Magazine article Screen International

Julian Assange's WikiLeaks Doc Stalks the Fifth Estate

Magazine article Screen International

Julian Assange's WikiLeaks Doc Stalks the Fifth Estate

Article excerpt

EXCLUSIVE: Julian Assange-produced doc sees VOD success; heads for free US release.

WikiLeaks documentary Mediastan, produced by Julian Assange and Ken Loach's Sixteen Films, is being released for free online in step with the global theatrical release of DreamWorks' WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate.

The unusual release strategy has been adopted in part to piggyback off the buzz generated by the marketing of DreamWorks' drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and in part as a riposte from Assange who has been widely critical of the Hollywood film.

'Road-documentary' Mediastan follows a small group of WikiLeaks associates as they travel through remote parts of Central Asia seeking national newspaper editors prepared to publish sensitive cables about the local area obtained by WikiLeaks.

The documentary was made available for free in the UK on YouTube last weekend and was also available globally to stream and buy via four online sites, starting at £1 per transaction.

According to Mediastan's producers and sales company Journeyman Pictures, the documentary generated 40,000 views worldwide, including 10,000 paid views. A total of 26% of those views originated in the US.

The film will be available for free on YouTube in the US and Canada this Saturday (Oct 19), the same weekend The Fifth Estate is released in the US. …

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