Personal statement from Director

We are excited to announce that We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists will be appearing in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 19th, and then online October 30th.  We hope to be adding dates and locations in the coming weeks so check back here for details.

I am a strong believer in independent documentary’s ability to tell stories and uncover truths that are too challenging or uncomfortable for the mainstream media.  In a world where most national media you see comes from a handful of major corporations, independent film is one of the last bastions where an unencumbered voice can still get through.

But there is a big problem.  Traditionally there is almost no market for this kind of independent journalism.  What many directors like myself, hope is that the internet will help create a new marketplace that can exist outside the landscape of big blockbusters, copyright abuse, and controlled news sources and still be vibrant enough to create great work.  That puts pressure us – myself and my fellow documentarians – to come up with ways to bring our work to audiences and still earn a living.

Louie CK did us all a favor when he self-released his first stand up (aside from just being hilarious.)  He showed the world a new model was possible.  Our film about hacktivists, a culture of people I think represent one of the most important phenomena of our time, has managed to garner incredible interest and enthusiasm.  But we have turned down offers from traditional media sources so that we could do the same thing as Louie and attempt something different.  That is because I believe a new marketplace and a new direction for journalists is key.

There have been so many recent examples of big corporations or oppressive regimes trying to silence or intimidate filmmakers that it would be impossible to outline them all here (I’m working on another piece about this now.)  But from 32 year veterans of the NSA speaking out about surveillance to protesters like Pussy Riot, these voices represent critical information, important perspectives, abuses of power, courageous whisteblowing and topics that powerful people just don’t want you to hear about.  A  sustainable path is the only way independent voices can be heard and can continue to create disruptive and challenging documentaries.  I hope filmmakers and journalists are up to the challenge, because the world needs it.
So please come out and support the film during our theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles and do whatever possible to support us when we release the official version online on the 30th.

Many thanks,
Brian Knappenberger
Director:  We Are Legion:  The Story of the Hacktivists


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