Former PNG politician Dame Carol Kidu, who features in Media Stockade’s feature documentary The Opposition, is seeking an injunction to stop the filmmakers from screening and distributing any visual or audio recording of her.
Produced by Rebecca Barry and Madeleine Hetherton and directed by Hollie Fifer, The Opposition, has been selected to screen at Hot Docs in Toronto in early May.
Media Stockade has agreed not to screen or distribute any visual or audio recording of Kidu until April 4 2016.
The documentary follows Joe Moses, community leader of a four-generation strong settlement in Port Moresby, battling eviction against an international five-star hotel and marina being developed by the Paga Hill Development Company.
In response to an article on Kidu’s position published in The Australian, Media Stockade issued the following statement:
“The Opposition has been thoroughly researched, considered and checked both legally and journalistically by professionals with extensive experience in Papua New Guinean culture and politics. Media Stockade has conducted a piece of legitimate investigative reporting in the public interest following appropriate codes of practice.
“Dame Carol Kidu has been aware of the evolving nature of the storylines since the first shoot in May 2012. She continued to allow filming to take place including an interview in July 2014 when she directly addressed the issue of the forced eviction of the Paga Hill community and her new role as a paid consultant with the Paga Hill Development Company after retiring from politics.
“Media Stockade has conducted a thorough process and shown willingness to engage Dame Carol Kidu in meaningful consultation and maintain a positive dialogue throughout the making of the film.
“Media Stockade has arranged for Dame Kidu to view and comment upon the film at both rough and fine cut stages.
“To represent the high level of consultation with Dame Carol Kidu, Media Stockade specifically addressed concerns that were raised by Dame Kidu at these two screenings and amendments were made based on her feedback.
“Media Stockade’s willingness to engage Dame Kidu in meaningful consultation also included addressing her issues and conducting an interview to clarify her perspective (July 2014 interview mentioned above)”.
The Sydney company is currently attempting to negotiate a text card at the end of the film which will clarify Kidu’s position.
The Opposition received funding from Screen Australia and Screen NSW and was then selected for the inaugural Good Pitch Australia 2014 event.
This article was first published by Inside Film.