Friday, November 9, 2007

Socially Responsible Film Festival Linked to Oil Company, A Study of a PR Nightmare

--film + television + print--

Artivist Film Festival just got slammed in the middle of a massive controversy linked to accepting sponsorship funds from the Petrobras oil company. Apparently, the Brazil owned company drills in pristine areas of the amazon with plans to drill in a region of the Yasuni National Park Biosphere Reserve. Since news of this leaked out, celebrities such as Daryl Hannah and NGO's such as Amazon Watch have very publicly dropped their support.

The fall out began last week when the festival announced the oil company as a presenting sponsor. The announcement caused a major stir, especially from Martin O'Brien whose film "Justica Now" was premiering at the event. The director appealed to the board of the festival to return all funds and sever ties. The festival had committed to dropping the sponsor but apparently had kept a significant portion of the funds. The festival has yet to respond to the PR disaster.

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