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.
Director: We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists
UPDATE: A note for our followers and supporters:
The film that just leaked on YouTube is a very old version of the film that we believe was sent to a festival in Italy over 6-7 months ago. Since it is an early rough cut of the film it has inaccuracies, incomplete visuals and lacks a lot of attribution for materials we received from people helping with the film. Also, since we’ve been working on the film nearly continuously for the last 6-7 months, it is also lacking a huge amount of material and content. Anon has been busy, and obviously has experienced some interesting revelations, during that time. The version we are finishing now for the official release has 5-6 more interviews, a deeper analysis of Anonymous and the culture, and a vastly broadened set of visuals and story.
In the interest of getting it right, showing the best possible version of the film and being fair to the thousands of people who helped us, we hope you see the official version which will be in theaters in New York and LA on October 19th, and online October 30th.
Center Stage, the weekly talk show that looks at independent film and filmmakers, spotlighted We Are Legion. Mark Gordon interviewed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger on the history of Anonymous, the collective’s current movements, and the making of the documentary.
Download the podcast free on iTunes (look for “Brian Knappenberger brings his legions to Center Stage” on 9/19).
We Are Legion screens twice at the Milano Film Festival, in the historic Piccolo Teatro – Italy’s first permanent theater.
A screening of We Are Legion at London’s prestigious Frontline Club was followed by “a rapturous round of applause” and a Q&A with filmmaker Brian Knappenberger. Read the full article here.
We are thrilled to be returning to Oakland, after filming some of the documentary’s key scenes there last year at Occupy Oakland. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger will be on-hand as We Are Legion returns to Oakland at the Oakland Underground Film Festival on Friday, September 28th.
We are also proud to be screening twice at the Palo Alto Int’l Film Festival on Friday & Saturday, September 28th & 29th.
The Frontline Club, a prestigious London media club that champions independent journalism and freedom of the press, will be hosting a screening of We Are Legion at their headquarters on Monday, September 3rd at 7:00pm. A Q&A featuring filmmaker Brian Knappenberger will follow. Click here for ticket information.
We Are Legion appeared at two sold out screenings at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Established in 1952, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) showcases the best in current cinema from around the world as well as retrospectives, tributes and Talking Pictures discussion programs.