On September 17, Amazon Watch hosted the Hollywood premiere of CRUDE, an inspiring new film about Chevron’s $27 billion lawsuit, by award-winning filmmaker, Joe Berlinger. The sold-out benefit screening and after-party was held at the Harmony Gold Theater in Hollywood and was attended by over 350 supporters.
Many of the celebrities and eco-luminaries who attended vowed to get more involved in the campaign to compel the oil giant Chevron clean up its oil pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The film opens at the Nuart Theater tonight and runs thru September 24.
Among the well-known personalities who joined Amazon Watch and filmmaker Joe Berlinger were Sean Penn, Isla Fisher, Stuart Townsend, Q’orianka Kilcher (the New World), Armand Assante, Billy Wirth, Rosanna Arquette, Bellemy Young, Dave Navarro, Jeffrey Donovan ("Burn Notice"), Kim Director ("Cold Case"), Tami Farrell (Miss California-USA), David de Rothschild (Adventure Ecology), Vanessa Lengies (TNT's "Hawthorne"), Michael Rymer (Emmy-nominated Director-"Battlestar Galactica"), Joanelle Romero (activist singer, founder of Red Nation Film Festival), Montano Rain (young environmentalist, "Help The Earth"), Robert Chartoff (Director Rocky), and Bruce Parry (BBC & Discovery Channel host of "Tribes" and "Amazon").
“CRUDE is generating unprecedented public awareness about Chevron’s irresponsible practices in Ecuador,” said Atossa Soltani Executive Director of Amazon Watch. “The film shows both sides and allows the audience to be the judge on whether Chevron is guilty. Chevron is fast losing the battle in the court of public opinion and showing clear signs that it is afraid of CRUDE.”
The LA premiere event comes one week after CRUDE premiered in New York and started this week as the US’s highest grossing film per screen. The film has received high praise from critics including by The New York Times and LA Times.
The film’s success and high profile has provoked increasingly desperate tactics from Chevron, including the release of a purported bribery scandal video in an attempt to confuse the public and delay the legal proceedings in the 16-year trial. Chevron spokesperson Kent Robertson recently attacked the film as being “long on emotions and short on facts” even though no one at Chevron has actually confirmed seeing the film. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger called Robertson’s claims “outlandish”, pointing out that “the film goes to great lengths to give as much attention to the positions of each of the opposing parties in this landmark case as is possible in a featured length documentary.”
“The nationwide release of CRUDE is a nightmare for Chevron,” said Mitch Anderson, Corporate Accountability Campaigner with Amazon Watch. “We urge people to see the film and to let Chevron know that it can no longer afford to evade it’s clean up responsibility in Ecuador.”
The film plays in LA at the Landmark Nuart through September 24, followed by a San Francisco premiere September 25, and runs forty more cities.For more information about Amazon Watch’s campaign, visit: www.ChevronToxico.com/crude. For the official film website visit www.crudethemovie.com.
Nick Magel is Communications Manager at Amazon Watch. Prior to joining Amazon Watch, Nick was Director of the Freedom From Oil campaign at Global Exchange. Nick’s critiques of the US oil addiction have run in The New York Times, USA Today, and San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, Nick had worked on campaigns to stop new liquefied natural gas infrastructure on the west coast and developed climate based curricula for classrooms across the country. He received his MA in education from Lesley University.