‘Crude’ Director Keynote Speaker at WestDoc

Joe Berlinger is currently at the center of a First Amendment rights controversy

Embattled documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger will be the keynote speaker at the West Coast Reality and Documentary Conference (WestDoc) on Sept. 14.

The invitation to address his fellow moviemakers comes as Berlinger finds himself at the center of a First Amendment rights case involving the oil company Chevron.

Berlinger has been ordered to turn over hundreds of hours of unused footage from his documentary "Crude" to the company. Chevron intends to use the film in its defense in a $27 billion suit over alleged pollution in Ecuador. Berlinger is currently appealing the New York federal court decision ordering him to turn over the footage.

More than 100 industry speakers are expected to participate in the three-day conference of panels, case studies and networking sessions.

Berlinger will address the state of documentary production and distribution today as well as the controversy surrounding "Crude."

Berlinger’s other documentaries include “Brother’s Keeper,” “Paradise Lost” and “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster.”