WikiLeaks' Film 'MEDIASTAN' To Make Worldwide Television Premiere On RT

Dec 20, 2013, 07:29 ET from RT

MOSCOW, Dec. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The three-part WikiLeaks "road movie" debuts globally on RT on Friday, December 20. The documentary film was produced by Julian Assange and explores such controversial subjects as geopolitical competition, information wars and whistleblowing.

MEDIASTAN tracks the WikiLeaks team's journey as they travel through Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and other 'stans in 2011 in their attempt to release US diplomatic cables to media outlets around the world.

"Mediastan is an acid-test, where depending on how the film is treated by the media you can understand where their boundaries and allegiances are," said Johannes Wahlstrom, Swedish journalist and the film's director. "From this point of view RT proves that it is the largest international TV-station in the world that will not shun from the topics of Mediastan, namely those of censorship and freedom of speech."

MEDIASTAN was filmed in a number of languages and is subtitled in English. It will air in its original format on RT International (and and will be dubbed, respectively, in Arabic and Spanish for RT Arabic and RT Spanish news channels' broadcasts and their corresponding websites. It will also play with Russian subtitles on RT's Russian-language online portal. The 90 minute film will be split into three parts, which will air consecutively, and will be re-broadcast several times between December 20th and December 31st.

"This film raises critical questions about freedom of the press – whether it exists and whether it is truly possible – at a time when the global community is more than ever paying attention to the astounding facts exposed by whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, and outlets like Wikileaks," said Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor in chief. "We're proud to bring the next chapter in this ever-important debate to RT viewers around the world."

MEDIASTAN was produced by Assange along with Rebecca O'Brien and Lauren Dark of the Sixteen Films production company. The film originally premiered at the London Raindance Film Festival in October 2013. According to WikiLeaks, MEDIASTAN was released as a challenger to The Fifth Estate – a fictionalized account of the WikiLeaks story. The Hollywood film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, was criticized by Julian Assange as a "propaganda attack" against himself, WikiLeaks and its staff. 

RT has previously collaborated with Assange in 2012 when it broadcast the 12-part Julian Assange Show. The interview program won the top prize at the New York Festivals in the Documentary/Information Program: Politics TV category in April 2013.

RT is an international news network that broadcasts 24/7 in English, Arabic and Spanish from its studios in Moscow and Washington, DC, and is available to 644 million viewers worldwide. RT is the first TV news channel in history to cross the one billion views mark on YouTube. It is the winner of the Monte Carlo TV Festival Awards for best 24-hr broadcast, and the only Russian TV channel to garner two nominations for the prestigious International Emmy Award for news reporting.

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