Diana Neille and Richard Poplak, directors of the SA film ’Influence’. Picture: Supplied
Diana Neille and Richard Poplak, directors of the SA film ’Influence’. Picture: Supplied

Film directors to expose fake news at the 2020 European Film Festival

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Nov 17, 2020

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Film directors and investigative journalists will tackle the thorny issue of the role of film both in disseminating fake news on one hand and in exposing fake news on the other.

As part of the European Film Festival special events programme a live Zoom discussion will be held on Wednesday, November 18 at 6pm.

The panel includes director Johannes Naber whose film “Curveball” is currently showing at the festival as well as Diana Neille and Richard Poplak directors of the SA film “Influence” and journalist Holger Stark of the German weekly “Die Zeit”.

Some of the topics that will be discussed include: How is the power of the audio-visual medium a tool for both truth and lies?, Are we moving into a world of disinformation where we align with films, stories and YouTube clips that reinforce our dystopian fantasies?

Or are the truth-tellers getting through to us and transforming our thinking, and precipitating positive change in the world?

The film directors of the two new films will explore these subjects more closely.

Naber’s film “Curveball”, is a satirical thriller about how fake German intelligence about bioweapons formed part of the US justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Bringing a South African perspective to the discussion are Neille and Poplak, directors of “Influence” which has been winning awards around South Africa since its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Using the Bell-Pottinger and Gupta escapades as examples, “Influence” focuses viewers attention on processes through which both societies and governments are duped and manipulated.

Poplak was part of the Gupta Leaks team that won the prestigious Global Shining Light award for investigative journalism.

Also participating is journalist Holger Stark who leads the investigative unit of the German weekly “Die Zeit”.

In the mid-2000s, Stark led a team of reporters which tracked down “Curveball” in southern Germany, covering his story extensively.

Tune in to the live Zoom event through the link on the eurofilmfest.co.za special events page.

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