What is a big corporation capable of in order to protect its brand? Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten experienced this recently. His previous film BANANAS!* recounts the lawsuit that 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers brought against the fruit giant Dole Food Company.
The film was selected for competition by the Los Angeles Film Festival. Nothing wrong so far, right? But then Gertten gets a strange message: the festival removes BANANAS!* from competition.
Then a scathing article appears in the Los Angeles Business Journal about the film, and Gertten subsequently receives a letter from Dole’s attorney threatening him with legal action.
What follows is an unparalleled thriller that has Gertten capturing the entire process – from DOLE attacking the producers with a defamation lawsuit, bullying scaretactics, to mediacontrol and PR-spin. This personal film reveals precisely how a multinational will stop at nothing to get its way – freedom of speech is at stake. As Dole’s PR company puts it, “It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than a bad reputation”.
In 1994 he founded the production company WG Film. Before he worked as a foreign correspondent and columnist for radio, TV and press in Africa, Latin America, Asia and around Europe. Today he combines film making with a role as a creative producer on WG Film - famous for local stories with a global understanding, with several films catching the identity and transformation of his hometown.Featuring international stars like footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic in True Blue - The way back and architect Santiago Calatrava in The Socalist, the Architect and the Twister Tower, among others. Dole Food company made his film BANANAS!* controversial by suing the company, producer and director. The fight for the film and freedom of speech won international recognition. In Sweden awarded with several prices including the Anna Politkovskaya freedom of speech award. Read Fredrik's full filmography on his IMDB site.