At the inaugural Investigative Film Festival: Double Exposure, reading the CMSI report Dangerous Docs, about lowering risks in telling truth to power, was instrumental in planning the symposium and film festival, associate producer Sky Sitney said. And it gave Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press an opportunity to expand its services.
In a session showcasing the report, the executive director of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Bruce Brown, embraced the report’s conclusion that barriers between journalists and filmmakers should be lowered.
As an organization of lawyers, governed and guided by journalists, RCFP has a commitment to the First Amendment and journalistic freedom. RCFP has supported, through amicus briefs and other work, filmmakers such as Joe Berlinger (Crude) and others. A staff of pro bono lawyers is available to assist investigative filmmakers, even if they are just beginning. “Sometimes you just need someone to talk to,” he said, “and we can help you with approaches that can keep you out of trouble.”
RCFP has even created software, such as iFOIA software, which allows users to create their own Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act Request. The program will also send the request to the pertinent party and manage all related communications.
“We’re thought of as an organization dedicated to journalists, but we welcome the questions and concerns of documentary filmmakers,” he said.