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Award-winning Filipino-American filmmaker Ramona Diaz takes viewers to the Philippines where the free press has been under siege since President Rodrigo #Duterte took office three years ago. Video: BA News

Pacific Media Watch

PBS investigative documentary series Frontline has acquired A Thousand Cuts, the powerful documentary of award-winning Filipino-American director Ramona Diaz about a “lawless regime and press freedom”, reports Rappler.

It was screened as the opening night film in New Zealand’s DocEdge virtual documentary film festival tonight and also streamed free in the Philippines tonight as a prelude to the cybercrime libel trial verdict on Monday in the case against Rappler chief executive and co-founder Maria Ressa.

Today is Independence Day in the Philippines and the documentary is being shown via the Frontline YouTube channel for only 24 hours.

READ MORE: Ramona Diaz’s A Thousand Cuts: ‘A risky film on free press, lawless regime’ – review by Camille Elemia

Diaz’s Sundance film festival 2020 entry, which tackles democracy and press freedom in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, is being planned for a theatrical release in the United States in August and a television broadcast in November 2020.

– Partner –

A Thousand Cuts follows the reporters of Rappler and Maria Ressa as they discuss and experience the struggles of a free press under Duterte and key government officials since 2016 up to the 2019 elections.

Rappler has faced many legal battles since 2016, which includes the cyber libel case over a Rappler article published even before the cyber libel law took effect.

Ressa and former Rappler researcher Rey Santos are charged in the case. Ressa, a mainstream investigative journalist with CNN and other news services before co-founding the digital news website currently faces eight charges due to her hard-hitting journalism.

Tomorrow, June 13, Ressa, Diaz, and Frontline executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath will be live at 8 pm, Philippine time, for a discussion on Truth, Power, and the Importance of Press Freedom.”

The stream is being hosted for free on Zoom and Facebook, and is presented by Frontline in cooperation with the International Center for Journalists.

Rappler’s chief executive and editor Maria Ressa (centre) with some of her editorial team at the Sundance film festival premiere in January as seen in Auckland tonight. Image: PMC
Ramona Diaz
Film director Ramona Diaz at the Sundance film festival in January seen virtually in Auckland tonight. Image: PMC
Ramona Diaz
Film director Ramona Diaz talks about the documentary A Thousand Cuts on President Rodrigo and press freedom in the Philippines. Image: PMC
Ramona Diaz
A Maria Ressa and A Thousand Cuts film poster.

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