How far would you go to defend the idea of an open press? The Price of Truth is the extraordinary story of a man who risks everything, to preserve freedom of speech in Russia. It is a tale of bravery, defiance, and a simple refusal to give in to Vladimir Putin – whatever the cost. In December 2021 Dmitry Muratov is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the editor-in-chief of Russia’s only independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta. Since he founded Novaya, six of his journalists have been murdered after their reports displeased the state, most famously, reporter Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down in the lift of her Moscow apartment. Another war dominates this film. In February 2022, Russia invades Ukraine. In early March, using the cover of a documentary film festival, Muratov secretly negotiates free passage for 40 journalists with the Latvian government. Then, all too aware of the risk he is running, he returns to Moscow to look after his paper and its remaining staff. In May, he announces that he is going to auction his Nobel medal and give the money to Ukrainian refugees. Days later, he is on a train home to see his mother. Suddenly, a masked attacker bursts into his compartment and pours red paint all over him. The paint is laced with acetone. Dima’s eyesight is permanently damaged. Undaunted, he goes ahead with the auction. And on June 21, Muratov’s medal sells for a record $103 million. To this day, he refuses to leave Moscow, whatever the pressure on him and his team. ‘Putin stands for death. I stand for life.’
Women journalists in South Africa who expose wrongdoing by those in power are often forced to endure deeply personal, frightening attacks on social media, as the four leading reporters interviewed for Section 16 disclose. Investigative reporters for publications that include The Daily Maverick and Die Beeld discuss the impact on them of targeted social media negativity, including direct threats to their safety. As one explains, when influential politicians with millions of followers, such as Julius Malema, malign them on social media and call for action, the danger they face is very real. But Ferial Haffajee, Marianne Thamm, Pauli van Wyk, Caryn Dolley, and others like them continue to write about corruption, crime in high places, and state collusion. What motivates them to keep going is relevant to us all.
Bonus Content – Free for All Viewers
With thanks to our Community Partner, SAFF Canada
Video courtesy of the South African Film Festival
Filmmaker Emilie Gambade (Co-director, Section 16) and investigative journalist Pauli van Wyk discuss the harassment of female journalists with former South African TV journalist Lindy Mtongana. They explain the motivation behind extreme cyber-bullying, and how these attacks affect them personally and professionally. They share their hopes that this documentary will raise awareness of the dangers facing investigative journalists globally.
Tickets to this event include the Closing Night Reception, which includes appetizers and a drink ticket.
A panel discussion/Q&A will follow the screening.
Keynote Speaker: Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation
Keynote Speakers: Emilie Gambade, Co-director, Section 16; Editor, The Daily Maverick and Malibongwe Tyilo, Co-director, Section 16; Associate Editor, Maverick Life, The Daily Maverick
Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation
Patrick Forbes, Director, The Price of Truth
Jeff Cohen, Journalist, Professor, Media Critic, Founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Christiaan Triebert, Journalist, Visual Investigations Team, The New York Times
Martin Lee, Author, Activist, Co-founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
Emilie Gambade, Co-director, Section 16; Editor, The Daily Maverick
Moderator: Aaron Goodman, Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies, KPU
In Russian and English with English subtitles
Violence; coarse & sexual language
Open to youth!
Yuri Burak, Nikita Kalachev, Richard Numeroff