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Order your copy of the explosive documentary, The President's Pressmen, on rights abuses and media repression in Sierra Leone, out now on DVD.

By getting your copy today, you will also be contributing to post production costs for The Hijacking of Libya, our latest film on the imperialist assault against Libya.

Just click on the paypal button on the right.

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The official premiere of The President’s Pressmen

By J L Samboma

The re-editing of my video documentary on press freedom and human rights abuses in Sierra Leone, “The President’s Pressmen,” is now completed and has been posted on youtube.  The original production, which was released at the tail end of 2009, was well-received.  Hopefully, this will be as well.

One obvious question is, Why the re-edit?  The reasons were manifold and compelling.  First, my knowledge of film editing a few years back was rudimentary.  Although I am light years away from being a top-notch editor, I know a bit more now than I did then, and I wanted to use that knowledge to smooth out some of the rough edges in the original.

Also, the abuses against journalists by the political establishment in Sierra Leone have, if anything, increased.  In a word, I wanted to update the information contained in the film, especially to highlight the murder of Ibrahim Foday, a reporter who was stabbed while covering a land dispute case.

As a consequence, the present film is almost twice as long - at 45 minutes -  as the original version, which was just 25 minutes.

And I wanted to sell the DVD in order to raise funds for my next production, on the imperialist assault on Libya.  And if I expected people to spend their hard-earned on something, then I owed them a product that was done to the best of my current ability. 

Worth the wait

With the production now finished, I can say unreservedly that the present product is the best that I can produce – given my present technical competency, the available resources and the raw material I have had to work with.  Uploading it on youtube has resulted in the loss of picture resolution, but that can be easily remedied by getting the DVD, where the images are naturally sharper and lend to a better viewing experience.

The film, it goes without saying, was self-financed.  This may have impacted on production values, but not very much.  My next production, on the imperialist asault on Libya - The Hijacking of Libya - has been delayed due to the re-edit of “The President’s Pressmen.” Funds raised from the latter will go towards that project.

If you would also like to support our next documentary film project, which is now in post-production, then you could remit the sum of £10.00, or more, as indicated on the paypal payment options on the right. Postage and packing are covered in the price. Those remitting £15.00 or more will receive a signed copy of "The Hijacking of Libya" free upon release.  If you want more than one copy of the DVD, please remit £10.00 per copy.  Many thanks for the support.

And, last but not least, apologies to all those who placed orders for the DVD of “The President’s Pressmen” and have not yet received it.  I had started despatching the old version before deciding to re-edit, so a few people did get a copy.  That is the reason for the delay. 

The DVD cover design (by "ND" - Newt Design) will be going to the printers on Tuesday and shipping of the product will commence soon after.  Hopefully, you will agree with me upon receiving it, that the wait was worthwhile.  Thank you for your patience.


Reader Comments (2)

This is a very worthy product, highlighting the repression in Sierra Leone. It gives a 'fearless' account of the situation in this African country where 'freedom of the press' is challenged by the arms of Government. Many of us who have no indepth or background knowledge of the war in Sierra Leone, and its aftermath, welcome this account, which is untarnished by the various internal and external interests and factions, which often colour what we are presented with from mainstream Western journalists.

It often takes independent journalists who are not tied to an 'editor's aganda' to bring an element of truth to news stories and, in this respect, Julian Samboma should be commended for what in effect as an example of 'truth to power'.
May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClaire Shepherd
Thank you, Claire, for taking time out to comment on the film. It is very much appreciated. And thank you for your order. The DVD has now been despatched and you will hopefully receive it in the next day or two.

The making of the doc was a real labour of love. The story was simply one that had to be told - if for no other reason but to highlight the true nature of the government headed by Ernest Koroma, whose mild-mannered, soft-spoken veneer has fooled and continues to fool many.

I could have easily been one of their victims, were I living in Sierra Leone. But the decision to make the film was not personal, it was poitical. It was simply business, the business of telling the truth - "telling it like it is." But then, as one wise head said, there's a thin line between the personal and the political!

Once again, thanks for your support.

May 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterEditor

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