberger as the newspaper’s “favorite subject”: WikiLeaks.

In London, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger makes some awkward admissions: that his newspaper censored US cables about rich kletpocrats and western oil companies; and that the US State Department had ‘made approaches’ to the Guardian regarding its Cablegate publishing strategy.

WATCH MEDIASTAN HERE: http://wikileaks.org/Mediastan


MEDIASTAN director Johannes Wahlström explains "Mediastan is not so much a physical place as it is a state of mind among many of the journalists and editors who form our perceptions of the world." Producer Julian Assange said: "This is journalism in extremis. This is how it is done. This weekend, instead of wasting your time and money on claptrap Hollywood propaganda, why not get your friends together and watch MEDIASTAN instead?

MEDIASTAN will be available free to watch THIS WEEKEND ONLY, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, from the evening of Friday 1 November. The film will also be available worldwide to buy or rent online at all other times. Watch it at http://wikileaks.org/Mediastan

MEDIASTAN was directed by Johannes Wahlström and produced by Julian Assange with Rebecca O’Brien and Lauren Dark at Sixteen Films. It is being distributed by Journeyman Pictures.

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