WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Named Juror for Raindance Film Festival
The Guardian reports that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been selected as a juror for Europe's Raindance Film Festival. The news was revealed by Festival officials onTwitter.
Since last summer, Assange has been seeking political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to his native Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.
According to the report, "His lawyer has argued his client would not receive a fair trial, while Assange fears he could face onward extradition to the US in relation to WikiLeaks' disclosure of a huge trove of classified US military and diplomatic documents."
Festival founder Elliot Grove said of having Assange on the jury panel, "His work with Wikileaks is a textbook example of how to use social media - relevant not just for filmmakers grappling with this new distribution channel, but for the fact that he is highlighting important social and political issues. Raindance has never shied from important social issues, as a glance at our festival screenings in years past will confirm."
Other members of this year's Raindance jury will include British actor Jason Flemyng, Portishead singer Beth Gibbons, and Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin. The lineup also features actor Sean Brosnan, son of James Bond star Pierce, Chinese director Anthony Chen, Games Workshop founder Ian Livingstone, and fantasy author Robert Rankin.
The 21st Raindance film festival will run from September 25 through to October 6 at a variety of venues in central London, screening 100 feature films and more than 150 short films. The official selection can be found at raindancefestival.org.